OK, be honest. What wakes you up in the morning? Potty call…maybe. Dog barking…could be. How about that wonderful coffee smell or perhaps the scent of bacon cooking? Yea, that’s it! Most of us associate that porky, smoky drool-inducing bacon aroma with all that’s good with morning. Just by describing the unique smell of bacon with a few words, nothing else is needed to create the perfect image of bacon. Now imagine the aroma of baconny goodness in a grocery store. In a matter of seconds, you’re making a beeline for the bacon section of the cooler or asking the butcher to cut a slab off an even larger slab. And that is how an aroma creates an action. The sense of smell is the strongest of all the five senses. And it is the one that we remember the longest.
Part of the reason that scent is so powerful is that scent, like music, triggers our emotions. Because of that, it’s ironic that our sense of smell isn’t involved in more marketing plans for businesses. Its obvious use is in food-related businesses like bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants and grocery stores with scents like fresh baked bread, cinnamon or chocolate chip cookie especially when the scent originates in an area near but not necessarily in the place where the food is prepared. Think the deli department which is right next to the bakery or even the front door where shoppers first enter the store. There is a large chain of upscale hotels that uses a coffee scent in their lobby to urge their guests to visit the coffee shop. And how many movie theaters add the scent of popcorn to their seating areas?
There are other businesses that successfully use scent to trigger an emotion as the only goal, no purchase required. Many people are extremely sensitive to small spaces so having an MRI is a traumatic experience. The scent of coconut or sea breezes in the changing room creates images of going to the beach. Adding those same scents to the MRI room helps the patients relax and makes it seem as though the entire process takes less time than it actually does. Here are a few other examples of the creative use of scent: a citrus scent like lemon in a resale shop or the fresh linen scent in a hotel both create the impression of cleanliness.
If you’re thinking that smell is the forgotten sense, you are correct. We can help you make sense of scent in your marketing plan. Call us today for a free demonstration.