Involuntary Memory describes how everyday life triggers like sounds and smells can recall memories of the past without conscious effort. Elements such as scents, sounds and color can make someone feel like they are a place worlds away, when in actuality, they are physically elsewhere. For example, a coconut scent can jog our memories to a tropical beach getaway, while we are actually at home, just trying to survive sub-zero temperatures in the middle of a Midwestern winter.

This powerful memory tool can be utilized in spas or salons to create sensory experiences that your clients will recall long after their visit. The experts at Universal Companies share their advice of how you can build your own brand through this marketing technique.

Scent Branding:  Using scents in your spa business can create desired moods and impressions. The spa experience becomes the nostalgic memory sparked by a particular scent. Karen Short, vice president of marketing says, “Using our ESS Aromatherapy blends, you can layer a signature scent throughout your spa, immediately sending your clients back to their last experience in your spa whenever they smell your brand scent. Coordinate with retail items that allow clients to take a bit of the spa home with them." Scents can trigger an emotional response, which can then create a deeper connection between clients and their experience.

Sound Branding: Waves gently crashing, wind rustling the leaves and gently falling rain may quickly bring to mind your favorite vacation spots or a relaxing backyard oasis. Your spa can use sounds of nature, chiming tones, chanting, or signature music to tie in with your specific brand. Using speakers that are built into massage headrests is a simple way to replicate the feel of an expensive sound system. “The Zenvi is a face cushion offering little pockets for an iPod to slip into and flat panel speakers built in,” Short says. “The head rest is angled so that only the clients can hear the music in about a one foot area. Outside that span, it is quiet and does not interfere with other rooms or the hallway. You can create a completely customized sound system for your spa.”

Elemental Branding: Wind, water and fire create a dramatic ambiance at your salon or spa. Fountains, ambient lighting, wind chimes, candles and fire effects, or anything you can think of that plays off the four elements can create a unique look and feel to your space.

Color Branding: A consistent color scheme creates a one-of-a-kind pallet for your salon or spa, whether that be through the room’s paint, linens or hardware. Coordinate the look of your brand and show consistency by choosing colors and patterns that reflect your spa. Or use pops of color or exotic prints for international treatments or elegant damask patterns for a luxurious feel. “Selecting a linen line that feels opulent to the touch will increase your client’s sensory experience,” Short says.


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