Using Scent to Create the Sweet Smell of Success

Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful. The merest hint of something familiar can trigger a special memory or wonderful moment in our lives that we treasure forever. So how can businesses harness scent to get that sweet smell of success?

The Power of Smell

Humans are able to distinguish one trillion different scent combinations. Even if we can’t pinpoint what a particular smell is, we have the ability to differentiate it from others. This means smells often have a strong association, which is deeply rooted in memory and emotion. Incredibly, it is believed that 75% of the emotions we generate are affected by smell. On top of that, no two people experience an odour in the same way – making this sense a very personal one. It is however, vastly overlooked by brands and businesses – because we rely so much on what we see and hear.

Harnessing Scent for Customer Experience

There is a clear role for scent to play in ‘the experience economy’, where businesses create memorable events for their customers to ensure they stand out. In a study undertaken to uncover the power of scent in retail experiences, Ambius revealed that scent significantly increases consumer involvement in experiences by 38%. A study by Nike showed that the right scent in-store can increase intent to purchase by 80%. Similarly, a brand-appropriate smell can encourage shoppers to spend up to 20% more time in-store and almost three quarters of people said they have been drawn into a store by an inviting smell.

A Happy Workplace

The right smell not only has the ability to generate good impressions with clients or prospects, it can also help make staff in the work environment happier, more alert and more productive. It may seem less important in comparison to other environmental considerations, but scent is an extremely influential sense in the workplace.

Research from Ambius found that more than half (55%) of office workers find it anti-social when a colleague eats strong smelling food at their desk, with a third finding it hard to work as a result. Scenting products can help to control and minimise smells that come from malodour-producing foods and other objects.

One option could be to install air fresheners that automatically dispense fragrance to neutralise odours and create a pleasant-smelling environment. An air purifier can even help to eradicate any airborne bacteria and viruses in the office, including the flu virus, E Coli, Salmonella, Streptococcus, Rhinovirus and Hepatitis A.

However, it is vital that your scenting solution is appropriate for the space, and is not too strong or overpowering, as there can certainly be too much of a good thing. Two fifths of office workers say they find an overpowering smell of perfume or aftershave in the office unpleasant.

Whatever your motivation for exploring the role of scent in your business – the key is to strike the right balance, guaranteeing the diffusion of delicate, appealing smells. With hundreds of scents available, you should be able to find the perfect one to suit your business needs. And as the figures show, finding the right one can help ensure your customers and employees are creating the sweet smell of success.

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