How to Use Scent Marketing for Retail Spaces

Have you ever walked down Via Monte Napoleone in Milan and breezed past a woman that, for some reason, reminded you of someone? Sure, her looks may have played into it. But, there’s also the likelihood that her scent reminded you of someone. 

We’ve heard it all before: our sense of smell is strongly tied to our memory. This happens because there is a close physical connection between our noses and the regions of the brain responsible for memory and emotion. 

In truth, marketing for retail can be achieved without a single word. And, in many instances, this may be more desirable for customers who walk into your retail space.

 Perfume represents an invisible force that will last as long as our noses keep sniffing and our memories keep aligning with images of the past.

What Is Scent Marketing?

Scent marketing tells a story. Men and women dress a certain way to express who they are. Scent marketing achieves something very similar. It cloaks a retail space in a certain aroma that illustrates its identity and evokes intrigue, inviting visitors to stay a little longer. 

For example, when Les Galeries Lafayette Katara Plaza opened in Doha, it decorated every space with the persuasive power of smell. It sent out a “come one, come all” invitation through nonverbal communication.

There, visitors enjoy olfactory scenography as they browse through each department. While one department has a floral scent wafting through the air, another one taps visitors on the shoulder with a wonderful fruity scent. 

Each man and woman walks through a concert of custom ambient fragrances, designed to create emotions, unleash memories, and impress clients. In the end, it helps drive customer behavior.

Why Use Scent Marketing?

Have you ever heard the expression, “leading someone by the nose?” It’s the most prominent feature on our faces and it has a powerful tie to our memory.

It’s only logical that marketers would defer to these qualities and invite visitors to stay longer.

Chasing the Sillage

Indeed, the new frontier of luxury retail is known as “chasing the sillage.” Sillage comes from the French word for “wake.” It refers to the trail left in the sky by an airplane or the whitecaps left in the water by a boat. 

With the right cacophony of scents, retailers can lay out a red velvet carpet using an invisible force. If anyone has ever stepped into the House of Gucci, you can guarantee they remembered their visit. 

Sure, the bespoke, exotic pieces from their latest collection caught the eye. But, whether visitors realized it or not, Gucci’s signature scent we made for, was also having an impact on their experience. 

A Lingering Effect

What happens when you walk past a boulangerie that’s saturated in the scent of pain au chocolat? You walk through the threshold to purchase one.

The sensory trifecta starts with a scent, continues with the feeling of warmth, and ends with a wonderful taste sensation. 

The same thing happens when you walk into a florist or an Italian leather shoe store; you inhale deeply and take in the entire sense sensation.

And here’s one fact every marketer knows: the longer a customer stands in your store, the greater the likelihood they’ll purchase something. Indeed, you have the ability to improve customer behavior through scent.

Enduring Memories

If you ever stroll through Salvatore Ferragamo’s flagship stores in Napoli or Palazzo Spini Feroni in Firenze, you’ll be greeted by an ambient scent, diffused through hidden scent diffusers. They emphasize the store environment but never invade it.

Scent marketing in stores is as powerful as a small work of art that changes the perception of what surrounds us. It leads visitors to feel emotions that inevitably create enduring memories.  

Staff Productivity

Of course, most of what we do as marketers caters to the public. But, why not reward the ones who work so hard to help you achieve your goals? Scent marketing in stores can also benefit your employees. 

Perhaps you’ll infuse a little lemongrass into your custom fragrance for your retail space. In which case, you could be providing an energizing boost to your hard-working employee’s day. 

Marketing for Retail Glory

Of course, the right staff makes all the difference. Knowledgeable and friendly employees who welcome customers into your perfectly styled space are worth their weight in gold. 

Why not give them an invisible forcefield? An enhanced superpower? With scent marketing for retail spaces, customers will linger longer and remember more than ever before. 

Invite them to chase the sillage and create enduring memories. The next time they need a new pair of shoes, a silk scarf, or even a pain au chocolat, it’s very likely their brain will trigger a memory and lead them back to your doorstep. 

We invite you to embark down the golden gilt road of olfactory marketing and create your very own signature scent with us today.

    Write Us!

    Sensory Branding: what it is, with 4 examples

    Leverage the full potential of sensory stimuli and give your brand fresh emotional resonance.

    Read More
    Olfactory marketing: 5 examples of retail stores and luxury hotels

    Discover case studies to inspire your next olfactory marketing project.

    Read More
    Scent Company arrow return top