• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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The wonderful smell of Play-Doh

That familiar smell of Play-Doh brings back memories. When it comes to Play-Doh, my two and a half year-old granddaughter is a raging lunatic.

Seriously.

She asks my son and daughter-in-law to “Play Play-Doh with me!” all the time – even when she wakes up in the middle of the night. Play-Doh is always top of mind, even when my son would rather it not be.

Kids love it and they will remember the smell of play-doh forever.
Kids love it and they will remember the smell – forever.

Needless to say, these innocent demands don’t let up when she has a sleepover at her Mimi and Pop-Pop’s house. Which, when she asks to play Play-Doh, we give into her. She even asks to watch Play-Doh tutorials on YouTube. Yes, such things exist.

My little goofball granddaughter is the apple of my eye, but Play-Doh reminds me that smell – yes, even the smell of Play-Doh – can be a brand equity.

The smell of Play-Doh can be an important part of a brand. 

That’s right. Smell.

Do you remember the smell of Play Doh?

If you’re anything like me, the odor of it is impregnated in your mind. It was still nestled there right before I first agreed to play Play-Doh with my granddaughter.

What does that smell remind you of?

I am brought back to the enthusiastic feeling of opening a new can where I can see the slight ridges of fresh Doh. I am filled with the urge to press it between my hands and to smell it.

The smell of is one of innocence, creativity, excitement and joy.

Play-Doh’s brand owns this smell.

It’s a strange thing to consider, but it’s true.

We’ve written a lot about brand positioning. Brand positioning is about reflecting who your customers are when they use your brand. Smell, just like the other senses, can help to define this experience for customers.

The smell of Play-Doh did for me, just as it will forever with my granddaughter.

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