Have you ever noticed that you can usually smell Cinnabon’s gourmand scent in a mall or airport before you can see the storefront? Or, if you’ve stayed at a Westin Hotel it smells the same as every other Westin? The same goes for each Abercrombie & Fitch store. That’s because Westin Hotels have a signature White Tea fragrance and Abercrombie locations all pump out their Fierce cologne. These smells may be unique to each brand, but they all have something in common: they are all examples of scent branding.
What is Scent Branding?
It’s when a company deploys a unique aroma as a part of its brand identity. This so-called signature scent is meant to create a stronger connection with consumers and enhance their overall experience through brand association. Research also suggests that it has the potential to boost sales.
Why Should Businesses Use Scent Branding as a Marketing Tactic?
It’s no secret that scent has the power to influence our emotions and actions. Research shows that certain scents like lavender can actually help us relax, whereas peppermint can help us focus and improve memory. Scent marketing can help businesses create an emotional bond with customers. One Harvard Business Review study showed that 52% of customers were more likely to purchase something—and become repeat customers—if they felt an emotional connection to the brand.
Branded scents can even influence shopping behaviors. Certain smells can foster a pleasant shopping experience and make customers more likely to spend more. For example, a Samsung study found that when consumers smelled a company’s branded scent, their shopping time increased by 26% and they visited three times more product categories. So if you’re trying to create a memorable shopping experience for customers, scent branding is definitely one way to go.
This works because smell taps into the part of our brain that processes emotion, learning, and memory. It’s the sense most closely linked to memory. In fact, research shows that people are 100 times more likely to remember something they smelled compared to something they heard, saw, or touched.
How Does Scent Branding Work in the Digital Age?
Scent branding can certainly help brick-and-mortar stores foster a positive connection with customers, increase browsing time, and boost sales, but what about online or e-commerce businesses? As brands are represented more and more in the digital world, they have to work to successfully create an immersive experience for customers.
Companies like OVR are leading the way in scent branding and marketing in the digital age. By leveraging patented wearable scent technology and working closely with brands and creative agencies, extending scent branding into the metaverse is no longer a challenge, but rather an opportunity to differentiate!
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