The Smell of the Sell

sens-MMCWhat does a Hugo Boss store smell like? I couldn’t tell you. But I know it smells like something. And the scent was scientifically chosen, and it’s the same in every store. Why? To sell stuff!

Such sensory branding is becoming a bigger part of stores’ consumer marketing. Retailers often rely on music and colors to create a mood, but now they’re targeting the other sense, smell, to get customers to make a more sophisticated connection to the brand through their shopping experience — they even have a name for it: olfactive branding.

What have the eggheads learned with these sorts of sensory branding?

Sight: displays consisting of warm colors (red/yellow/orange) are good at attracting impulse buyers, while cooler blues and greens attract the more analytical shopper.

Sound: you may be tired of the holiday music in stores now but, like it or not, it put you in a Christmas mindset, which fuels gift buying.

Taste: there’s a reason Starbucks (and everybody else) whips out the pumpkin spice in the fall and peppermint in the winter!

Smell: has really captured the retailers’ imaginations in the past few years. Baby powder smell in the kids. Section, coconut in the swimwear section, and so on. There are even professional smell consultants who design official scents for retailers. By the way, I said I didn’t know what a Hugo Boss smells like. Actually it’s “musk with a hint of citrus.” I don’t know what that MEANS, of course. So, technically, I wasn’t lying!

So, what do YOU think? Trickery or smart business? What smells have you noticed? Do you notice them at all? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

One thought on “The Smell of the Sell”

  1. i haven’t really noticed a lot of different “smells” in most departments . i do smell perfume when going near the jewelry counter and also in the Christmas section of the stores . it really doesn’t matter to me but i guess if it is what it takes to sell more products then go for it . i really think they could do without the pros thogh . it seems to me it just drives the price up more to cover the additional cost

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