Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The sweet smell of scent marketing

I read a fascinating piece from Christopher White in the Independent this week about the use of smell to promote products and reinforce brands, particularly when it comes to food and drink.

Apparently smell is fast becoming the third sensory tactic in marketing alongside old favourites sight and sound. The article told how a mini-mart in America saw coffee sales rise by 300% after it started pumping the aroma of fresh coffee beans into the store, and how the use of cinnamon smells where cinnamon buns are on sale makes people more likely to buy them. Even the new M&Ms megastore in London pumps in a smell of fresh chocolate to tempt customers into a purchase.

As White puts so well, scent marketing compares well to “fast-food outlets displaying photographs that bear no resemblance at all to the limp lettuced burgers actually on sale.” I’m no expert but I would suggest it won’t be long before this trend moves out of retail locations and into our homes. Just don’t let the pet food companies get a whiff of the idea!


  1. About time these companies woke up and smelt the coffee