TNT smells an opportunity

Despite the festive truce, there is little doubt that the autumn industrial action damaged the Royal Mail brand and led to an outflow of business to rivals.

One of those competitors, TNT Post, recently claimed that it had picked up customers for its courier business as a result of the strikes. Its chief financial officer, Henk van Dalen, added earlier this month that “customers might switch to TNT because they think Royal Mail isn’t reliable”.

Perhaps sniffing (forgive me in advance for what will soon be revealed as a terrible pun) a further opportunity to pickup business from its beleaguered rival, this week TNT revealed a new innovation: scented direct mail.

The optional touch activated aroma will, it is claimed, give users a greater return on investment and raise brand awareness by boosting emotional engagement.

Risible gimmick or innovative breakthrough?

As biologists would no doubt attest to, smell is among the most powerful of human senses, guaranteed to trigger a reaction. The theory goes that a combination of the right smell and graphics will also multiply the chances of a product or service becoming lodged in the memory of consumers.

Would a supermarket door drop for a coffee promotion scented with the aroma of cocoa beans trigger a spike in sales? Or prove to be an expensive indulgence with indistinguishable smells prompting even quicker disposable than usual?

Perfume and aftershave producers have for a long time used the technique in magazines to encourage trial and for other brands where a smell can illustrate a product benefit, the service could boost engagement.

By offering something different, TNT Post will also be hoping to gain some of the vast ground it currently concedes to Royal Mail as a producer of direct mail.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here