Experiential Marketing with Scents

Friday, 31 August, 2012

How to use the sense of smell to seduce Consumers?

Scent Marketing is being more and more used in Branding Strategies. Because wherever there is a direct contact with the client, a right scent can have a great impact: shops, hotels, restaurants, banks, offices, special events and, in general, places where clients attend.

According to a recent study performed by Open-Senses, 94% of people state that ‘some scents can evoke nice memories and make me feel better’. And 85% of people agree that ‘smelling often our favourite smells can improve our sense of wellbeing’. Therefore the sense of smell can be used to improve the Shopping Experience.

The keys for Scent Marketing are perseverance and differentiation.  This way the client will perceive the difference between the Brand and ‘the others’, they will perceive it always the same way, and according to Brand Values.

Scents have a great power to change our Overall Perception:

According to the famous branding guru, Martin Lindstrom, Nike tried the advantages of using environmental fragrances in the buying experience. Two groups of consumers were asked to evaluate a couple of pairs of shoes. The two pairs of shoes were identical, but one of them was placed in a room with floral scent and the other one in a room with no scent. According to the results obtained, 84% of consumers perceived as better the shoes in the room with the floral scent. Thus, the presence of a nice environmental scent can help us to perceive the products as ‘better’, in a subconscious way.

Certain scents can help to change the way we process information. For example, a lemon scent can have stimulating effects. Thus, a lemon scent can be used to attract attention to the launch of a new product, the same way that we use a stimulating sound, colour or lighting.

Product Efficacy Perception is influenced by the smell. In the industry of home cleaning products there is a well-known effect that consumers do perceive better or worse the ‘cleaning efficacy’ depending on the scent. This way, for example, several hand dishwashing products can be tested in order to choose the ‘best performing’ one, as perceived by consumers, while the only difference between them is the scent and the formula is always the same.

Seductive Scents can raise purchase intention because they improve the Shopping Experience:  Chocolate scent around a chocolate shop improves the Shopping Experience. Scents of clean linen can help to sell better washing machines. Christmas scents can put consumers in the right mood, together with the Christmas decoration. Scents of flowers can provide a superior purchasing experience in a Flower Shop.

The same way that music can please or disturb, some people could feel uncomfortable with unsuitable, intrusive or too strong scents. Therefore, in Scent Marketing, smells should always be clever, suitable to the surrounding atmosphere, and in line with the Brand Values.

At Open-Senses we are passionate about sensory innovation. If you share this passion, you can contact us at www.open-senses.com.