Scent Branding & Scent Marketing
There is a lot more to scent branding than just creating a pleasant aroma, or transmitting the aroma of a product. Research tells us that the sense of smell affects about 75% of our daily emotions, and plays an important role in memory.
The sense of smell is different from the other senses, because it is processed first by the limbic system, the same part of the brain responsible for memory, perceptions, and emotions. The other senses are first directed through the analytical part of the brain, before indirectly reaching the emotional sphere. So scent is a more primitive sense, and science is discovering that scent plays a much larger part in influencing our emotions and decisions.
Scent has the Ability to:
- Enhance Mood
- Increase Excitement
- Enhance Learning
- Trigger Memory
- Enhance Recall
- Reduce Error
- Decrease Anxiety
- Increase Brand Loyalty
- Trigger Desire
- Cancel or Mask Other Scents
- Indicate a Direction
History of Scent Branding
In December 2006, Advertising Age identified the use of scent in advertising as
one of the top 10 marketing trends to watch in 2007.
Over the last 25 years, numerous studies have been conducted by research scientists on the behavioral effects of scent upon consumers. These studies indicate that the incorporation of scent to create a true multi-sensory branding campaign delivers a much more effective consumer message.
A few of the notable studies* have shown customers would spend 40% more time in an area of a retail store scented with a specific scent over an odor-free area. Research also showed an 84% increase in the willingness to purchase a pair of Nike shoes in a scented room over an odor-free room (and pay $10.33 more for the same pair of shoes). In another study, slot machine receipts increased by 53% in the scented area of a casino. (*Brand Sense / Martin Lindstrom / Free Press 2005).
In the highly competitive $800 billion advertising industry, most companies only use two of the five senses (sight and sound) in their branding and marketing strategies. However, because emotions are so closely tied to our sense of smell, decision makers are beginning to understand that building emotional ties with scent between consumers and products is critical.
A good, comparative example of this macro-growth phenomenon would be the home fragrance/aromatherapy market that began over two decades ago. In 1984 the home fragrance market was virtually non-existent. By 1994, the home fragrance market reached approximately $230 million in annual sales. According to Euromonitor International, the recognized global standard in market analysis, the home fragrance category in 2008 exceeded $8.4 billion in sales.