Identify the emotional aspects of your brand that resonate with consumers, then build on those. If your brand is family-friendly, pick a corresponding scent. If it's young and hip, your fragrance should be equally stylish.
Less Is More
Beware the Yankee Candle effect. If customers are overpowered by your scent, you have your diffuser turned up too high. The best use of a fragrance is as a peripheral note in your customer-experience offering.
The Scent of a Woman
When possible, strive for gender congruency in your fragrance. Women's products and environments should feature smells that are pleasing to women, and smells intended for men should be appropriate, too. In areas catering to both sexes, find a smell that swings both ways.
We Are the World
Be very careful to test fragrances pegged to global brands for their international appeal. Steer clear of powerful scents that are identified with one culture or another. Instead, look for a fragrance with worldwide charm.
A version of this article appeared in the August 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.