Humans have been harnessing the power of scent since the beginning of history. In ancient cultures, fragrances were used for rituals and celebrations. Today, different scents are still an integral part of our daily lives – whether we realize it or now.
Our sense of smell is a very deep-rooted instinctual sense and, because of this, it’s the only sense we can never turn off. It is always working and picking up on the ever-changing scents in our environment. When our noses detect a new smell, signals are immediately sent to our brain. Strangely enough, the area of the human brain that processes smell also processes emotions. Through this connection, our sense of smell is scientifically believed to affect 75% of our daily emotions. And this is where scent marketing comes in.
So what exactly do you need to know about scent marketing for your brand?
Here are the top 10 tips you may want to consider:
- The Power of Scent – Scent marketing is becoming increasingly popular because consumers can ignore visual ads but they can’t escape the power of scent.
- Emotion and Memory – Scents unconsciously evoke emotions and associated memories. Because of this, scents and scent marketing can greatly influence brand perception.
- In-Store Memories – Because of the emotion/memory connection, you can use pleasing scents to create emotional bonds with customers through positive memories created during the shopping experience in-store.
- Atmosphere – Customers will be more or less likely to make a purchase based on the atmosphere of a store and whether or not they find it pleasing. This is where scent marketing can make or break the experience.
- A Pleasant Atmosphere – If customers are pleased by a store’s atmosphere, they will stay longer and are more likely to make purchases.
- Extended Stay – So how much longer do customers actually stay in a store with a pleasant smell? Studies say that people stay about 44% longer than in non-scented stores.
- Brand Loyal – Happy customers are more likely to come back and make a repeat purchase, so it isn’t surprising that successful scent marketing has been linked to increased brand loyalty.
- Quality Perception – Based on academic and industry research, incorporating scent has great impact on how consumers regard a brand. So if a particular store smells nice to consumers, they are likely to associate that store with being high quality.
- Increased Productivity – Studies show that a pleasant aroma in-store can benefit employees as well as customers. Stores with scent marketing tend to have higher employee morale and increased productivity compared to unscented stores.
- Full-Sensory Branding – Scent marketing is just one facet of full-sensory branding. This kind of branding advocates for stimulating all of the consumer’s senses to have maximum impact. This is especially true for the in-store experience because all five senses can be stimulated in some way when the consumer is actually present.
How to choose a scent for your brand:
Because scent marketing has been such a smashing success, it is being adopted by brands in every industry. Many hotels, such as the Ritz-Carlton, and stores like Nike and Hugo Boss have created their own unique store scents. Even technology giant Sony has its own scent.
With the increased demand, specialized olfactive branding agencies are popping up rapidly, ready to create scents for eager clients. ScentAir, the original pioneer in scent marketing, has been at this for nearly 20 years and is already well established compared to the newer agencies. The company has its own patented scent diffusion systems for its created scents, which are formulated with only the best ingredients.
This is a big business, so careful thought needs to go into the process of choosing a scent for your brand. Consider these things.
All the elements of your brand, including fragrance, should coordinate. Choose a smell that you want your customers to associate with your brand image. This chosen smell should be your “brandscent” and should a complement to the in-store atmosphere, enhancing the experience.
When choosing a brandscent, it’s important to understand how different scents evoke different moods. What mood do you want your brand to evoke? For example, citrus, with its bright tangy notes, might evoke excitement. On the other hand, lavender is known for its soothing scent, which might evoke a sense of peace and serenity.
In order for your chosen scent to have maximum impact, it needs to be uncorrupted. Take steps to reduce contrasting or unpleasant odors so your scent marketing tactics can be as successful as possible and impact your customers.
Less is More:
With scent, less really is more. Your chosen scent should be subtle and understated. If it is too powerful and overwhelming, it will drive customers away instead of drawing them in. Since that is the least desirable outcome, keep the scent to a minimum and use it as a background element.
It is important to acknowledge that no scent is universally loved. Different smells will appeal to different consumers, so it is very important to know your target market in scent marketing. A lot of the time, scent preference has its roots in age range, location, and other demographic aspects so do thorough research about what your ideal customer prefers.