How to Use Scent to Influence Buying Decisions

Posted by Polina P on
How to Use Scent to Influence Buying Decisions

In the world of marketing today, there is no doubt that we are heavily influenced by what we see and hear. For example, we see advertisements on the TV, and we see them also in newspapers and magazines. We hear marketing messages on the radio and sometimes over public address systems. Not only that, we both see and hear messages from businesses trying to peddle their wares on the Internet, on sites such as Facebook and YouTube.

So, it’s fairly obvious that human beings, in nature, respond to sensory input such as sight and sound to make our decisions and evaluate. That’s why, of course, that so much emphasis is put in the media on making things bright and colorful.

But what about our other senses? How does smell, for example, play a role in our buying decisions? If you’re a marketer who is planning on selling something that should appeal to people by smell, then this is an obvious and important question to ask. How can we use the power of smell to influence buying decisions, and create a good scent marketing plan?

The first way is something that many stores already do. If they have products that generate a particularly pleasant odor, then they allow that smell to linger in their stores. A good example for that might be a candy store. Who wouldn’t want to spend time in a store that smells of sweet and delicious candy? When you leave that store, you automatically remember that it smells delicious in there, and you’ll already be looking forward to your next visit. The same can be true for your own store if you think about it – can you create a pleasant odor my using a perfume additive to your air conditioning system? If so, your customers may remember that smell as being somewhere pleasant, and wish to visit more often.

The biological science behind it is fairly simple. Smell, in fact, is one of the most powerful out of our senses, and the reason why we can detect a burning fire or a gas leak before our other senses come into play. It also has a powerful connection to our emotions – so when we smell something, we quickly relate it to a memory, good or bad, much more so than when we see or hear something. A businessperson with a good scent marketing plan can take advantage of that to create an emotional link between his store and products to his customers.

Of course, finding the right smell is important. It must have a direct link that is easily recognizable to your products. Candy stores, to use the previous example, smell sweet, and we link this in our minds to tasty treats. A perfume store will have a variety of aromas that make you think of nights out with a spouse or a loved one. The job of a marketer is to choose a scent that connects his or her products with something memorable, and something a customer would be attracted to again and again. By doing this, you can drive sales and keep your customers coming back for more.

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