THE SCIENCE BEHIND SCENT MARKETING
UNORO brand scenting solutions are based on decades of proven science and research. And the strong industry knowledge base that allows us to transform that data into actionable and measurable programs for our clients
We understand the need to harness the brain’s interpretation of scents to communicate the essence of your brand. Prove it to yourself: Walk into any well-run retailer and you will encounter and under-stand the power of scent marketing.
Research So Important It Won A Nobel Prize
1991 is a seminal date in the science of scenting. It was then that Richard Axel and Linda Buck published groundbreaking research on how the olfactory system works. Until then, it was a mystery. ButAxel and Buck were able to uncover the truth of how we experience the world through smell. And the key part to their discovery was learning how our brain interprets smell into unique odor perceptions and behaviors. They found that we perceive scent through at least 1,000 receptors – by contrast the eye uses just three to distinguish colors.
Caption: Scents are processed through many regions of the brain.
Olfactory Sensory Neurons Get Our Senses Going
These are the neurons that line the nasal cavity. From here, they signal the olfactory cortex through the brain´s olfactory bulb. Once the olfactory cortex receives the signal, it sends the scent information to other parts of the brain including the higher cortical and deep limbic areas.
By interacting with many regions of the brain, scents impact both our physiology and emotions. A powerful combination that has a strong impact on human behavior.
HOW EMOTIONS PLAY INTO ROI
Clearly, the research demonstrates that scent has a powerful effect on one’s emotional state. But what about what we care about: sales?
Recent research proves customers seek emotional experiences. In fact, the Harvard Business Review conducted a study on the importance of connecting emotionally with customers. Here’s what they found: Emotionally connected customers are 52% more valuable to a brand than those who are just satisfied. 52%!
A separate study from researchers at Yonsei University studied the importance of managing customer emotions in luxury retail settings. They found substantial improvements in brand perception and attitudes toward the brand. Translation: More sales.
RESEARCH PROVES: SCENT + EMOTION = SALES
According to branding expert and author Martin Lindstrom, “of all the senses, smell is the most persuasive.” His studies and extensive research were captured in his book Brand Sense. His findings expose the untapped potential of the senses for businesses. One study found that by activating more senses in consumers, they form more sensory memories. And the more sensory memories a consumer associates with a brand, the stronger the bond between them.
Of All The Senses, Smell Is The Most Persuasive.- Martin Lindstrom,
Author Of Brand Sense
Beyond Lindstrom, researchers across the world have conducted countless studies on the subject.
The conditions of these studies are broad and the persuasive conclusions feature:
- BRAND RECALL
Two studies conducted at Rutgers University looked to determine if ambient scent could heighten memory for branded products. The results of both studies were the same: Ambient scent improves recall and recognition of familiar and unfamiliar brands.
- BRAND PRECEPTIONS
A field study, run through Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, examined fragrance use in hotels. Researchers tested the ability of ambient scent to create a positive first impression in an urban hotel. The results found that a fragrance matching a hotel’s brand identity generates more favorable brand associations from guests. Guests report higher perceptions of comfort and cleanliness. And are more willing report to provide word-of-mouth endorsement of the brand.
- OVERALL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Researchers conducted a field study on the effect of ambient scent in three dance clubs. Results showed ambient scent significantly improved guest experience. It even brought more club-goers onto the dance floor!
- CUSTOMER RESPONSE TO PRODUCTS AND RETAIL ENVIRONMENTS
Retail studies have found a strong connection between scent and how customers shop. One study confirmed that our emotional reaction to scent is what actually drives the effect of ambient scent in retail.
Scent has also been shown to keep customers in stores longer. Customers perceptions of products and stores improve with scent – it even encourages spending.
Another study from Iowa State University measured how ambient scent effects customers’ response to products. The results demonstrated improved customer attitudes toward the tested product and their intent to purchase.
- FOOT TRAFFIC
A thesis from the University of Tartu included a field study on how scent can influence foot traffic. The researchers examined the movement of visitors throughout a scented museum. Researchers were able to observe and track changes in the movements and behaviors of the museum visitors and concluded any environment where moving people through a space is important, scent is a critical component for success.
- MOOD REGULATION
Researchers conducted a study to assess how well the scents of lavender and rosemary regulated mood following an anxiety-provoking task. They found that both lavender and rosemary reduce anxiety in high-stress situations. Meaning scent is a valuable tool in breaking down barriers and building consumer connections. And that makes it an invaluable tool for any business focused on growth.
Improvement of food quality satisfaction scores with no change to the food served
Increase in retail store sales
Increase in customer satisfaction scores