Every brand should have an associated smell. Breathe in, buy more. The phrase scent marketing is defined as using scents “to set a mood, promote products or position a brand.”12 While scents most often are primary product attributes (e.g., perfumes and deodorizers) or secondary product attributes (e.g., the smell of Ivory soap or Play-Doh), the use of ambient scent marketing is growing fast. Because scents invade our nasal passageways automatically by virtue of our need to breathe, ambient scent marketing is of a different order of magnitude than sight or sound marketing techniques.
We can more readily control or avoid looking at or hearing marketing messages— although the ubiquity of sight/sound marketing can make this very difficult as well. But even if unavoidable, sights and sounds are processed by different, more analytical parts of our brains; whereas olfaction is “our phylogenetically oldest and most primitive sense.”13 Airlines, hotels, retail stores, and casinos increasingly inject scents—sensory signatures—into the environment’s atmospherics, believing this will create positive mood states among consumers, which should translate into a more favorable store and product evaluations, and ultimately, higher sales.14
The first documented use of fragrance to market a brand occurred in 1994 to “provide aromas for the Walter Disney World theme park in Orlando, Florida.15 The patented scent delivery system was developed by a former Lockheed Martin rocket scientist who had become a Walt Disney “imaginer.” Since then, research studies have demonstrated the surprising effectiveness of scent marketing.16
Customers would spend 40% more time in a scented area of a retail store over an odor-free area.
A person’s ability to recall went from 17% to 21%, a 40% increase in ability to recall with an introduction of a specific scent.
85% of all subjects triggered positive nostalgic feelings from specified scented products.
Blood pressure can be reduced through the introduction of scent.
Our ability to recognize scents and odors is much greater than our ability to recall what we have seen.
The complexity of researching scents only increases when we take into account the fact that scent associations are rooted in the local culture. For example, root beer smells pleasant to most Americans; that same aroma is associated with a strong cleaning disinfectant in Great Britain.
As a leading commercial supplier of scent delivery systems, we believe in creating distinctive and appealing fragrances is an art. Airlux offers over 1,000 fragrances and can develop the right aroma for your brand.
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At Airlux, we offer an ambient scenting solution to create more inviting places that smell good and make everybody feel good.