What Is Scent Marketing and How Does It Work?

Scent marketing is the art of connecting with a customer on an emotional level through the use of fragrance.

When passing the smell of a bakery, the smell of cinnamon enters your nostrils. You smile as you experience nostalgia for the days of your childhood when your dad would take you to the bakery and buy you pastries to eat while watching the birds.

Sound familiar? Occurrences like this will come as no surprise once you hear that the sense of smell impacts 75% of the emotions that each person experiences daily.

A study conducted by Nike showed scent affected desirability of shoes in 84% of subjects, with subjects willing to pay 10-20% more in scented environments. This is the reason that scent marketing has gained so much traction since coming onto the scene as a way to increase brand awareness, enhance people’s perception of your brand and create memorability.

But what is scent marketing? How can it impact your business? That’s what we’re going to talk about today. Read on to learn about this awesome way to reel in consumers and make a lasting impression on your target audience.

What Is Scent Marketing?

Scent marketing is the art of connecting with a customer on an emotional level through the use of fragrance. This fragrance is chosen strategically with a goal in mind. If you sell products that are intended to calm the mind, for example, an ocean scent- evocative of the beach- will create an association between your brand, products, and the emotion that they’re intended to convey to consumers.

Once a fragrance is chosen, you as a business owner should place it at various customer touchpoints. These are the places where your brand has direct contact with the consumer. Your retail stores are an obvious place where the scent should be present, but you can also include small scented pouches or paper in promotional items mailed out to potential clients.

How Does This Work?

In general, there are two main types of scent marketing: scent branding and ambient scenting. When used in conjunction with other marketing tactics, this can make a huge impact. Read on to learn more about both of these strategies!

Scent Branding

The first is called scent branding, and it essentially refers to making a fragrance into a symbol of your brand in the same way that a logo is. Since smell is a sense that is strongly associated with memory, it’s easy to make people think of your brand when they get a whiff of a certain fragrance.

A good way to boost the effectiveness of scent branding is to relate the smell strongly to your brand image. If your logo features a bee, a honey scent will drive the point home and ensure that consumers make the connection between your scent and the rest of your branding features. Note, however, that this doesn’t work in all situations- just because your logo has a puppy on it doesn’t mean you want your shop to smell like a wet dog.

Ambient Scenting

The second type of scent marketing is known as ambient scenting, and it’s a way of making people feel a certain way when they enter into your business. If you work for a doctor’s office, for example, a calming air freshener smell in the waiting room can help you establish the appropriate vibe for your business. On the flip side, a workout room may want a strong and invigorating scent that gets visitors in the mood to move.

Ambient scenting is considered a marketing strategy because people will remember the smell long after they leave. They’ll associate that smell with the feelings that they had within the office or gym and be in the mood to go back when they smell that fragrance (and feel that emotion) in the future.

The Benefits of Scent Marketing

As you might imagine, there are many benefits to using olfactory senses in marketing. These tactics are, in fact, proven to work. Let’s take a look at why this is the case.

Boosts Sales

Scent marketing has been empirically proven to boost the ROI of businesses. In fact, one coffee brand reported 55% more sales after they began a marketing campaign highlighted by coffee scents. This wasn’t a one-off occurrence, either- people also were more likely to pay 10-15% more for a pair of fragrance-associated Nike shoes than they were before the shoe’s scent marketing campaign began.

This proves that scent marketing is something that all businesses should give a try. It isn’t only that you’ll be able to sell more products, though that’s true. It’s also that people will view your products as more valuable and be willing to shell out more cash for them.

Creates a Well-Rounded Marketing Campaign

Scent marketing also makes your branding strategy more cohesive than it otherwise would be. Most branding opportunities are visual- logos, symbols, colors, fonts, and more are all things that consumers see and associate with a brand. Some smart businesses also use jingles or instrumental tunes for marketing, which brings the auditory sense into the mix.

However, because every sense is important to how humans perceive the world, it’s a good idea to incorporate as many of them as possible into your marketing campaign. When you do, it will only make your business more memorable.

Boost Your Brand Today

While there are many awesome ways that you can make your business memorable, using the scent of smell is one of the best.

Now that you know all about scent marketing and how it can help you grow your business, it’s time to get cracking! Get in touch with our experts to learn all about the solutions we offer for using modern marketing to enhance your growing company. We’re excited to talk more about ambient scenting and how you can implement these strategies, so we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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