Have you ever heard of the term micro-encapsulation? Unless you’re a scientist, then most probably not. If you’re into marketing, however, it’s a term you might want to get familiar with, as it’s the key to unlocking the secrets of aroma marketing.
Micro-encapsulation is the process in which smells can be locked up on a flat surface (such as a sample card), and then released when scratched or rubbed. How does this work, you're probably asking? Well if you get down to the nitty-gritty of the science – it's all to do with bubbles. The aroma you want your customer to smell can be locked up inside several minuscule bubbles using a micro-encapsulation technique. These bubbles can stay intact for a very long time, months and years in fact. This long shelf-life is a great asset to marketers since you can store sample cards for a long time for use in trade shows, or mail them to customers in the post.
The customer, when receiving their sample card can then easily “break” the bubbles by rubbing or scratching the surface, and therefore releasing the aroma within. Voila! Instant marketing, if, for example, you’re selling something with an aroma, such as perfume, or perhaps a new fragrant washing powder.
Isn't scratch-and-sniff old hat though? Does this kind of marketing work in today's market? The answer to this question is a resounding, yes! Many examples show that people are much more willing to buy a fragranced product if they can smell it.
If we are to put some figures on the concept of aroma marketing, 83% of people asked in recent surveys said that they would be much more likely to buy a product based on a sample they could smell. In another survey, 72% said if they were trying to decide which product to buy, having a sample of the aroma would be a real advantage. So, as you can see, tapping into the senses of your customer can be a huge advantage when marketing a product.
If we look at the metrics once again, a massive 87% of people have suggested they prefer shopping in retail stores that have a pleasing aroma.Scratch cards are just one way to use aroma marketing, however. Have you ever been in a store where immediately you are hit by wonderful and enticing smells? Whether that be perfume or the smell of chocolate from a candy store, retailers have been using aroma marketing for centuries to peddle their wares. In the days of contemporary stores, you can take this one step further, by introducing a scent to the store via the air-conditioning system. This passive marketing technique can be utilized to entice people into the store and make them feel happy while they’re there. Happy customers are much more likely to spend their money than unhappy customers!
Don't underestimate the power of smell. If you're marketing a product that would benefit from showing off a pleasant aroma, take advantage of that fact and get that smell out there to your customers. You'll be happy you did.