In the days before Starbucks, Cafe Nero & Pret a Mange I worked in the Research Department at General Foods. One of our brands was Maxwell House Instant Coffee. On the packing line, a tiny amount of oil (pressed from high quality coffee beans) was sprayed into the top of the jar immediately before the cap was screwed on. When the consumer opened the jar for the first time, it resulted in an instant coffee aroma sensation that ‘replicated’ the smell of ground coffee.

Sometimes it pays to add cost

Adding the aroma by using more expensive high quality beans added cost but the cost per jar was negligible, especially as it significantly improved the consumers perception of the brand and the coffee quality.

‘Good’ smells can be powerful and supermarkets often circulate the aroma from the bakery to increase sales.

For other companies, playing the right background sound may increase consumers positive perception : for others, it might be silence or setting the right temperature (cool or warm).

When I first visited the Apple Store in Regent Street, London, I was knocked out by the amazing visual display of their terrific range of great looking equipment combined with friendly knowledgeable staff and a great buzz.

What do you do to give your prospects and customers a great first impression?

Take a look at your company reception / office / meeting rooms, your website, your emails, your company literature, your advertising and the way you answer the phone.

Is your web landing page visually strong? Does it have powerful copy? Does it have a nugget of great information or a compelling offer? Does it make people smile or go wow? How good is it at converting visitors to valuable customers

First impressions count, so what’s your version of the Maxwell House aroma?

Remember…web marketing is about solving customers’ problems profitably.