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Winning by a Nose: How Scents Increase Engagement & Sales

Posted Monday, July 03, 2017

Winning by a Nose: How Scents Increase Engagement & Sales | H&H Graphics

Winning by a Nose: How Scents Increase Engagement & Sales

"Nothing tantalizes the senses more seductively than scent," remarked Simon Creasey, in his recent article in Print Power Magazine, entitled Heaven Scent. Creasey added, "Sensory marketing is back in vogue as brands begin to realize that stimulating their customers' senses increases engagement and makes print campaigns more effective."

Why? Human biology and Marcel Proust.

Human Biology

Our sense of smell is the most direct human sense as it influences 75% of the emotions that we feel on any given day, which is why the use of scent in marketing is such an incredibly powerful and persuasive tool. "The sense of smell has very strong links to emotional parts of the brain," explains Professor Charles Spence, head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, whose specialist research area is the role of attention in multisensory perception.

Proust Phenomenon

Spence added, "There is also the Proust Phenomenon, which deals with how smells can take us back and remind us of things in a way that other senses just can’t do."

According to Bob Yirka of MedicalXpress, "Most everyone has had the occasion of breathing in an odor and suddenly finding themselves lost in the reverie of a memory from long ago; the smell of fresh baked bread perhaps bringing back mornings at Grandma’s house or a certain perfume that always brings back a certain time in high school.

"Such odor/memory links are known as the 'Proust Phenomenon' in honor of Marcel Proust, the French writer who romanticized the memories evoked by the smell of a madeleine biscuit after soaking in tea, in his novel, À la recherche du temps perdu.

"Oddly enough, no one has until now, done much of any research into this phenomenon. Now researchers from Utrecht University in The Netherlands have found that, as they describe in their paper published in Cognition & Emotion, when some people are exposed to a memorable event, memories of it are more vivid when there is an associated odor."

21 Pilots told us all about this last year.

Scent Marketing

In his article, Creasey adds: "In addition to helping lodge a product in a potential customer's long-term memory, thus increasing memorability, research shows that 'scent marketing' can increase perception of a brand's advertising by 19% (Starch Advertising Research) and increase sales by as much as 10% (University of St. Gallen).

"And these impulses become even stronger when the marketing collateral containing the scent is engaging. Research shows that 57% of consumers pay more attention to advertising with a creative design and 42% find advertising more interesting when some sort of interaction occurs, such as "scratch to reveal"; (BAUER Media KG). These findings are supported by a study undertaken by Starch Advertising Research in 2011, which found that on average 17% of readers who noticed a scented paper advert in a magazine engaged with the scent."

What More Do You Need to Know?

If you are looking for a uniquely powerful way to engage consumers, direct mail recipients or an advertising target market, scented printing could increase your sales and overall impact by 10-20%+.

Not sure how to get started? That's the easy part: contact us to learn more about what's possible and what may be the best fit for your gift cards, credit cards, packaging, retail POP displays, book covers, greeting cards, direct mail, magazine inserts, and more.


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