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Scent branding: using the power of smell to get consumers emotional (and to buy your stuff)

“The sense of smell is one of the strongest and most powerful triggers of emotional memory.”Scent branding

Scent Branding is a discipline of sensory or experiential marketing. It has been promoted by Gerald Zaltman and many others including the Scent Marketing Institute and has become a 14 billion dollar global market for retailers and marketers looking to enhance brand experience. (…) While you may not realize it, you have probably been exposed to scent technology sometime within the last 60 days. Scent branding is being broadly deployed in major retail, boutique stores, airlines, museums and marketing venues across the globe, and in a neighborhood near you.

This reminded me of the fact that large supermarket chains often artificially spread the smell of freshly baked bread in the bakery department of the store, even though they are often only finishing the pre-baked bread which wouldn’t spread the same smell. But hack, I do agree that it smells great and gives me that sunday morning feeling. Get’s me emotional at least.

Leigh continues to explain that using the power of scent to enhance customer experiences is “both a gift as a responsibility”. It can go wrong: she refers to a great example of the “Got Milk” campaign that used the smell of cookies through a strip attached to posters in bus shelters:

“Although it was a small scale deployment, the cookie scented ads spawned aggressive protest from groups representing individuals with environmental allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivities, diabetes, obesity and even those who represented the homeless (shame on the Milk Board for making them hungry).”

Some pointers that were given to “consider when leveraging scent branding in the experiential environment”:

  • We can’t depend on smell alone to create the brand association.
  • Things that smell “goodâ€? to some may not be good for all.
  • Adjusting the scent “volumeâ€? is essential.
  • The use of too many fragrances can be a turn off.
  • Scent context is important
  • The power to smell and respond to odors differs based on age group.
  • Individuals may take offense at highly obvious scent dispersion.
  • Successful scents can carry over into other areas of brand extension.
  • Perhaps most important: the chemicals used in of scent dispersion systems can create problems for people with health or medical problems.

Read the complete story here >>>

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