Does ambient scenting make sense in retail environments?
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but
would any other scent by the name of rose evoke the same response? Or more to the point, does ambient scenting stimulate longer dwell time, product interaction, or positive brand perception, leading to increased retail purchases? Many people seem to think so. The practice is gaining wider acceptance among retailers and brand marketers, as reported in this recent Today Show video. It's been tried by brands from all facets of the market, from Bloomingdale's
|Claims about the benefits of scent marketing abound. Impregnating a product with scent (such as Naked & Famous Denim's new raspberry-scented jeans) has been found to enhance brand equity. Building on that notion, the use of ambient scent when the consumer discovers a product also has been found to increase recall about the product later, and researchers have explored favorable impressions of products associated with pleasant aromas.
Field experiments point to positive anecdotal results from ambient scenting. At IKEA, visual and olfactory cues at the point of purchase increased shoppers' tendency to touch
products, ambient scenting prompted more dancing
at three nightclubs, a Belgian field experiment found shoppers more willing to revisit
stores that are easy on the nose.
But studies are by no means conclusive. One article knocks holes in the popular notion and points out obstacles
to retailers looking to do their own in-store studies, while another questions findings
on the effectiveness of ambient scent in malls. Ambient scenting may fail if shoppers are wise to it
, notes a recent article in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Service
Congruity may be a key to successful scent marketing approaches. Visual attention spikes when an ad's scent jibes
with the product advertised. For gender-oriented products, gender-targeted scents
prompted shoppers to spend more time in the store, buy more items, spend more on purchases, and express stronger intentions to revisit the store.
To sniff out more on the topic:
Sign up for a Scented Space lecture
with scent designer Tracy Pepe at the Alliance Francaise in Toronto at 7 pm, Monday, May 28.
Search "Equipment - Scent Delivery Systems" under Products in our Supplier Connect
to find A.R.E. members that provide such in-store systems.
blog comments powered by