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Ambient Scenting – The Benefits of Scent Marketing

Posted by Jim Bruno

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Popcorn at a movie theater. The perfume counter on the other side of a department store. A hotel lobby.

Smell familiar?

Chances are while you read the above list you could practically smell each item. That’s because of the power of scent and its impact on memory. 

One of the most influential triggers for perception, scent plays a major role in human experience and recall. Through ambient scenting, many commercial spaces -- from grocery stores and malls to airports and casinos -- are benefitting from a scent marketing strategy. 

While not a new technology, ambient scenting represents an opportunity to provide customers with the best experience possible, and one they’ll remember for the right reasons.

What Are The Benefits of Scent Marketing

To improve customer experience, many companies focus on the physical aesthetic of their facilities, such as: 

  • Design
  • Color
  • Furniture 
  • Cleanliness 

Though these elements are important considerations, very few spend time considering how ambient scent  positively compliments physical aesthetics.

Some commercial operations have used ambient scenting to their advantage for years. Ever catch the smell of the grill at your favorite fast food joint as you drove by and suddenly felt hungry? That wasn’t entirely random -- it was scent marketing in action. 

While research shows a key benefit of scent marketing is increased revenues for a business, that is short-term thinking in today’s commercial environment. 

Ambient scenting helps build long-term relationships with your brand and your customers (and employees) around trust and confidence. By providing customers with an experience that is relaxing or makes them feel safe, they’re more likely to spend more time in a space and return to it. A positive experience goes a long way, too, especially when that same customer makes a recommendation to friends and family. 

Additionally, in today’s world there are concerns and re-entry anxiety as workplaces and public spaces open more fully from COVID-19 restrictions. 

Rightfully so, businesses are investing significantly into health and safety measures, such as:

But many of those things are not immediately noticed when a person enters a facility, when they are most anxious. Scent is likely the first thing they notice.  Ambient scenting provides an opportunity to welcome people into facilities while calming them and reducing their reticence.

Ambient Scenting Done Sensibly 

Just as scent marketing influences positive perception, it can do the opposite. 

A smell that seems out of place can leave a lasting impression on diners. The same can be said for scents that are very pronounced, e.g. a robust air freshener or cleaning product odor that lingers for hours. 

If not carefully done, ambient scenting might offend employees or guests if off-putting or too overpowering.  Working with a professional, you’ll be able to select the right scent for an environment and dial in an appropriate amount introduced to a space. 

Poor quality fragrances coupled with dangerous chemical byproducts can also have a negative impact on peoples’ health. 

Remember: ambient scenting fragrances are still chemicals. If not handled properly, fragrance solutions may cause health issues such as skin or eye damage. When integrating ambient scenting technology into a commercial or public space, make sure you’re well-versed in chemical safety and know about SDS (Safety Data Sheets).  Working with someone experienced in ambient scenting also helps you avoid any health impacts during the installation, use, and regular servicing of equipment. 

Scent Marketing: An Investment in Opportunity

Ambient scenting offers tremendous opportunities to build a brand and foster trust by customers and employees. But it also comes with considerable risk if not implemented correctly.  If you are exploring this area, working with a trusted partner that offers high-quality ambient scenting technology and fragrances, along with installation and service support is critical.   

As a service provider for SCENT::LINQ ambient scenting technology, Rochester Midland Corp. can help you add ambient scenting to your facility.   Learn more here.


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