Think of the scent that hits you when you step foot in your favourite store.
That inviting aroma isn’t an accident. It’s a marketing tactic that more and more businesses are turning to.
It’s called Scent Marketing and it’s a deliberate sales technique that can help you drive more sales.
Most marketers have developed a deep appreciation for the impact that lighting, music, and botanical elements have when trying to create the right mood to entice customers to stay longer, make more purchases or bond with the business. Scents can be sprayed on product packaging, placed near a certain product, or diffused through an air conditioner.
Today, the corporate sector is leveraging scent in their efforts to enhance their customer experiences and establish stronger connections with their consumers. They have realised that scent is not only about creating a pleasant experience, but also bolstering the bottom line.
But Why Scent?
It is known that scents can elicit specific feelings or trigger memories. Why is this? The sense of smell is powerful, and it controls nearly 70% of our emotions. That is why companies have using scents to trigger or elicit thoughts and feelings in their customers.
Ad Age suggests that smells are mostly associated with thoughts and memories than auditory or visual cues. Our sense of smell is directly connected to the limbic system in our brains, where our memories and emotions are stored.
With most of the decisions that a person makes governed by the mind and heart, then it is possible for the corporate sector to manipulate what their consumers feel or think about their products or services. As such, a purposefully picked scent that is deliberately placed can tug the hearts of all shoppers that walk into a store and see the cash register ringing endlessly.
If you are new to scent branding and marketing, here are seven ways that it can help your business reach the next level in its campaign to grow its customer base.
1. Increased sales
That the helm is the top drive that every company has, growing sales. The right kind of smell in the business premises can help bolster its marketing strategy effortlessly. It will achieve this by changing or improving the perceptions that consumers have about the company brand and the quality of its products. As a result, the customers are bound to interact more with the brand.
For instance, a marketing research company in the UK did a study that showed retailers could increase their sales by nearly 19% if they use scents in their shops and stores. Conversely, different research proved that electronics and kitchen appliance retailers could increase their sales up to about 33% if they place sugar cookie or apple pie scents on their sales floors and stores.
2. Triggering Memories
If you run a home furnishing store, then you want your customers to enjoy a homely feel with they walk through the doors. They should be able to imagine having what you are selling in their house. Take the scenting strategy that One-Way Furniture Stores employ – the use of homely smells that can range from baked cookies, BBQ, or apple pie. Such aromas trigger a homely memory that resonates within the shoppers and can influence them to make a purchase.
The power of nostalgia is known by all marketing professionals, and can definitely be brought into scent marketing. The emotion and memory experts at Act Now Hypnosis find that“smelling, or even thinking about, certain scents can evoke strong memories from our past. In addition, nostalgia is a powerful influencer of the way we see the world around us and the things we enjoy. If a brand can utilise scent to trigger nostalgic memories, then they will be able to elicit an emotional response in their customers that may be beneficial to their marketing objectives.”
3. Creating A Sensory Signature
The use of scents for branding is yet another area worth considering. Some businesses have mastered the art of creating bespoke smells that are unique to their brand for purposes of enhancing brand loyalty.
For instance, Abercrombie & Fitch used a ‘fierce’ odour in their stores to evoke a strong connection with male teenagers that come shopping at their outlets. On the other hand, Westin Hotels has it’s White Tea’ scent designed to create an international appeal that is energising and relaxing for the patrons.
It is not uncommon to find gift boxes from different stores have a peculiar aroma that registers and lingers in the minds of customers to serve as a reminder of what they bought.
As such, the development of signature scents is one of the tactics that marketers can use for brand promotion.
4. Improve Perception
Creating an impressive first-time shopping experience for every new and loyal customer is key to bagging lots of sales. If you manage to get this right within the first 15 seconds, then things will be in your favour.
Scent marketing can be used to influence how consumers feel about your brand and their overall shopping experience. The smell you sue can set the tone for longer, beneficial customer experience. But the wrong scent can also have the opposite effect, sending them for the exit.
Scent’s influence on customers perception of a brand is reinforced by life coach, Renee McDonald who tells us, “When we interact with the physical world around us, we make judgements based on what we can see, feel, hear, taste and smell. Our brains work quickly to analyse these senses to determine how a new environment makes us feel. Once
5. Masking Foul Odours
As mentioned earlier, the use of scents can mask unpleasant smells. For instance, scenting is common in bars and casinos where patrons smoke. It also can be found in hospitals and medical centres what have unsettling smells that tick off patients.
If your business premise produces an offending smell, then you can use scenting to mask that bad odour and give the place a pleasant aroma that encourages customer interactions.
6. Interior Improvement and Enlarging Space
If you are working with a limited budget and your store needs an upgrade, then leveraging the right kind of odour can prove helpful. It is an update with will not be visual yet bearing a significant impact that may be at the same level as the new lights, fixtures and displays.
It is possible for a particular smell to create the illusion of more or less space. For instance, green apple aroma or that of Aloe Vera, citrus, cucumber or any other light scent can make a room feel larger. On the other hand, a spicy aroma, sweet, or woodsy smell will have the opposite effect.
So, if you are looking for an inexpensive way of adding to the square footage of your workplace or store, then scenting offers an ingenious solution.
7. Affecting Emotions
Make every customer that walks through your doors feel happy, welcomed, and relaxed, and they will be more likely to do business. The use of scent marketing can be for such an objective.
Scents can have extreme effects on our emotions and mood, and thus can be used to influence our customers. This is reinforced by the scent experts at My Balance Aromatherapy, who find “after aromatherapy, customers’ moods and behaviour can be completely changed, depending on the service they opted for. They may feel less stressed and relaxed or energised and full of vitality. This translates to the scents you use during a customer’s touchpoints with your business. Depending on how you want your customers to feel when interacting with your brand, scents can have significant influence.”
The use of scenting marketing was linked to nearly $200 million in sales back in 2013. Experts project that it can help with the business growth of almost 10% annually. Sadly though, few companies are taking advantage of this scent marketing. If you are looking to strengthen your brand, encourage customer loyalty, and increase sales to improve your profits, you now know what to do.