A look at our Sensory Systems - Part One - Olfactory Senses
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
I recently read an article about Olfactive Branding....
I guess I had heard of the idea behind it but I was unaware of the terminology. Apparently a million pound business backed and used by the likes of Mercedes Benz, Hamleys, Marriot hotels and many retail clothing stores and more.
It is essentially a form of marketing where a brand will create a signature scent to strengthen its connection with the customer. The sense of smell is hardwired to emotions making us more or less likely to purchase an item. Research by Nike showed that by conducting an experiment where they added scent to their stores boosted customers intent to purchase by 80%. I question is intent to purchase the same as actually driving money into the till?
A petrol station with a cafe on site pumped out a coffee aroma and saw drinks sales rise by 300%. In this instance I wonder if its more perhaps that the average consumer on the road smells coffee and instantly thinks its a good idea, especially if having driven or setting out to drive a long distance. Perhaps previously unaware of the coffee for sale while filling up and thinking about putting the kids to bed or meeting a deadline, calling Aunt Susan etc.
There is also research that suggests Olfactive Branding can influence your everyday life. Mercedes Benz being one of the first automotive companies embrace this Marketing idea and produce 5 aromas for their consumers to choose from in their S and C class models to "create a luxury environment"
Gyms and Fitness centres are embracing the idea - a study published in The North American Journal of Psychology found subjects who inhaled Peppermint scent while running for 15 minutes felt less fatigued and more positive about their performance than those who didn't.
Selling your house? We have all heard that the smell of fresh coffee or baked bread is a cert to getting your potential buyer hooked and feeling at home but now research suggests the scent of Fig is much better - Luxury House builder Millgate had a scent created for their show homes and found a direct correlation between scent (particularly Fig) and sales!
Finally for all of us who are stuck in the office - A pleasant smelling office has been linked to more efficiency in the workplace. According to a study published in The Journal Of Applied Psychology staff in this environment were even setting themselves higher performance goals. It was found in a Japanese study that data entry errors were decreased by 20% when lavender was diffused into the atmosphere 33% for Jasmine and 54% with Lemon.
So at the very least perhaps keeping an energising uplifting room spray in your desk will revive you when you are flagging - provided you aren't sat next to someone who is sensitive to your spritzing!