Company: Air Esscentials
Location: 7055 SW 47th St., South Miami
What it is: A scent-marketing and branding company. It provides scent delivery systems and develops aroma and essential oil blends for retail, hospitality, entertainment, event and other commercial clients.
“We assist companies to determine how to best achieve their marketing and branding goals using scent,” said Spence Levy, CEO and president of the company. “We can enhance the customer experience through creating the desired mood, impression or effect by using the right scent. In a similar way that an appropriate, well-composed song or melody can have a long-term impact on the listener, so too can the appropriate scent and scent delivery method.”
Specifically, he said, Air Esscentials “works with companies to examine their brand philosophies, principles and objectives; identify their message and target audience; identify any relevant data and research; and deliver and employ the correct scent and scent delivery systems.”
How it began: The business was started in 2007 by Levy and his cousin Citron Arbel in Levy’s Miami home. It is still owned and operated by Levy and his brother Marc.
Management team: Spence Levy, CEO and president. Marc Levy, executive vice president.
Number of employees: 14
Products: The company offers scent systems, including one using the HVAC system (air-conditioning) to diffuse the scents in large spaces, and home and small-office units. The company also offers aromas, candles and other scent-related accessories. Prices range from $15 to $2,500, depending on the item or project.
How products are sold: Mostly business-to-business; however, products are offered for retail on the website or in the showroom. The company has distributors throughout the United States and ships products to more than 15 countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe and South Africa.
Among the company’s clients: Air Esscentials provides professional scent marketing services to hotels, cruise lines, retailers and entertainment companies worldwide; The Miami Herald reported in 2011 that the company does about 40-45 percent of its business in the hospitality industry, with hundreds of hotel clients around the country. Among the clients: Club Med, the Delano, Disneyworld, the Eden Roc resort, Gulfstream Casino, Melia Hotels, Modani, Morgan’s Hotel Group, the Ritz Carlton, Resort World, Sonesta Hotels, Universal Studios and Z Gallerie.
Year-over-year sales: 2012: $1.3 million; 2013: $2 million; 2014: $4.2 million; 2015: $6.1 million; 2016: on track to hit 7.7 million.
▪ 2013: “We turned our scent-branding program into a revenue generator for our customers. This was a big turning point for the company and our customers,” Levy said. “For instance, we started offering candles, room sprays and reed sticks to our customers so they can sell them. For example, when you stay at the Delano, they give you a small spray bottle of the custom aroma they use at check in. They also sell the candles with the same aroma. The guest can bring home the smell of the hotel so they can remember the amazing vacation they had at that property. Sonesta Hotel in Coconut Grove sells the room sprays and candles of the scent they use on property.”
▪ In 2015: “We came up with a healthier and safer way to put aroma in the air. We designed this equipment in the USA and manufacture our products in the USA. For protection, we have patented this process.”
▪ In 2016, the company introduced a Wi-Fi-enabled scent-delivering system “that is 100 percent made in the USA from start to finish,” Levy said. “Our Wi-Fi diffuser is powerful new technology that can be adapted into any environment. It is a powerful scent-delivery system,” Levy said. With the Wi-Fi scent machine, “we can control the amount of aroma we put into the air from our office no matter where the machine is in the world. The scent unit can email us when the aroma is running low. It can let us know if it is working properly. The new Wi-Fi unit is small and lightweight, and can be connected into track lighting, wall mounted or be used in small air conditioning systems.”
▪ In February, the company moved into a larger space — the fourth time it has done so. This time, it was into nearly 6,000 square feet of office and warehouse space in South Miami. The new facility is nearly three times the size of its previous location — and that space, in turn, was twice the size of the office before that.
Major key to success: “Our customer service!! That is our most important factor, since Day One. That has always been very important to us and our business,” Levy said. “We have done very little marketing. Ninety percent of new business comes from our customers referring us to others.”
Strategy for next steps: “We will continue making cutting-edge scent equipment and new aroma blends. A new aroma branding project is in development at all times. We are constantly pushing to do better and come up with creative ways for scent marketing to make an impact,” Levy said.
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