Scent marketing is now a widely used method of influencing customer behavior. Our sense of smell has long been the most neglected of the five senses, yet it is incredibly powerful and innately connected to our memory and emotions. This provides marketers with a unique opportunity to boost brand recognition and encourage customer loyalty. 

Here’s a quick guide to making scent marketing work for you.


What is the purpose of your scent marketing? 

First of all, identify what goals you want your scent marketing to help you achieve. For example, it can be used to encourage customers to spend more time in a particular area, so that they browse for longer and make more purchases. It can be used to influence decision making, prompting a customer to make an impulse purchase.

Scent marketing can be used to increase customer loyalty by building up an emotional connection, and it can also be used to promote brand recognition. For example, a distinctive aroma can trigger immediate associations with a brand, much as everyone instantly links the golden arches logo with McDonald’s restaurants. 


Why does scent marketing work?

Our sense of smell is highly evolved and we are able to distinguish thousands of different odors. It’s the first sense to develop in the womb, and the only one that we are born with fully developed. Therefore, it’s associated with some of our earliest and strongest emotional bonds with our caregiver.

Our olfactory bulbs are linked directly to the limbic system in the brain that contain the amygdala and hippocampus, which play a part in forming emotional memories. This means that memories triggered by smells tend to be more emotionally evocative than those triggered by our other senses. 


Think about what type of scent suits your brand

There are some brands for whom the choice of scent will be obvious. For example, if you run a chain of coffee shops, then enhancing the naturally great smell of freshly roasted coffee beans with a scent diffuser is an obvious choice. 

Most of us enjoy the complex and rich aromas of good quality coffee, and we also associate drinking coffee with a pleasant social occasion, or just taking a break from work as part of our morning ritual. 

Similarly, the smell of freshly baked bread or sweet goods is universally appealing. Most people have feel-good associations around baking, as they link it with comfort, home, and happy early memories of childhood. This is why many supermarkets purposely use the aroma of baking bread at store entrances to encourage customers to buy more products.

However, your product may have a smell that you wouldn’t particularly want lingering around out of context. For example, freshly cooked fish or meat can smell fine and enticing in a restaurant, but you wouldn’t want to pick it as your signature scent. 

Therefore think of something associated with the product instead, such as light citrusy or herb smells for fish, and warm woody or spicy aromas for meat. 

If your brand or product has no smell, then this is no reason to think that scent marketing won’t work for you. The trick is to think about what kind of image you want your brand to project, or what sort of mood you want to evoke in your customers. 

This may depend on where they interact the most with your brand. For example, it could be when they unbox a product ordered from your website, in a retail store, at a beauty treatment clinic, a healthcare center, or a hospitality or entertainment venue. 

In a salon or clinic, relaxing fragrances such as lavender can work very well, encouraging customers to feel at ease and in harmony with their environment. In a gym, a clean smell of fresh linen can help to counteract any lingering stale sweaty odours. 

For entertainment and hospitality venues, energising scents that promote a happy and optimistic mood such as lemongrass or vanilla can work well. For a high-end luxury venue, subtle floral smells or rich leather smells may be most suitable. 


Think about how you will use the scent

There are three main ways brands use scent marketing: scented billboards, ambient scenting, and theme scenting.

Scented billboards are often used by brands with multiple chain stores, to create a signature scent across the whole brand. Ambient scenting simply means introducing a pleasant background fragrance to a place to make customers feel relaxed and at ease.

Theme scenting involves strategically placing a specific scent to influence customer behavior, such as using pine fragrances to sell Christmas tree decorations. 

If you are looking for a commercial air freshener for a hotel lobby, please get in touch with us today.

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Benefit from a free consultation session with no strings attached. Our team is here to help find the perfect scent marketing or odor control solution for your business.

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Contact Us

Benefit from a free consultation session with no strings attached. Our team is here to help find the perfect scent marketing or odor control solution for your business.

Your details: