Simply put, scent marketing is how brands are able to influence customer behaviour by diffusing subtle aromas as part of their marketing strategy.
The use of scent as part of a multi-sensory experience helps brands create increased recall by generating a stronger and longer lasting emotional connection with their customers.
Scent marketing capitalises on the fact that our sense of smell is governed by the olfactory gland, which links directly to the brain’s limbic system which governs emotions and memories, amongst other functions.
Although we are mostly unaware of it, our sense of smell is thought to affect 75% of our daily emotions, and it’s powerful enough to trigger long forgotten memories, inspire strong emotions, alter our mood and even influence decisions.
So it’s no coincidence that 95% of purchase decision making occurs in the subconscious level, according to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman.
In fact when it comes to increased brand recall, 80% of information is retained in memory when the message is communicated via scent.
What’s more, according to the Sense of smell Institute, a brand with a scent identity has a 65% chance of being remembered by a customer after a year, while an unscented brand has a 50% chance of being forgotten within the first 3 months.
So not just a novelty to be sniffed at, in the right environment scent can amplify a brand’s identity, its values and its benefits.
Not only does the right scent create a memorable experience for customers and enhance perception of a brand and product, it boosts sales, enhances customer loyalty and increases staff productivity into the bargain.
Studies actually show that people spend around 40% more time in retail environments where brand scents are used. (And even pay more than customers in odour-free retail areas.) So if you want to attract new customers, increase sales, heighten value perception, and expand brand recognition and customer satisfaction, just follow your nose.