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Today’s marketing efforts involve stimulating all 5 senses in order to make sure a brand stands out and customers are emotionally connected to it. Companies’ goal is to provoke such emotional reactions and link their products to those pleasant sensations. The sense of smell is directly linked to the human brain’s limbic system which is responsible for our memories and emotions. This is why fragrance has become a powerful branding tool.
• 70% of purchase decisions are made in stores.
• Advertisers have 2.5 seconds to convey their message to customers.
• Fragrances can influence buyers to choose a product over another one.
• As far as emotions and memories are concerned, the sense of smell is our strongest sense.
• There are two key aspects of using fragrances in branding:
- We create a pleasant experience by highlighting the aesthetics of the interior (atmospherics). Through a specific fragrance a certain mood can be created which gives customers a unique shopping experience.
- The memory link between a specific fragrance and a brand is a very deep and lasting one. Every time the customer senses that fragrance the brand will automatically emerge in his/her mind. Example: the scent of baby powder subconsciously brings up a Johnson & Johnson product in one’s mind even if he/she does not recall the logo of the company.
• Sensory branding has 4 major goals:
- Emotional bondage to a certain brand.
- Making customers’ expectations match reality.
- Improving the brand so it can support future product extensions.
- Quick and easy brand recognition.
• The choice of a suitable aroma or a signature scent is the key to the link between customers and products.
• 90% of any flavor is perceived through the sense of smell.
• 83% of the information stored in the human brain is perceived through the sense of smell.
• Research has shown that 75% of human emotions are directly connected to our smell.
• 80% of men and 90% of women admit that fragrances bring back memories and lead to emotionally based decisions.
In April 2007, in 100 gas stations throughout California hot coffee aroma was deliberately diffused. This simple trick sky rocketed the sales of coffee in the mini markets because the fragrance of coffee had created an instant desire for coffee. Similarly, supermarkets in USA usually perfume the interior with the scent of freshly baked bread. This way they trigger subconsciously customers’ sense of hunger and make them purchase items not even on their shopping list.
Ancient Egyptians have taught us that aromas help people face reality in an optimistic way. Today’s fragrance research industry has been based on this simple notion. Profound research in 2008 confirmed that pleasant scents affect not only our perception of reality but also the quality of our dreams. M.D. Alan Hirsch has proved the link between fragrances and people’s mood. There are scents which relax you and others which energize you and help you achieve better sport results. Aromas can help you concentrated better or bond quickly with others, for instance.
The captivating scents of Crayola markers and Play-Doh modelling compound have been the object of many researches. Their aromas automatically revive memories and emotions from people’s childhood. Although these snapshots are stored in the long term memory, they remain vivid and mostly unaltered by time. This is because these memories are deeply imprinted by our strongest sense- the sense of smell. The use of such signature scents, as the two described above, in branding has achieved some remarkable results.
American scientists have discovered that scents have the power to affect our behavior, says Daily Telegraph. Psychologist Adam Galinsky of the Kellogg School of Managemnt and his associates claim that high morality and cleanliness go hand in hand. Moreover the scent of cleanliness in a room is enough to unlock subconscious impulse to be more generous and honest.
A research, carried out by scientists of Brigham Young University, has shown that the regular use of a lemon air freshener triggers feelings of gratitude and appreciation. Katie Liljenquist of Brigham Young suggests children could be taught to be honest and generous by making them clean their rooms. In the research, named “The Scent of Good”, people were given tasks to do. Some of the participants did them in an unperfumed room while others – in a room injected with lemon scent.
In the first experiment, everybody was given 12 dollars and they had to divide them with their partners in a fair way. The participants exposed to the lemon aroma shared on average 5.33 dollars with their partners while the amount in the other room was 2.81 dollars. The second experiment revealed that the lemon aroma disposes people to engage in charity and volunteerism. After the experiments, the participants were asked if they had felt the lemon scent. They all denied they had felt anything and were convinced that their mood during the experiments had not affected the results.