Touching on Scent Marketing
Markets are oversaturated with product offerings and competition is fierce. Companies often use brands for points of differentiation. With few ways to stand out from the crowd – what innovative, out-of-the-box tactics can marketers use to promote brand loyalty, preference and recognition? We suggest scent marketing as a sensory marketing technique.
What is scent marketing?
By carefully selecting scents that resonate with a company’s identity and values, organisations can create brand associations with certain fragrances. Scent marketing is a two-fold strategy.
Firstly – certain fragrances can be associated with a brand. This means that when consumers smell this fragrance anywhere, they are instantly reminded of the brand that also uses this fragrance. For example – someone doing laundry with a particular detergent may be reminded of a company that diffuses the smell of fresh linen in their premises.
Secondly, by using a certain scent in a setting, consumers can be transported into the correct frame of mind, feel a certain way and be prompted to act. For example – a travel agency may diffuse the smell of an Amazonian forest or pina colada throughout their offices to transport potential travellers to a particular destination, encouraging them to book their tickets.
Why scent marketing?
As we have discussed in previous blogs, scent is one of the most powerful senses connected to emotion. We actually feel emotions before recognising a scent because our olfactory centre is directly connected to the limbic system – the emotion centre of the brain.
Scents can either be associated with a brand or make customers nostalgic – connecting to consumers on a deeper level when compared to traditional marketing tactics. However, when combined with traditional marketing tactics – scent marketing increases differentiation, recognition and becomes part of the holistic marketing strategy.
When consumers have an emotional connection to your brand, brand loyalty increases and they insist on using your brand over others. The scent becomes an inseparable part of your product and company image and offers the opportunity to expand, relocate or even rebrand while still maintaining the same emotional connection to the brand.
Scent marketing and brand recognition
We’ve touched on this a little but feel it’s quite important. Scientific studies have concluded that we can remember and recall smells longer than we remember and recall visuals.
Think about it; would you remember an advertisement for chocolate chip cookies or remember the smell of chocolate chip cookies filtering into the streets from the local baker?
By associating common, recognisable fragrances with your brand and using these consistently (throughout dealerships, agencies or stores), consumers will start to remember your brand when they get a whiff of this smell in other settings. They may be relaxing in the garden and the smell of freshly cut grass transports them into your landscaping showrooms.
The power of smell is undoubtable one of the most effective and personalised ways to differentiate and distinguish yourself from the competition – making comparison with our brands and companies absolutely impossible.