Think about the stores, hotels and restaurants you’ve walked into where you smelled something delightful, and immediately, you changed. You may not have perceived it, but you did. If you’ve ever walked into Aveda stores, salons and spas, you know what I’m talking about. There’s that Aveda scent (Is it eucalyptus? Maybe.) that just takes you to another place — a place of relaxation and comfort, where your cares seem to lessen a bit (“Calgon, take me away?”).
It’s true and it occurs more often than you think. Beauty stores have a great array of products that create their own scents in the store. So do candle stores. Maybe that Mrs. Field’s store is actually pumping the smell of cookies into the mall to lure you in?
The Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas smells like the beach….you can’t put your finger on the exact scent but it’s kind of a coconutty suntan lotion with a hint of salty ocean spray smell that reminds you of the beach…perfect for this tropically themed mega-resort.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
We all associate different smells with different experiences. As you’re out and about, walk into a number of stores…what do you smell? What do you like? What does the scent say about the experience? Make some notes and you’ll start to see that the scent you smell ties directly to the brand. You associate the two together. Some go hand in hand, like the Mandalay Bay tropical-oriented scent in a tropical environment. Others may just be a scent that you are unable to determine, but it reminds you of a special store because that’s always been the scent.
Think about it another way. Moms and perfumes. I don’t know about you, but my mom always wore one perfume — Chanel No. 5. It was and is the scent she wears most often and I always think of my mom when I smell someone wearing it (awww….). It’s her signature scent. And so goes retail. Many retailers have signature scents.
So, what scent are you creating that’s your signature scent? If you don’t know, you’re not alone.
There are companies out there that actually create scents for stores. Scentair is one such company. They can create almost any scent you want (from cotton candy to dirt) or develop a special scent just for you. Insert a fragrance stick into a little machine that they provide and tuck it in a corner of your store and next thing you know, you’ve created an environmental experience that plays on people’s emotions, and created your own signature scent.
Is it going to make the cash registers ring more? Not necessarily. But it can be powerful and with the right lighting, music and general environment, scent can be a force that keeps your customers in your store longer because adds to the overall experience.