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5 February 2016 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Olfactory marketing – The memory of smells

Habefast Blog Article Olfactory Marketing

Olfactory marketing is a component of sensory marketing that emerged in the early 2000s (“Experiential marketing – Be unique for consumers“).

This differentiation strategy is increasingly used by brands in order to gain notoriety and to incite consumers to buy thanks to smells at the point of sale.

An “olfactory logo” is a specific scent/fragrance that will be associated with a brand and thus create an identity.

What is the interest of olfactory marketing?

Stores want to create specific olfactory atmospheres so that individuals recognize them through scents. So, these fragrances are going to give information about the place without explaining it through explicit symbols. They will then make it possible to play on consumers’ affections and emotions, in particular thanks to olfactory memory. The fact of smelling a pleasant scent provides sensory stimulation for the consumer. Creating an olfactory atmosphere therefore allows you to stand out positively by creating a new atmosphere thanks to a good smell diffuser but also a brand identity.

Indeed, several studies have demonstrated the power of memorizing odors, compared to other senses related to the different marketing techniques used at the point of sale. Called Proustian syndrome, the sense of smell is directly linked to memories. This is why brands use olfactory marketing to create a pleasant atmosphere and an olfactory experience with the aim of increasing consumer satisfaction and well-being. These fragrance releases have a very positive impact on sales.

Studies have shown a significant increase in sales (on average between 10 and 25% of sales). In addition, customers are encouraged to stay longer in the store, as Alain D’Astous, a doctoral student, has demonstrated in his book “Consumer Behavior” that smell is one of the variables that can influence consumers in their purchasing decisions (along with cleanliness, excessive heat and loud music), particularly with impulse purchases.

Which brands use olfactory marketing?

Many brands have started to use this strategy to create real olfactory identities that customers quickly recognize.

The best-known olfactory signature is Nature & Découverte, which uses scents related to cedar and transports consumers to a world of nature and relaxation. Fragrance diffusers are installed inside and outside the store to attract customers.

Other examples, Abercrombie and Stradivarius, textile stores, have such a strong olfactory identity that their store can usually be spotted by smell from the street, even before you see the window. Abercrombie even markets its home fragrance under the name “Fierce N°8”. In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the Widder Hotel also uses specific scents to enhance the lounge atmosphere of its bar/restaurant.

How to set it up?

There are several ways of diffusing fragrances at the point of sale. Signs can use portable diffusers, which are more practical since they can be hung or suspended from walls and/or ceilings. They have the particularity of being in the shape of small speakers and can quickly blend into the decor of the point of sale.

Signs can also use capillas, scented candles or even integrate it directly on the air conditioning to diffuse their fragrances. This solution has a double advantage, customers can buy these products and thus possess the desired sign’s scent. Indeed, consumers are increasingly looking to recompose store atmospheres directly in their homes. The creation of a specific fragrance requires a certain budget that can vary according to the complexity of the scent. The creation of a specific fragrance requires a certain budget, which can vary according to the complexity of the scent.

This is very advantageous for brands that seek to create specific atmospheres, such as luxury brands, since their image appears more unique in the eyes of consumers. This allows you to create a sensory experience that is identifiable with your brand image.

If you are interested in experiential marketing, please visit our page: Event and experiential marketing.