People only recall about 50% of the visual images they see after three months, but remarkably they can remember more than 65% of what they smell even after a year has passed.
– Sense of Smell Institute
For me, it’s the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven that elicits strong memories of childhood Christmases. The scent of vanilla sends a comforting sensation rushing over me, because my mom wears vanilla-scented perfume.
Scent marketing is used in stores, hotels, spas and yoga studios to activate a certain mood among customers. But as an experiential marketing agency, we execute multi-sensory marketing campaigns that evoke underlying psychological responses to a company or product. Scent helps a consumer resonate with a brand and become immersed within the experience.
Scent is often an overlooked sense when it comes to advertising. But, an experience that engages more than one sense is more likely to trigger positive emotions. This results in better recall and prompts purchase decisions. In fact, according to Psychology Today, scent is the first sense that’s activated at birth. It is the only sense with a direct link to our brain’s limbic system, or the complex network that controls our basic emotions and what drives us. Therefore, aroma plays an important consideration when it comes to experiential advertising.
73% of Millennials crave experiences that stimulate their senses.
– JWT Worldwide
Experiential brand events that include aroma – even if ever so subtly – offer consumers another way to interact with an immersive experience. Fragrance creates inspiration moments. Moments that connect a consumer to your brand in memorable and actionable ways. Ways you just cannot achieve through any traditional advertising channel.
Scents like lavender and chamomile make us feel relaxed. While scents like talcum powder make us feel safe and secure. Injecting the air with an aroma of coffee may entice cravings for a mid-morning pick-me-up. Perfect for a pop-up marketing activation by your coffeehouse or bakery brand.
Strategically placed scent emitting devices send the aroma wafting throughout the activation footprint. These devices are more effective than relying on the actual brew schedule. You can reach more people and produce more sales.
Brand ambassadors, directional signs and/or kiosks can also help guide consumers.
Oscar Mayer recently launched a bacon dongle. When plugged into a smartphone, the dongle works in conjunction with an alarm app and releases the scent of bacon into the air. Their campaign, ‘Wake up and smell the bacon,’ was a hit on social media, too.
Scent isn’t just important to food brands. Athletic brands may create an experiential campaign that uses an energizing fragrance. Or a lingerie company may execute a campaign with scents known to induce arousal.
Custom fragrances – as customized as a logo – are a growing trend in marketing and branding agencies. And a multi-sensory experiential campaign should evoke all the elements of a brand. Even the way it smells.
As the sense most closely tied to memory and impression, scent can play a powerful part in making any customer experience more memorable and more effective.
– Mark Albert, VP Creative & Visual, DXL
Just like the floral note of a rose transports me back in time to when I was a little girl, standing within my gram’s vibrant and aromatic rose garden, a scent tied to your brand activation can be powerful. Repeat brand recall and re-ignite those same happy memories for years to come.