How can you deliver the right aroma only to the customers who welcome being exposed to it?
- Stay with smells that most people like. Vanilla has pretty much universal appeal. Some preference are cultural. For example, if your shoppers come from an East Indian culture, try sandalwood. Some preferences are seasonal. Cinnamon is more strongly welcomed with Christmas shopping than with swimsuits.
- Limit to very familiar smells and then use words to create the sensation. Take inspiration from the product named “Puffs Plus facial tissues with the scent of Vicks.” For those holding pleasant childhood memories of being soothed by Vicks VapoRub, seeing the word Vicks on a sign could be enough. Those who consider VapoRub as a cousin of toxic waste can look the other way.
- Offer optional treats that carry the fragrance. Food samples might work. And research at Concordia University found some potential for odors being delivered via chewing gum. For example, when the cinnamon fragrance was delivered via Dentyne soft chew cinnamon gum, the users’ memory for merchandising messages improved.
- In your store, provide odor-free areas and good ventilation. Remember the story of the “Got Milk” campaign and San Francisco bus shelters? To build longing for milk, the campaign pumped the odor of chocolate chip cookies into those shelters. Citizens got very angry. In my opinion, the problem was that people waiting for a bus in inclement weather had no escape from the aroma.