The Strategist

Scent: A Secret Marketing Tool

11/05/2015 - 15:27

Scent is one of the components of success in trade. Imperceptible, it impacts our subconscious, galvanizing us into actions.
Aroma therapy can be used when you need to trigger memories, stimulate appetite, or make buyers feel more relaxed or excited, so they spent more time in the store and expend more money. Today, as the following examples show, many retail companies use scents as a routine element of their specially customized interior space.

In South Korea, Dunkin Donuts has raised awareness about their coffee, squirting the coffee aroma in buses simultaneously radio advertising it. This led to the fact that the company's stores had 16% more visitors and sales increased by 29%.

McCain uses a multi-sensory advertising of potato dishes for microwaves. Advertising at bus stops illustrates a baked potato. The banner is two feet high and made of fiberglass. Passengers have to push it to turn heaters, installed inside, on (given that the campaign had to start in February, it was a great success). When the heater is turned on, a smell of fresh-baked potatoes is sprinkled outside.

Each department of American Bloomingdales smells different: a faint smell of baby powder is felt in department of baby clothing, air in swimwear section is full of tropical coconut scent, subtle aroma of lilies hangs in underwear department, and holidays smell like sugar cookies, chocolate and evergreens, what creates a warm and cheerful mood.

In Net Cost grocery store in New York, different cooking smells are artificially blown into the aisles to stimulate appetite of shoppers and get them to spend more. Shelves with sweets smell of chocolate, grapefruit aroma is felt in vegs department, focaccia with rosemary is wafted from bread shelves. These scents were selected and positioned within the framework of the established strategy. According to the first reports, the strategy worked: after launch, sales grew by 7%.

Hard Rock Hotel at the Universal resort in Orlando uses artificial smell of sugar cookies and waffle cones as a sign for guests showing way to Emack and Bolio ice cream parlor. Earlier, the cafe was disregarded as it is located away from the usual tourist track. The "fragrant sign" helped boost sales by 30%.

Any writer or publisher is going to like the last example. Researchers at the Belgian University of Hasselt state that chocolate smell helps increase book sales. During the ten-day study, the scientists filled a bookstore with the smell of chocolate for half of the shop’s working time. Although the flavor was too faint to be noticed right away, the researchers found that it had a significant impact on how much time buyers spent considering a book, how many names they searched for and, finally, number of books purchased. For the most part, it concerned books about food and drink, as well as love stories - in the hours when the store smelled of chocolate, their sales increased by 40%.

Based on The Brain Sell: When Science Meets Shopping by David Lewis


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