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  • Writer's pictureOzge McAree

The Power of Scent

As part of my daily work life working with creating signature scents for spaces, I undersatnd the power of scent.

“75% of the emotions we generate on a daily basis are affected by smell." Martin Lindstrom, Brand Sense: How to Build Powerful Brands Through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight and Sound.

How Smell Shapes Our Perception of the World Around Us

Which of our 5 senses can trigger emotional memories, enhance our mood, and even anticipate a change in weather? That powerful sense is our smell. The human nose can distinguish 1 trillion scents, helping us differentiate pleasant from unpleasant, fresh from rotten, clean from dirty.

Our sense of smell cannot be turned off or ignored, as we rely on it to help us navigate the world around us. The sense of smell (or olfaction) is the only one of the five senses which has a direct path to our limbic system, the centre of our brain which is responsible for memories, mood and emotion.

It's through the use of our smell, we are able to create lasting impressions. In terms of scenting a space whether it's a hotel lobby, retail store, or an office building, an opinion is formed within seconds of an individual walking through the doors and the scent that greets their nostrils will go a long way to deciding whether that opinion is positive or negative.

Scent Marketing also known as Ambient Scenting or Aroma Marketing, is a powerful yet subtle way for any business to gain customer loyalty, whether they are in a retail location, hospitality, office, car showroom, fitness centre or any enclosed environment.

Smell is the most powerful of our five senses therefore when the sense of smell is added to an environment, studies show that a person will recall that location or moment due to their ability to remember smell. Having said this, the role of scent in a room isn’t to draw attention to itself, but rather to subtly enhance the overall mood, while gently elevating the other senses. It's the finishing touch to any business.

Therefore scenting your business creates enhanced commercial spaces for superior customer experiences. A fragrance in any space should be not so much smelled as felt.

Why Should you Scent your Business?

All types of businesses - Hospitality Industry (Hotels Chains, Theatres, Cinemas, Function Rooms, Clubs, Pubs), Automotive Industry, Spa Industry, Retail Industry, Fitness Industry, Medical and Dental, Cosmetic, Offices, Property Management - can use scent marketing in order to bolster their brand identities.

From the bakery chains which places ovens near the front of its stores, to the airline that uses its signature fragrance on everything from towels to the air crew’s clothing, the adoption of scent marketing is a growing phenomenon, and one that is here to stay.

Scents plays a crucial role in how we remember and experience things. The right scent has the power to reinforce a brand message and connect with customers or visitors or staff on another level. The use of scent has the ability to directly influence how your business is perceived and remembered.

Businesses around the world are prioritizing a fresh and clean customer experience

With global attention on health and sanitation, businesses are enhancing their cleaning practices with fresh fragrances and malodour management products to meet higher customer expectations of clean. The importance of diffusing comforting, reassuring and uniquely designed fragrances brings people one step closer together in a world where 1.5 metres apart is our new normal.

Functional or Branded Approach to Scent Marketing

Currently, brands can take a functional or branded approach to scent marketing.

Functional scenting can refer to odour remediation or ‘ambient’ scenting - the use of a pleasant background fragrance to mask malodour, or enhance mood, and improve experience. Likeable and beautiful scents have been shown to have demonstrable effects on consumer behaviour and experience in both retail and hospitality settings for years, and a functional use of scent marketing is intended to maximise these effects.

The branded approach on the other hand, is about developing scents that are unique and specific to a certain brand or branded product, designed to improve customer experience by enhancing the brand and brand perception. These premium, bespoke scents tend to be recognisable anywhere in the world, guaranteeing a consistent brand experience. These should ideally be used at every customer touchpoint both online and offline in order to become closely associated with the brand in the mind of the customer.

If your business isn't utilising the power of scent yet, now is the best time to start.

Ozge McAree

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