Aroma has a far-reaching effect on the core of human function, and businesses are sitting up and taking notice of this invisible method of increasing customer loyalty, satisfaction, and revenue. High-end hotels have long utilized the concept of scent diffusers for a potent yet subliminal method of branding and marketing, and now the same technology is available for use within all businesses and homes.
The olfactory system is one that has considerable leverage on many aspects of the human psyche. Scent can trigger a powerful response and impact people on a deeply emotional level. There’s a reason the hospitality industry, and in particular, some of the best-loved hotels around the world, pay close attention to the aromas their customers’ experience—it’s because the fragrance has deep significance on how they feel when spending time in such a location. The response to such nonconscious stimuli can be truly compelling, creating not only the desired emotions within those who smell them but actively influencing behavior as well.
The Science of Aromachology
Far from being a fashion trend, there is very real evidence to prove a relationship between smells and the reactions they produce in the human brain. Over the past 20 years there’s been much research into aromachology, the official name for the technique, and a concept that was first studied in Japan at the beginning of the 20th century. The basis of the science is the way that the limbic system processes different smells. This body system is not subject to the conscious will and activates certain instinctive behavior, including the generation of emotions.
The strategic use of custom aromas has a virtually instant effect of creating emotional associations and conjuring memories—in fact, research has shown that around 75% of memories are triggered by smell. It’s this very reason that companies such as Starbucks and Abercrombie & Fitch pervade their premises with carefully constructed aromas. For both home and business use, it’s possible to custom create subtle scents that will trigger the desired vibe, such as that of comfort and relaxation, or perhaps that of energy and stimulation.
There are different ways in which scent can be introduced to a room or a larger area. This can be through the use of candles, reeds, premium scents, and scent diffusers. Both homes and businesses can take advantage of the latest in eco-friendly scenting solutions, and one of the easiest ways to do this is by using a technology called HVAC scenting. Such a machine uses a process known as “cold-air diffusion,” which uses high air pressure to compress essential oils into a dry mist of nanoparticles that are then dispersed into the air via a ventilation system. The advantage of such a system is that the fragrance is consistent, with no high or low points in the process. It’s also extremely quiet and requires little to no maintenance, and negates the need to light candles or reeds and the associated safety risks.
Scenting for Home and Business
There are many reasons to reproduce a favorite hotel smell within a home. The chosen fragrance can instill a sense of calm, helping with the process of de-stressing and relaxation. The use of scent within the home can be considered the piece de la resistance of design and can be as important as the décor chosen. Scent diffusers come in a variety of sizes and can be utilized in rooms and areas of all shapes and sizes.
For a business, the choice of fragrance is even more important, as scent marketing and branding are important considerations. Depending on desired goals, particular aromas can influence customer behavior. For instance, Nike carried out research that proved it possible to increase customers’ intent to purchase by 84% with the simple introduction of scenting their stores.
But the creation of emotions through scent isn’t the only advantage gained, because the brain also makes a sub-conscious connection between the chosen bouquet and the brand, therefore increasing remembrance. By taking various aspects into account, such as company history, customers, and aspirations, the use of a strategically created scent can have a significant effect on the actions clientele take and the connection made between the brand and scent.
An example of quite how powerful this subconscious connection is was successfully demonstrated by a campaign carried out by Dunkin’ Donuts in South Korea. Whenever a jingle for the store was played on public buses, an atomizer released the aroma of fresh coffee. Visits to outlets close to bus stops increased by 16%, and their sales increased by 29%.