What is scent marketing? And how it’s used in restaurants

Marketing is all about communication, and that means not only transmitting a message, but also that your intended audience both receives it and understands it as you intended. In today’s crowded marketplace, we are bombarded every day with marketing messages that appeal to our eyes – in print and on our screens – our ears (on television and radio) and for some products, our taste buds, and now clever marketing teams are starting to target our sense of smell.

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Scent marketing is an effective way to cut through the ‘noise’ and make an emotional connection with potential customers. It works across a variety of industries, and not just the ones you might expect; this marketing reaches far beyond food industries.

How does it work?

Scent has a powerful connection with the part of our brain responsible for controlling emotion and memory. Some smells are almost universally evocative – think of the positive association most of us have with sunscreen, or freshly cut grass – but it’s the less obvious ones that marketers are harnessing to make an impression on consumers. Supermarkets will generally put their scratch bakeries at the back of the stores so customers are encouraged to walk all the way through the store following their noses to the delicious bread. You can even smell the tasty food outside of certain Dublin City Restaurants, or other places near you which can ultimately draw more people into your eating establishment, so make sure to keep the scent of your delicious food wafting outside.

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Different scents for different businesses

Think about how a scent will make people behave; floral fragrances encourage people to stay around, which is great if you have a shop, and someone spending longer looking at your shelves increases the likelihood of a purchase. Conversely, if you have a coffee shop, you want people to enjoy their food and then leave, so the table is free for the next customer, so encouraging them to sit around is not good for business.

Leather has a strong association with luxury, so it’s perfect for a swanky hotel lobby where you want to project a feeling of exclusivity, and lavender is perfect for relaxation – spas, hairdressing salons, etc.

For more information on how this sort of marketing could have a positive impact on your business, see this informative article from Shopify.

Make the connection with customers and you’ll find they are more likely to spend money with you. The association of scent is powerful!

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