In a time when millions of people can buy nearly anything without leaving home, many still do all or some of their shopping in favorite stores. Consumers often feel comfortable and happy when doing business with certain companies even if they have no idea why.
The reason is often scent marketing, which is used across industries. Retail stores, airlines, car dealerships, and hotels are just some of the businesses that use scent to enhance their business environments.
1. Companies Improve Brand Recognition
In humans, the sense of smell is linked to emotions and memories. As a result, people often associate some aromas with pleasant experiences and others with unhappiness. Marketing professionals take advantage of this phenomenon to ensure customers link their products or services with positive experiences. While branding a company consists of a whole set of techniques, scent marketing is often the hook that sets one business apart from others.
Companies add essential oils to diffusers, which disperse aromas into spaces. However, businesses must choose the right scents for their needs. For example, a calm environment is ideal for some purposes, while other organizations need to give spaces a high-energy feel. Fortunately, firms that specialize in scent marketing help clients make the best choices. Many commercial clients get help from AromaTech specialists who provide the required diffusers and oils.
2. Scent Creates a Better Guest Experience
First impressions are always important, but especially in business environments, and scent plays a big part. Studies show that visual memories can fade 60% within a year, but scent memories fade a mere 40%. With that in mind, enterprises often use aromas to enhance guest experiences from beginning to end.
Hotels frequently use this method to ensure guests connect them with pleasant occurrences. When guests walk in the door, they are presented with mood-enhancing aromas. Many hotels diffuse aromas like white tea or thyme through air conditioning vents. Those who want to create a tropical vibe might opt for a mango-peach scent near elevators.
3. Customers Linger in Scented Areas
Research shows that customers linger 20% longer in pleasantly scented retail spaces. Sales also increase as much as 300%. In many cases, visitors are drawn to a store’s signature scent, but they do not realize it. Businesses may create signature scents with professionals’ help, but some are mavericks who go with their instincts, often successfully.
People passing Cinnabon locations are enticed by the delicious aroma of cinnamon, vanilla, and baked goods—three smells often associated with comfort and childhood. A recent Forbes article points out that Starbucks ensures visitors are greeted by the rich, welcoming aroma of quality coffee. They also add seasonal aromas like Pumpkin Spice, which customer’s link with memories of beautiful autumn weather and upcoming holidays.
4. Pleasant Aromas Are Linked to High Value
Aroma marketing is also used to create a value perception. Upscale businesses like hotels, malls, and luxury stores often distribute ambient aromas into their environments to increase clients’ opinions of quality. That can translate directly to profits. In one study, participants shopping in a scented environment were happy to pay 10-15% more for Nike products.
Per Fortune Magazine, companies designing their signature scents often combine essences to create an aroma that elicits a specific feeling. For example, Physique 57, a physical fitness company specializing in barre workouts, developed a scent that exudes precision and luxury.
5. Scent Marketing Creates Brand Loyalty
Dozens of industries now use scents to build repeat business. Businesses often work with aroma experts who help identify the best signature scents for them. First-time customers may not even be aware of an ambient odor, but they will associate it positively with the business when they smell it in the future. That drives repeat customers, which is critical. Bain & Company researchers report that repeat customers spend over 67% more than first-time clients.
6. Retail Sales Increase
Most major retail chains now scent their environments, and many use a different aroma in each section of their stores. Diffusing the right aromas into the air can have a dramatic impact on a company’s bottom line.
Nike found that scenting stores increased customer’s intent to purchase 80%. When gas stations added the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, sales of coffee increased 300%. A 2003 marketing survey found that clients are more likely to buy shoes sold in a scented room. The research revealed that citrus scents introduced into a retail environment boosted average purchases from $55 to $90.
7. Aromas Can Improve Workers’ Performance
Employers have also harnessed the power of smell to boost employees’ performance. Companies understand that happy workers are more productive and creative, and creating a positive atmosphere goes a long way toward keeping them happy. One Harvard Business Review research project found that contented workers translated into 31% higher creativity and 37% more sales.
Businesses use aromas to influence workers’ alertness and moods as well as productivity. Managers often diffuse woodsy rosemary to reduce stress and use lemon to energize the workplace and relieve anger, tension, and anxiety. Mood-altering cinnamon helps productivity, while lavender creates a sense of calm.
8. Diffusing Scent Can Mask Odors
Many companies also diffuse scents to counteract foul odours. Fragrance providers can create formulas that neutralize odours at a molecular level. Formulas don’t just cover up unpleasant smells, they destroy them.
Clients who diffuse oils to eliminate odors include schools, gyms, restaurants, and office buildings. Malls often add pleasant aromas to restroom areas and may use an ambient odor in general areas. Companies often need to neutralize bad odors in stairwells, storage areas, and elevator shafts.
Businesses frequently choose citrus aromas like tangerine in kennels, gyms, locker rooms, and hallways. Orange blossom is a popular choice for stairwells, storage areas, restrooms, and warm, damp places. Some clients opt for neutral scents that are non-detectable but effective in locker rooms and trash areas.
Modern businesses often use diffusers containing essential oils to scent spaces. Ambient scents can influence customers to buy more, encourage them to linger, and associate companies with positive experiences. Companies often have signature scents that help build brand loyalty. Organizations also use specific aromas to create positive working environments and eliminate unpleasant odours.