Scent marketing is the use of smells and aromas to strengthen the connection between customers and a brand to help sell products. Scent marketing is one of the newer frontiers in marketing strategy, and it is becoming much more widely used by companies to differentiate their products and bolster their sales.
Companies have long used sensory branding, which uses customers' senses to build the appeal of a certain brand. This type of marketing creates emotional associations to the brand and increases customer loyalty. Visual marketing has long been the predominant type of marketing in this area, as exemplified by the use of a brand logo and the associations it triggers in devoted clients. Auditory branding has been the second most popular type of sensory branding. For instance, background music can create a certain desired mood in potential customers.
Neuromarketing research has found that smell is the sense most connected to emotional recollection. Studies concluded that up to 75 percent of human emotions related to memory are triggered by smells. Marketers are taking advantage of this and using smells to trigger positive associations in customers, even when the product does not have a distinctive smell. For instance, Inlander describes the air in a hotel lobby infused with a blend of relaxing scents, including geranium and black cedar, and high-fashion shoe stores choosing the exotic combination of ivory and cardamom to suggest luxury.