Smell of Money: Boosting Sales Through Customers' Senses
Casinos were early adapters, experimenting with scent as they fought to neutralize cigarette and cigar smoke that chased gamers away. They were followed by retailers, increasingly using ambient scents to induce shoppers to stay longer and spend more. Welcome to the world of scent marketing. Beyond just creating a pleasant environment, the nascent scent marketing industry uses fragrance to tap into memory and emotion to strengthen brand identity.
As a retailer, you may like to have a customized scent instead of a generic fragrance. The idea is to make sure consumers associate your brand with the unique scent.
Besides for brand-scent recognition, there are immediate on-site benefits to retailers. The truth is it is increasingly challenging for retailers to capture customers’ attention because consumers are flooded with plenty of choices. Hence, scents can help to attract walk-in traffic.
THE 'PROUSTIAN EFFECT'
Scents trigger purchasing emotions. In his novel "Remembrance of Things Past", French author Marcel Proust was the first to explicitly link smell and memory. He wrote of the emotional power of smell in the form of madeleine cakes and their ability to call up images of childhood. Similar principle applies to shoppers. While customers are in store, scent helps to create the right emotional mood and ambience, lowering the psychological buying barrier. According to studies, happy customers generally stay longer in store and are likely to make a purchase than otherwise.
Scent marketing works best in enclosed store areas. Scents can be piped into the entire premise or at certain spots (such as checkout area). Depending on store design, it is possible to use different scents at different areas (a technique known as spot scenting).
TIE A SCENT TO YOUR BRAND
Businesses employ scent marketing for different reasons. The company ScentAir breaks its scents down into four types. The aroma billboard smell is the boldest scent statement. It's the closest link to the real-estate agent's pie in the oven -- a scent that is unabashedly present like chocolate or coffee. A thematic smell is meant to complement a décor. A French restaurant with a Provencal style might choose a lavender scent to enhance the mood. Ambient smell freshens an unpleasant odor or fills a void. And a signature smell is an individual scent developed and used exclusively by one company like Bloomingdale's, Omni Hotels or Jimmy Choo Shoes.
MAKE SHOPPERS DANCE TO YOUR TUNE
Studies in Britain have shown that playing German music in the wine aisle of a supermarket encourages consumers to pick German wines, while playing French music encourages them to pick up French wine. Play the right music in your shop and you will prosper. Research has repeatedly found that sound has the ability to influence the shopping experience. Done well, the shopping soundscape has the ability to dramatically influence dwell time. In fact a recent study in the US found that when brand-appropriate music was played in store dwell time increased by 22 minutes.
Taste is probably the most limiting of all the senses for brand marketers working in non-food and beverage categories. While you can’t necessarily offer shoppers the chance to taste a new luxury sedan, you can give prospective buyers a taste of the lifestyle, emotions and personality it emotes. It’s why Bentley serves caviar and fine cheeses at their product launches. In Dubai, Fanta recently took a novel approach to taste creating an edible print ad to re-launch their orange flavoured drink letting consumers taste the new formulation.
Having the ability to actually touch product will always be a competitive advantage that bricks and mortar stores will have over online. Recent research discovered a close emotional link between the ability to touch a product and potential ownership, with shopper’s impression of the product increasing after they handled it. Bombay Sapphire recently created a duty free display that allowed travellers to pick up individual ingredients of the classic gin, allowing shoppers to feel the ingredients texture and smell the botanical notes.
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Originally appeared on: HIPER-COM