How Scent Branding Increases Retention and Revenue

Modern Scent Marketing has quickly become a viable business marketing strategy across a vast array of industries. It can subtly influence consumer moods and purchase intent.

Modern Scent Marketing has quickly become a viable business marketing strategy across a vast array of industries. It can subtly influence consumer moods and purchase intent. Customer experience managers know that the right fragrance in the right place can drive revenue while increasing a customer’s overall brand perception.

Scent diffusion is a marketing tool that dates to the 1920s and to the times of iconic designer Coco Chanel. She had just created her No.5 fragrance, designed the bottle, and even went so far as to send samples to all the society women of Paris.

Still, she knew she needed more, and in her Parisian boutique, she insisted that all her sales staff spray the fragrance throughout the store, with an unusually heavy touch at the entrance.

Since the early 1960s, retailers have been aware of the power of Scent Marketing and the power of subliminal scents when it comes to seducing consumers to make a purchase. Casinos were among the first establishments to strategically utilize fragrance. They did so to mask the odor of smoke and other unpleasant odors. It would be quite sometime before other retailers and marketers followed suit.

Modern Solutions

Behind-the-scenes commercial scent diffusers have changed all that. Customized scented environments for resorts, casinos, hotels, and retail establishments of all types rely on the specific and delicate pairing of surroundings and near-subliminal scents.

Brand specialist, Martin Lindstrom, led a landmark study using neuroscience to locate the buy button in the human brain. Research revealed that 60% of shoppers make decisions in less than four seconds and that ambient scenting and aroma branding is a primary catalyst for those choices.

Fragrances of all types stimulate the brain, diffusing into memories, and create either positive or negative experiences, which create lasting memories. Their allure is ethereal, universal, timeless, and specific.

Scent Marketing and the power of persuasion

Each year, more companies are introducing a scenting strategy into stores and other venues featuring their product lines and services. Department stores and retail environments catering to both female and male customers are deliberately and strategically placing scent diffusers with unique fragrances where marketers believe they will have the most influence over their client’s intent to buy. There are other unexpected places where fragrance can enhance moods, including hospitals, convention centers, commercial buildings, legal and dental offices, and funeral parlors.

Additionally, banks and other financial institutions have adopted scent marketing to enhance their customer experience. They have implemented a strategy based on accumulated research, which suggests that the right scent can shorten the time patrons perceive they have been standing in line, thereby increasing the customers’ overall experience.

Gyms and exercise centers may introduce a lemon or peppermint scent, which is known to improve the perception of performance and manage less pleasant odors. Lavender, a soothing and relaxing fragrance, is an excellent option for airports, trains, and bus terminals because it relieves stress and is both soothing and relaxing to those rushing to make a travel connection.

Business environments and multiple scents

Car showrooms and sports stadiums are organizations that must distinguish themselves with customers through a profoundly influential scent. According to research, in some instances, multiple fragrances may influence customers’ choices more than one single aroma.

One example of this is Marlins Park, a baseball stadium in Miami, whose marketers have developed a custom fragrance strategy that includes diverse aromas. For the general concourse area, the smell of caramel popcorn permeates to create a mood of family, nostalgia, and whimsy.

In the elite and luxurious Diamond Club, aroma branders have introduced a more sophisticated black orchid aroma. Even more symbolic is the muted orange scent in the team store, which subtly suggests the stadium’s history of hosting the Orange Bowl.

Specialty food sections in supermarkets offer another illustration. Asian and Indian spices blend well with scents that suggest exotic and faraway lands. These include sandalwood oil and fresh rose floral essences, which are known as attars. Sweet and unmistakable, these scents subtly influence the buying impulses of the average consumer.

Scent is the last frontier in brand marketing

Scent marketing falls into two distinct camps; ambient scent marketing and scent branding. The former merely fills a space with a pleasant fragrance, and the latter concerns are developing a signature scent, which serves as an olfactory logo if you will. A signature scent is an excellent way to create an iconic brand that resonates with your audience on a subconscious level.

Below are three fall seasonal scents that increase retail revenue.

Hot Spiced Toddy

This mélange of spices and fruit is always associated with Christmas Eve and invokes thoughts of warmth, family, and holiday cheer. The strategic placement of this near subliminal scent could encourage a visitor to a ski lodge to return next winter. Consumer sales could peak in stores featuring fireplaces and supplies, warm winter clothing and outerwear, winter sports gear, and accessories.


No aroma branding strategy could suggest the joy of Christmas and childhood wonder more than gingerbread. Spicy and sweet, this scent is a powerful enticement for sales in shops featuring: Christmas ephemera such as cards and gift wrap, and holiday decorations; baked goodies; toys; coffee and gourmet culinary supplies.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Pumpkin is considered a masculine near subliminal scent, and this blend of spice and fruit and nutmeg recreates the aromas and memories associated with the holiday season. Retailers catering to men’s clothing, accessories, toiletries, and activities should consider incorporating this fragrance into their seasonal aroma marketing strategies.

Retailers are capitalizing on the power of scent marketing to enhance their sales and customer experience. Modern businesses understand that research has proven even a tiny particle of a fragrance can influence consumer perceptions and increase the volume of sales and the number of store visits.

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