UTALK Marketing: How to increase brand engagement using scent marketing



How to increase brand engagement using scent marketing


Over the past decade there has been a steady growth of research outlining the benefits of diffusing scent within a retail environment. 

This research has been conducted by both specialist research centres keen to explore the as yet enigmatic power of the human nose as well as by big brands, such as Samsung, who are pioneering the implementation of this research in the field.  

Both interest groups have reported astonishing benefits for brands diffusing scent in the retail environment. 

Significantly scent has been shown to:

a)    Increase customer loyalty

b)    Increase the perceived quality of products in scented stores

c)    Increase the dwelling time of consumers in stores

d)    Increase the likelihood consumers buy products.  

Indeed the Smell and Taste institute found in a study that 84% of respondents were more likely to buy a pair of Nike trainers in a scented room compared with a non scented room, and were even prepared to pay a staggering $10 more for the same pair of trainers!

The fast growth of the scent marketing industry, rather than being a precarious phenomenon, represents the natural evolution of consumer marketing.

Consumers are becoming indifferent to brands messages as they are visually and audibly overloaded with marketing materials. 

Whether on the TV, Radio, billboards, print media or transport services, everywhere one travels there is a constant bombardment of marketing information.

This shouting match between brands will soon reach its pinnacle, as its effectiveness is already in doubt. 

Innovative companies however, many of whom are market leaders, are increasingly employing scent marketing strategies to get their message ‘heard’. 

Brands such as Sony Style, Samsung, Abercrombie and Fitch, Hilton Hotels, Procter and Gamble, Singapore Airlines, Disney, Westin Hotels, Lexus and many others understand two important facts, which has for them made using scent a no-brainer. 

The first of these is that all sales transactions require an emotional connection between product and consumer before they take place. 

The second fact is one that we all intuitively know, that the human sense of smell links directly with our emotion and memory, bypassing the rational part of our brain. 

The sense of smell is therefore the only sense that allows brands to:

a) Cut through the visual/audio marketing minefield

b) Instantly communicate a brand’s values

c) Emotionally connect a brand and products to potential customers

d) Increase brand loyalty among all those visiting scented stores. 

With dramatic drops in consumer spending over the last year, which have been speculated to continue and given the benefits of scent marketing for business, brands can no longer afford to ignore the nose.

For any brand looking to benefit from scent marketing they must ensure that:

a) They use/create the ‘Ideal Sent’ for customer group

b) They install the write scent delivery technology into their stores 

The good news for brands is that there are now companies out there, who have the creative expertise to help brands manifest the ideal scent as well as the technology to diffuse the scent.

As they deal with the whole process, even installation of equipment, diffusing scent through retail stores is now a simple and cost effective option for all brands. 

In order to determine a brands ‘ideal scent’ we ask them to carry out a creative brief.

Scents all have very differing psychological effects on the human mind. 

Lavender relaxes while peppermint stimulates for example, and societal experiences of these scents differ also. 

Brands therefore need to determine exactly what it is they are trying to achieve with the scent that they decide to diffuse through their stores as well as determine exactly what they want the scent to say about them.

By looking at a brands target audience, colour theme, values, identity, and market position, experts work to find a scent that compliments and enhances the brand message while ensuring the scent contains the psychological components necessary to ensure consumers are positively affected in the right way each time they visit a scented store. 

The ideal scent becomes known and recognised as a company’s scent logo, custom scent, or branded scent which is as recognizable to consumers as their visual logo and strapline. 

Consumers will feel more comfortable, relaxed and eager to spend their money in a store dispersing a brands scent logo.

Despite the high profile of the brands mentioned in this article scent marketing strategies are now affordable for almost every company looking to gain a competitive edge.

Watch out for an explosion of brands creating their own scent logo and diffusing it through their stores over the next couple of years.