Distinguish Your Brand with Scent Marketing

The warm, cozy smell of baking bread. The refreshing scent of hand-squeezed citrus. The tang of salty ocean air – all of these are scents which evoke subtle, yet strong emotional reactions. Scents can trigger powerful memories in an instant, influencing our emotional responses to what is happening in our current environment.

In the world of sales, the influence of scent is no new discovery. For years, real estate brokers have encouraged their agents to brew coffee and offer freshly baked cookies during their open houses, knowing that these homely scents can make even a vacant home seem welcoming.

And while businesses have historically used scent to mask or control malodor – think smoky bars, stinky gyms, or medical offices with that “antiseptic” smell – today’s savviest brands throughout the retail, finance, and hospitality industries are quickly incorporating scent marketing into their experiential design.


As an innovative and inexpensive approach to customer engagement, scent marketing can pack a real punch. Research has shown that scent is our most powerful connector – more closely tied to our memories and emotional associations than both visual and auditory stimulus. It is the only sense which is directly connected to the portion of our brains which stores emotional connections and memories. As a marketer, you can use this scent-brain connection to influence your customer’s behavior.

Scent marketing uses ambient fragrances to set the stage for a positive customer experience, building the emotional connections which enhance consumer response. When applied skillfully, scent marketing can strongly influence customer responses surrounding purchasing behavior, including evaluation of purchases, purchasing intention, and future brand loyalty.

The power of scent explains why the scent marketing industry is growing at an estimated 15% every year, according to research conducted by the Scent Marketing Institute, a global non-profit organization with annual revenues totaling more than $300 million worldwide.

With that explosion in growth comes innovation in scent marketing technology and delivery techniques. Smart diffusion systems, such as those offered by Mood Media, offer businesses the ability to distribute their fragrances effectively and evenly throughout their space, even targeting specific areas of the building or retail environment. Gone are the days of hand-spritzed department-store fragrances and here to stay is an era of invigorating, purposeful scents. Bloomingdale’s, for example, now infuses each department of their store with a specific scent, such as coconut in the swimsuit area and baby powder in the children’s section, in order to appeal to clientele and stimulate sales.

Multi-sensory marketing experts like Mood Media are taking scent marketing to the next level through the creation of custom fragrances. These branded scents can help businesses establish a lasting connection between the values of their brand and the emotional experiences of their clientele. Think of scent marketing as another avenue of brand self-expression, helping that company distinguish itself even further from the competition.


Mood Digital Signage


Custom fragrances are the wave of the future, as evidenced by DXL, the retailer who recently won ScentWorld’s Smitty Award for Most Innovative Scent Marketing. DXL specializes in upscale menswear for big and tall clientele, and they introduced their custom fragrance as part of their 2014 rebranding campaign.

Their goal was to create a fresh in-store experience, with a bright retail space, and enriched customer touchpoints. Their use of the evocative power of scent enlivens their new brand identity, and appeals to both male and female shoppers. Their custom fragrance invokes strong tones of citrus and other scents which support the lively and friendly atmosphere of their newly redesigned stores.

“We strive to create an innovative and engaging experience for our customers, and it is great to be recognized for our efforts,” said Mark Albert, DXL’s VP, Creative & Visual. “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. DXL’s highly successful scent marketing strategy demonstrates this.”

While an omnichannel approach to experiential marketing is essential, there’s no denying the influence of scent on customer perception. Our emotional connections drive our behavior, and scent is the most powerful trigger of emotional response. The usefulness of scent marketing in creating lasting, meaningful customer connections should not be underestimated, as these connections can significantly inspire future loyalty and brand advocacy.

To learn more about how Mood Media can help your brand leverage scent marketing to create long-lasting connections with your customers, contact us today.

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