You hear about Apple EVERYWHERE. I recently bought a new Apple Time Capsule hard drive – so I can backup my family video and photo files. Upon opening the package, it occurred to me that in addition to the normal great packaging of Apple products, the Time Capsule actually had a pleasant aroma to it! Maybe it is placebo effect because i am very much an Apple fan, but honestly it smelled nice.
I am not sure it was intentional, but whether intentional or not it certainly speaks to the “total product” concept. Your customer’s perceptions (and therefore your branding) are tuned in to EVERY ASPECT of your product. It is not just the function, the packaging, the quality it is every single thing. Be aware of this – and strive to do every possible thing you can to make it all “top notch”. The result will be customers who are satisfied at every level of their experience! This will lock them in to your brand.
I cannot say for sure that Apple strives to make their products smell nice, but I will tell you that I have unboxed other products that have an unpleasant smell to them. In these cases, the manufacturer was not considering the “total product” concept. They thought their responsibilities ended with the product, but how wrong they were. Their customers consciously and subconsciously attach all kinds of attributes and feeling to the product. If you are aware of this, you can capitalize on it. If you are not aware, you miss an opportunity that may work against you. Especially if your competition is more thorough than you are.
You can’t be fabulous without addressing every aspect of your product!