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Inspired living

"Scent marketing" proves how important smell is


Woman smelling bread in supermarket

Credit: iStock

We all know the power that aroma has to alter our mood and evoke memories. A whiff of perfume or cologne can transport you across decades to the time when you first came across that particular scent. If you know how powerful smell can be in your life don’t for a moment suspect that marketeers aren’t onto the power of scent as well. From department stores to supermarkets to car showrooms “scent marketing” is big business and an applied science. Now a new study has reinforced just how important smell is, even in your experience of a hotel stay.

From department stores to supermarkets to car showrooms "scent marketing" is big business and an applied science. Now a new study has reinforced just how important smell is, even in your experience of a hotel stay.

The study was quite simple and involved surveying guests staying at a luxury hotel in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India. They found that the smell of the hotel was a key factor in enjoyment of their hotel stay for 41 per cent of guests. In fact, they found that the hotel smells were more important than factors such as hotel infrastructure, hotel food, and staff behaviour. If this surprises you it actually does fit with previous research in this area showing that people remember 35 per cent of what they smell compared with 5 per cent of what they see, 2 per cent of what they hear, and 1 per cent of what they touch.

The researchers say that “olfactory branding” is therefore an important part of any marketers tools of trade. Just in case you are wanting to add scents to the brand of your product or service, previous surveys have shown that the top ten happiness promoting smells are: freshly baked bread, clean bed sheets, freshly mown grass, fresh flowers, freshly ground coffee, fresh air after rainfall, vanilla, chocolate, fish and chips, and bacon frying. If you think you can’t remember that list then if in doubt, just go for “fresh”.



 

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.