Monday, February 12, 2007

Burn Lavender

We’re not talking about candles or incense here. Back in January, KUMHO Tire USA introduced the world’s first fragranced automobile tire. The story has made the rounds of the fragrance and auto blogs, and this morning CNN's Ali Velshi got hold of it for his business news. But what's the real story here? Targeted at female consumers (no, really) driving sedans such as Honda’s Accord and Toyota’s Camry, the company is selling its DX aroma tire to build brand awareness and highlight its tire expertise. Instead of the smell of “black rubber,” tires will now release the scent of lavender through the use of heat-resistant oils. Neroli and jasmine versions will also be available. The world just keeps getting better, and better smelling. More importantly, here is an interesting example of a brand reaching outside its normal confines to create a point of difference and call attention to its product expertise. Hmmmm. If a company made tires that smelled like hot fudge, I might just buy a set for my car.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Shannon said...

Karen, that is certainly interesting...but isn't lavender known to calm and soothe you? You don't want to be too soothed while driving and drift off to sleep. ;)

I can appreciate their out of the box thinking though. :)

1:21 PM, February 13, 2007  
Blogger Karen said...

Lavender never calmed me enough to fall asleep. Maybe it will ease tensions on the roads.

12:39 PM, February 15, 2007  
Anonymous Shannon said...

You're right Karen, maybe this is the solution to Road Rage.

5:44 PM, February 17, 2007  
Blogger Anya said...

IFRA has lavender neroli and jasmine on its new hit list. I, personally am not in favor of over-scenting the world anyway - it can all add up to increased bioload on people, increasing their propensity for sensitization, allergies and other ailments.

Additionally, there is no way it would be economically feasible for them to use real neroli or jasmine, they'd be using synthetics.

8:40 PM, February 21, 2007  
Blogger Karen said...

Thanks for your comments, Anya. Fragranced products remain very popular around the world despite concerns from some about allergies. And we are told that fragrance memories are very strong -- that people connect with scents in powerful ways. I think we should be looking for the intersection where all can live happily, fragranced or not.

9:43 AM, February 22, 2007  
Anonymous Roger von Oech said...

When a man gets in behind the wheel of a lavender-fragranced vehicle, does he need to dig into his "feminine side" in order to drive it properly?

A fun post!

12:06 PM, February 24, 2007  
Blogger Karen said...

Fun is good, Roger. Thanks for the comment and for all the inspiration!

2:13 PM, February 24, 2007  

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