Marketers worldwide have taken advantage of the notion that the sense of smell cannot just be turned off. This concept, along with the fact that smell can prompt immediate, emotional responses has been viewed as an advantage in the marketing sphere since marketers are becoming aware of the usefulness of scents to communicate with customers.
In fact, “A growing number of marketers recognize that the sense of smell can be… a powerful motivator for sales…” (Maxine Wilkie 1995 as cited in Bone & Ellen, 1999, p. 243).
A case study carried out in 2011 found that both perceptions of service quality and evaluations of environmental quality were positively affected by the pleasant scents of jasmine and vanilla within a hairdressing salon environment. Results found that there was a significant difference between evaluations in a scented salon environment and those in an unscented salon environment.
Conclusions obtained from this research study were coherent with previous scent marketing studies and theories related to store atmospherics and olfactory research. This research further proved how the notion of quality is judged in a holistic fashion and that scents do have the power to show positive results. Therefore those salon owners providing a service, who wish to improve perceptions of service quality, should also focus on the physical environment within which the service is being given. Needless to say, making use of the positive power of scent is a great way to which this can be achieved.