How to make scents part of your marketing mix

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I would like to welcome back Anthon-Pieter Wink of ScentAir. Here you will find his second guest post on Triggerpulling, explaining how to make scent part of your marketing mix. You can find his previous article here. Enjoy!

Thomas van Straaten
Triggerpulling

Anthon-Pieter Wink:

In my earlier article I gave an introduction regarding the functionality of scent marketing. At this point, I would like to discuss the practical terms of the use of scents in a business environment.

Like I mentioned before, smell, unlike the other four senses, is directly connected to the right side of the brain. This is the side where emotions are formed and memories are stored. The left part of the brain is the more rational part, good for analytical thinking. Therefore, smell is the one extremely useful sense when you would like your customers to feel things when they enter your store. An excellent recent example from scientific research is the use of the scent of tangerines in a shopping mall in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The use of scent made the sense of safety among the shoppers rise by 17 %, while appreciation of the mall went up by 13 % while using these scents.

But how did this reflect in the sales figures, I’m sure you’ll ask. In combination with using decorative plants, the average spending per visitor went up significantly, by a whopping 39 %. Apparently, the increased feeling of safety made shoppers want to stay longer inside the mall, or at least made them feel more comfortable spending their money there. And that fact is a key point for all you marketers out there.

Because what it then comes down to, is to decide what it is exactly that you would like your customers to feel. What is the idea behind your brand, behind your store? Do you just want your customers to feel safe, or would you like them to be energized and excited? Or relaxed? Mentally restored, perhaps? And how does the rest of the interior combine with the use of scent to pull your customers’ triggers, and to make them prefer your product over your competitors’?

The fact that you are now reading this on triggerpulling.com, proves that you are involved in building your brand in more than one way – and that you have some idea of what exactly you want to tell your customers. And in the same way you have been developing both your brand and the interior of your shopping space, you should choose your scent with care. It’s an easy mistake to just go for the scent you, personally, like best. But with over 1.600 scents to choose from, and an incredibly wide array of emotions involved, it would be a shame not to do a bit of research first – for example through the scent characterisation page at the website of ScentAir’s American counterpart, where a small selection of the available scents is described, divided into groups based on both Attributes and Experiences. When making your selection, please make sure you have at least considered the following check points:

Do the customers and employees specifically prefer a type of scent?

How do our products or services match the scent we are thinking of?

Are there any existing scents in the premises that we need to take into consideration?

What does the interior of our locations look like?

What music is played in the location, and at what volume?

It is important to make sure that all the signals you are sending the customers are similar: your message should be unambiguous. If an environment that is largely relaxing, inviting the customers to take their time while making their choice, is scented with a purely energizing fragrance, the two signals collide. The result might be that all your marketing efforts go to waste in unconscious confusion among your customers. And we wouldn’t want that now, would we!

So make sure your message, although sometimes conveyed subconsciously, is clear and unambiguous.

In the near future I will discuss ways to measure the results of scent marketing as a part of your marketing mix.

Anthon-Pieter Wink
Press and Communication
ScentAir Nederland

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