What Is Scent Marketing

Scent marketing is truly a marketing effort.

It’s about branding, image, and customer experiences. And like any good marketing initiative, there’s strategy involved to help you reach your goals.

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What is scent marketing? The simple definition

3 Minute Read

You’ve heard of scent marketing. You might have even heard some of the hype surrounding it—so many major brands use scent marketing! But you may be wondering how a plug-in could improve your business. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with using a simple air freshener to spot treat unwanted smells and banish must. But—

Scent marketing is so much more than air freshening.

Scent marketing is the use of a strategically chosen fragrance diffused at customer touchpoints. The right fragrance and strategy will communicate a clear, likable brand identity. Scent marketing increases sales and brand loyalty by creating unique customer experiences.

Scent marketing is truly a marketing effort. It’s about branding, image, and customer experiences. And like any good marketing initiative, there’s strategy involved to help you reach your goals.

Types of Scent Marketing Strategies

There are two main types of scent marketing strategies. Both are valuable but keep in mind that your scent marketing strategy is custom designed for your business—that means we can combine elements from each strategy to ensure you reach your goals.

Scent Branding

What if you could make your brand instantly recognizable without needing to display your logo?

The world’s most powerful brands live in the minds of consumers. But while visual recognition is powerful, olfactory recognition is much more powerful.

Memories related to scent are resistant to time and more easily recalled. Our sense of smell is the only sense that reaches us at a deep, instinctual level by tapping directly to the pleasure center of the brain—and the emotions, memories, and creativity that live there.

Ultimately, branding is about giving objects or services value, meaning, and associations to make them stand out from their competition. A scent marketing system allows you access to an under-used touchpoint with customers. It’s a unique way to make your brand stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Harnessing the power of scent means keeping your brand top of mind.What is scent marketing

People are most receptive when all 5 of their senses are activated. Each element of your branding needs to be strong and should be able to stand alone.

The fragrance you choose will be the olfactory touchstone of your brand and will be able to stand on its own. When customers smell your fragrance, they will immediately think of you—taking your brand to a new level of familiarity with customers.

Ambient Scenting

For some businesses, setting the tone for your business is more than branding. It’s a powerful tool to manage customer touchpoints and create a pleasant atmosphere that builds trust and makes customers want to return.

There have been many studies on the power of scent to affect mood. Ambient scenting with a scent marketing system allows you to direct customers in a gentle yet impactful way. By putting customers in the right mindset, you can enhance customer experience and help to mitigate stress and anxiety during tough customer interactions.

A few examples include:

  • Healthcare facilities who use a soothing scent to calm patient nerves— (they often see fewer cancellation as a result of installing a scent marketing system.)
  • Gyms and fitness facilities often incorporate bright, invigorating scents which inspire action and make members feel more prepared to tackle their workout.
  • Senior living communities regularly include a calming fragrance to help new residents and their families feel more relaxed during the stressful process of choosing and moving into a new residence. They also report finding a soothing fragrance impactful for those suffering from sundown syndrome.

In addition, some businesses also choose to incorporate our odor neutralizing technology to help combat any must or lingering malodors.

What a Scent Marketing Strategy Can Really Do 

There are many benefits to scent marketing and you can expect a strong return on investment.

Independent reports from our clients revealed:

  • a 20% increase in customer satisfaction scores
  • an 11% daily increase in retail store sales
  • an 8% improvement of food quality satisfaction scores—without making any changes to the food served

Many studies have been conducted over the years to reveal the impact of fragrance on businesses. And businesses themselves have experimented with and reported data on their experiences with using scent.

A do-it-yourself store in Germany began using the scent of fresh cut grass in their retail locations. They found that positive customer impressions of the store went up almost 50%. Their research also revealed that the scent led customers to perceive the staff as harder working and more knowledgeable.

In another example of scent marketing in action, a kitchen appliance store began using the scent of freshly baked apple pie and their sales went up an astonishing 33% as a result. [Lindström, M. (2010).]

So Where Can I Get a Scent Marketing System?

Getting started with scent marketing is a simple process when you work with a scent marketing firm like ScentAir that offers a full suite of support services. A reputable scent marketing firm will assign you an account representative who will walk you through the process. That includes clearly defining your goals, developing a scent marketing strategy to reach them and selecting the perfect fragrance to bring your brand to life.

If you’re ready to begin your first scent marketing campaign with ScentAir, click here to fill out our business inquiry form.

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The above data was reported by our clients after a collection period of over two years. The data represents the findings of their independent studies.
Fact Sources:
Lindström, M. (2010).  Brand sense: Sensory secrets behind the stuff we buy.  New York: Free Press.
BrandSense Building Brands with Sensory Experiences(Rep.). (2001). Harvest Consulting Group.

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