Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Retail ‘Nose’ Best

One of the most interesting, interactive booths I saw at the NRF Big Show held in New York City this week was run by ScentAir, a company that uses scented air technology to enhance the retail experience.

With scents ranging from hot apple pie, baby powder and ocean, to lavender, cedar wood and green tea, more retailers are influencing their customer's in-store experience by engaging memory and emotion through the sense of smell.

Various retailers, including Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Reebok and Ashley Furniture, all use scents to impact the shopping experience. Abercrombie & Fitch also pumps its own signature fragrance into the air of its bricks-and-mortar locations.

Connecting your business to a scent is an effective marketing technique that can not only influence shopping behaviors but also impact the power of brand association. While I tested the different scents via a touchscreen on the side of ScentAir's innovative bus-shaped booth, I immediately recognized that the “Coconut Beach” fragrance was used in The Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas.

Since the sense of smell is the strongest of all human senses, retailers should hardly overlook scented air technology.

So, what does your brand smell like? And please don't tell me “nothing.”

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