The smell is connected to the memory, so buyers often use tools, like aromatization of environments and different types of materials that are related to a certain smell, in order to attract the consumers interest. It is impossible for a fragrance to send the same message to all consumers, however this new type of marketing is a tendency that shows that consumers are searching for a different relation with the products and services – a more emotional relation.

Olfactory marketing is a strategy that leads consumers to remain in a store for a longer period of time and on top of that, it awakens them the temptation of buying a certain product. Without realizing it, consumers are being encouraged to acquire those products on impulse, since it is known today that unlike other senses, the smell passes directly from the nostrils to the limbic system (control behaviors and emotions), without being subject to a cognitive process. 

For example, when we go to the supermarket and smell the bread coming out of the oven, we feel a strong desire of buying and eating it, because we associate the smell to the flavor of hot bread. Or, when we enter a perfume store and the smell of a fragrance reminds us a certain trip we did or a certain person we love, it also creates a temptation of purchasing it.

Firms use this strategy, studying the market and their type of consumers, so that they are able to associate the obtained results to a certain smell. For example, EDP, a Portuguese firm, started this strategy in 2006, by using cedar wood and vanilla to combine an environment of tranquility and soundness. But also, since the market studies showed that the lack of people on the company were females, it also used a slight smell of roses.

To conclude, olfactory marketing is a tool that reinforces the brand and the company’s presence in the lives of consumers, through the association of an aroma with a brand.

Catarina Botelho

Project Member at NMC

4 June 2019


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