Scent Marketing Makes Business Sense

words describing how scent marketing worksSuccess tastes sweet, but who knew its smells even better? Scent marketing research studies show that the use of scent in retail stores can have a significant and direct impact on business sales and profitability. Wondering how? Well, simply put, it helps deliver a better shopping experience to customers.

By using scent in your business outlet, you can make customers connect with brands on an emotional level and tug all emotional strings that help increase customer loyalty, brand engagement and, of course, the time consumers spend in stores; they tend to linger longer, thereby fetching retailers more sales.

The Science of Scent Marketing: How it Works?

Scents have a compelling and immediate effect on people. They are directly linked to the brain’s limbic system, which is the part of the brain that handles our memories and emotions. Scents go beyond our rational perception and have a strong impact on our emotions. According to Nobel Peace Prize Winners, Richard Axel and Linda Buck, our sense of smell is the most emotional sense we possess. Rather than interpreting the information we receive from a particular fragrance, we immediately get a feeling when we smell something.

For example, during the holiday season, there is a certain smell in the air which makes us jollier. Is it the spirit of Christmas? Well, not so much! It’s the smell of pine and oranges we associate with the holiday season. Make sense?

Scent Marketing Makes Business Sense: Let’s Talk Stats and Facts

It makes business sense both literally and metaphorically. Before we discuss some great tips for influencing shoppers with scent, let’s look at some stats and facts first. In a study conducted by the Smell and Taste Institute, it was discovered that 84% of consumers were more likely to buy a pair of Nike trainers in a scented room compared with a non-scented room. And what was even more surprising was that they were ready to pay more.

And did you know:

  • Consumers evaluate scented products as being of higher quality
  • 75% of human emotions are triggered by smell
  • Customers are more eager to buy and pay higher in a scented environment
  • Consumers remember scented shops more than the unscented ones
  • Tests show a 40% improvement mood when exposed to a pleasant scent

Cinnabon, the bakery chain, uses this marketing strategy. They place ovens in front to entice people into entering their establishment. The enticing smell of warm cinnamon rolls can make anyone salivate. They intentionally choose malls and airports (or closed spaces) to make the smell linger. This has worked for their business. Now it’s time you caught on to it!

Actionable Tips to Sniff Out Higher Profits with Scent

If you run a bakery or a restaurant, that doesn’t mean you can’t use this strategy to optimize sales. Here are great tips to help you leverage your business:

Use Simple Scents

First things first, make sure the scent you use is not a complex one. Studies show that consumers exposed to simple scents spent 20 percent more than those exposed to a complex blend.

Reinforce Branding with a Signature Scent

According to the Sense of Smell Institute, people remember scents better than photos. Develop a signature scent that people can associate with your brand. For example the tanned leather scent of ‘Fine Suede’ can be used to entice people into entering and making purchases in a leather goods store.

Make Sure It’s Not Off-Brand

Don’t go off-brand when choosing scents. For example, facts say that the aroma of lavender slows the perception of time and smelling it encourages shoppers to spend more time in a store. This scent would be beneficial in a grocery store. An amber scent or earthy wood notes, however, would be a good choice for a furniture store. These scents induce warmth, comfort and sometimes nostalgia. Such notes can help create a brand association.