Smells So Good


Mmmmm… it smells so good! Consumers are used to great smells wafting from cafes and restaurants. Just a sniff of a freshly baked cinnamon roll can get buyers in the door and clamoring for product. Certain smells evoke memories and feelings that motivate us to take action. Today, more retailers are taking advantage of our attraction to scent, adding scent diffusers in stores and shops such as United Colors of Benetton, Hugo Boss, Brussels Airport, and Marlins Park baseball stadium in Miami. Even the popular show Game of Thrones now has a signature scent.

It’s a sound marketing strategy and a big business with revenue of $200 million annually from scent marketing. While brand recall and product marketing are critical strategic factors, these can also be significantly enhanced by scents. According to a recent study by Rockefeller University, our noses can discern an average of one trillion scents, far exceeding the several millions of colors that the human eye can detect! (Who knew there were even that many variations of scents?)

Our sense of smell is associated with emotional responses, which can impact loyalty and memory. Signature scents can be created by fragrance artists to deliver a message or impression to specific target markets. No matter whether the location is a store, spa, healthcare facility, transportation, hotel, or office, there is a scent that is right for it. Now, how does that smell to you?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Scent is a big business. View the Scent World trade show:
  2. Also view a scent company’s site for more about marketing using scents:
  3. Poll students: What locations and smells can they recall? How does the smell impact their shopping?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team research scent marketing online to learn more about how to use it. Have each team present five key points they learned from their research.
  5. Have each team select a location that does not currently have a scent. What type of scent would they recommend?

Source:   Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Science News



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