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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Scent Marketing: I Bet Your Nose Knows!

It has been a long since I haven’t posted on my blog. I want to say that I haven’t actually been gone for a long time . Just busy now,  working at a new job. I want to apologize to all my readers and visitors for this over one month gap. 

Now coming to the topic of today. You have all probably visited the local department store and noticed there a faint scent – or perhaps the stimulating smell of jasmine at a boutique or relaxing lavender at a hotel. The smell will be barely perceptible: something you wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't been paying close attention. But businesses are hoping these almost unconscious scents will draw you into a serene state -- prompting you to relax, buy more and, ideally, remember their brands. Well, it is called scent marketing and the concept of it is that scent encourages people to purchase more or increase  their brand engagement. Scent is all about next branding frontier.

Briefly, here is how the idea works. A supermarket pumps the smell of baking bread through the store to make people hungry so they buy more. A department store releases the odor of coconut oil in areas that display swimwear and beach fashions to make people think of summer even if it’s frigid outside. Or, an aroma can simply make the store a more pleasant place to shop. Many scientists have approved it that certain aromas are serious memory triggers. They can create positive feelings in your consumers who then associate it with your brand. All I note not to forget is that people will linger in areas smell good up to 40% longer. Linger~, linger~ , linger~ .

When tiring to explore the experiences  and success stories of some marketers or retailers of their scent marketing don’t expect them to admit doing this. There’d be backlash from consumer groups and complaints that the stores are manipulating people. But the scent manufacturers, researchers, and their agents usually aren’t afraid to talk about their products and uses.

Many businesses even consider scents an integral part of their overall image in addition to their logos, music and décor. Let’s now discuss scent marketing by examples of some business industries.
How does this apply to the banking industry? What do you think? In this situation, Decatur First Bank in Georgia prepared and distributed popcorn at its branches. As the Bank President stated, “We choose popcorn because it tells people they’re welcome, and that we want them to feel comfortable,” says Judy Turner, President and CEO.  “The smell of the popcorn really shapes the full feel of the branch when customers walk in… it allowed the strategy to truly until both smell and taste – creating an even more powerful and interactive e experience for both the customer and the employees… It provided an engaging brandbuilding strategy.” (Stevens, 2007 p. 33)

Therefore, the role of scent as a marketing communications tool has a number of  applications.
Ok! Let’s speak also a little about casinos. Scent marketing is applied with great success in casino's around the world. One study put a floral scent in an area of a casino over a weekend; gamblers there spent 45 percent more money than on other weekends, while the results for unscented areas of the casino remained unchanged.

Obvious candidates of scent marketing are also hotels, transportation providers, retail stores and many other businesses who as a fact deny the possibility of their olfactory marketing integration.

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