The wonderful Play-Doh smell

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

6 November 2015

The Play-Doh smell recalls childhood

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

Seriously.

“Play-Doh reminds me that smell – yes, even the smell of Play-Doh – can be a brand equity.”

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 Play-Doh smell is an important part of its brand 

That’s right. Smell.

Do you remember the Play Doh smell?

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

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