Targeting scent is an often overlooked yet incredibly powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. Smells are incredibly impactful, possessing the ability to conjure up a flood of memories, thoughts, images, feelings and associations in moments. With that kind of impact, you’re doing your brand and business a disservice by not utilizing scents in your marketing.
Not only does scent help your brand stand out among others, but it helps to craft a unique experience that your customers will come to associate with only your store. Have we triggered your senses yet? Let’s dive in and see how it works.
Defining Olfactory Marketing
The general idea behind olfactory marketing is in identifying good smells associated with your brand and then incorporating them in your store or products to influence customer behavior. Done correctly, olfactory marketing gives your customers a positive and powerful scent experience associated with visiting your store that they won’t even consciously recognize.
If you’ve ever flown British Airways, for example, you’re being influenced by olfactory marketing. The airline went to great lengths to develop a unique scent that they put in their terminal diffusers and their bathroom soaps that create a pleasant, relaxing scent paired with a scent reminiscent of the excitement and adventure of travel.
Seems like a marketing superpower, right? It truly is. But why is the sense of smell so much more impactful than the other boring senses?
How Scents Impact Emotions
When you detect a particular odor, this odor gets pushed straight to an organ in your brain called the olfactory bulb. This organ sits right next to the amygdala and hippocampus, which are the parts of your brain responsible for creating and processing emotions and memories associated with those emotions. In other words, smells go straight to the source in terms of how someone thinks and feels about something and how they remember.
Olfactory marketing is incredibly powerful; it gets right into the emotions of your customers and helps give them positive feelings associated with your brand. By utilizing and developing a specific scent for your brand, you provide the same powerful connection to your clients , creating a positive and effective experience that they’ll remember and remember again every time they visit.
Scent Company creates the bespoke signature scent for your brand and it diffuses it through a professional and high tech system of scent diffusers in the room. Scent studies the brand identity, its story and personality, as well as the characteristics of the areas to be perfumed.
Examples of Olfactory Marketing
As you might imagine by now, olfactory marketing is more prevalent than you might have imagined before you started reading. Once you’re aware of it, however, you’ll start to notice just how prevalent it is in the brands you use and businesses you frequent. Here are a few great examples.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch was actually one of the first businesses to use scents in their stores and in their marketing. If you’ve ever been to one of their retail locations, you’ll immediately recognize the woody, intense scent. When the company first started its campaign, they had their employees walk around the stores spraying the scent with spray bottles. Now they’re much more efficient in delivering this scent: It’s been added to nebulizers throughout the store.
“I hate the smell of a new car,” said no one ever. Everyone knows the sharp, pleasant and complex smell of a new car, and it likely brings back memories and feelings associated with the joy and pride of purchasing a new car to call your own. Rolls Royce sure knows this, and that’s why they employ an elaborate olfactory marketing campaign.
A Rolls Royce doesn’t only come with the famous new car smell when you get a new one—any time one of their cars gets dropped off at their service centers, the smell gets refreshed.
So we can say that every brand has a story and the bespoke signature scent is able to tell it. The personalised fragrance is then incorporated in a bespoke Scent Collection, and in other marketing products intended for the sale or simply to give to your customers as a gift. Scent Company’s passion for the world of luxury and the craftsmanship of the Made in Italy, defines its creative process and the products the company designs. Every customer is unique and each olfactory branding project is tailored to them.
For John Lewis, Scent Company has created specific fragrances for specific home places: for fitted kitchens and cooking appliances, “Nougat” was selected: a fragrance whose base notes are vanilla and coconut, heart notes are nougat and caramel and, at the top of the olfactory pyramid, we find the top notes with milk and strawberry. A refined composition of fragrances that evoke the warmth of the kitchen in elegant and well-kept environments.
Developing an Olfactory Marketing Campaign
Developing your own olfactory marketing campaign is similar to your other marketing strategies. First, you need to determine what the goals of your marketing campaign are. Are you looking to provide a more positive experience to your customers when they visit your business? Or perhaps you want to perfume your packaging to create a more premium experience for your customers when they purchase your products. Whatever the reasons, understanding your goals will guide your campaign.
Once you have your goals in mind, the next step is to develop your scent profiles. Utilizing a company that specializes in creating scents for brand development, as Scent Company, is a good idea—these folks have a deep understanding of complex scents and how they impact people’s feelings and emotions in a meaningful way.
Once you understand your goals and you have a scent strategy, you can implement it. Then you can watch as your brand and business grows around the power of pleasant smells.