Scent Marketing: The Aroma That Pulls You In!

Scent Marketing - The Aroma That Pulls You In!

What comes to your mind when you read the title “Scent Marketing”?

If you are thinking of marketing for colognes or perfumes, then you’re going the wrong way because we are referring to a whole different concept.

Let’s move further and give you a clear idea of what it is actually.

Scent Marketing

Scent Marketing is the strategy used by brands to market their product by targeting the customer’s sense of smell. It works by scattering aroma in the air or around the product.

Smelling is one of the five senses a human body feels. The marketers hit this sense for their brand’s marketing. It is just like the visual ads we watch with our eyes and form a perception about the brand.

In smell marketing, the scents or fragrances create the brand identity without even seeing it, and how marvelous is that!

How smells make sense with Scent Marketing?

Now you might think that how aroma can create an identity for a brand or how can a whole marketing strategy revolve around it.

Well, think of a cafe that offers great coffee just the way you like, but the place doesn’t smell nice, and that can be discomforting to enjoy your perfect coffee. Would you prefer to have your coffee there? Maybe, (definitely) not!

In smell marketing, the marketers strategically choose the fragrance to diffuse near customers’ touchpoints. When the aroma hits right on our customers’ senses, the marketing begins at that point.

Recall your friend saying that “the smell of food is making me more hungry” this is scent marketing for you.

Types of Scent Marketing

Scent Marketing is much more than just spreading fresh scents in the environment.

The scent marketing strategy depends on the product for what the company is marketing. There are many ways marketers can adopt scent marketing. We will further discuss all these types.

Ambient scent marketing

Ambient scent marketing is not associated with brand identity. It is different because it creates a fresh atmosphere with a subtle smell.

Ambient scents make the customers’ experience better with a pleasant atmosphere. It gives warm and welcoming feels to customers.

All the hotel chains and restaurants use this type of aroma marketing for their specific areas and distinctive scents.

Signature Scent Marketing

There are some scents that you can never forget because the marketers don’t want you to forget them.

Signature scents are the scents that are associated with the brand, and the customers immediately recall the brand whenever they smell it. It is the strategy that makes you remember the brand name just by smelling it (the scent, of course).

Packaging Smell

Now, this strategy is something different from the rest of the types of smell marketing. It is the strategy that most online stores adopt.

How will an online business utilize scent marketing when its customers do not visit stores to experience it?

The answer is scented packaging.

Many soap brands use scented packaging for the soap so that the customers can smell even with packaging. Also, many food and beverages offer sniffable seals so that customers can smell the product even with sealed packing.

Thematic Scents

Every place, product or service, and brand has a theme. Every theme is different from the other. Similarly, these are scented differently. It gives the customer a better experience.

Let’s take an example, you walk into an apparel store, and you smell pizza, then what will you do? You’ll probably get hungry and would want to have a pizza and leave the store. The smell doesn’t fit the theme of an apparel store. The thematic scent for an apparel store can be masculine scents for a men’s store and feminine and soft fragrances for a women’s store.

Aroma Billboards

Some brands attach themselves with an aroma that it uses at every location. It makes the audiences identify the brands immediately.

The scent makes a bold statement for the brand, and the customers can associate them with the brand. The reason these are called billboard aromas is that it is striking and notable.

The science behind scent marketing

So we will not be discussing scientific relations, but we will make you understand scent marketing in a simple way.

Scent marketing relates to our olfactory sense. It is a heavy term, but its simple meaning is the sense of smell. The smell is a powerful sense of our body and impacts our emotions as well. Coming home and smelling your favorite dish being cooked is the happiest feeling ever. Brands use this sense to create such a kind of connection with you.

Taking in science language, humans can recognize over 10000 different types of smell, and that’s why it is a strong sense after eyesight. To be able to keep any brand in your memories and recognizing it by just smelling the aroma associated with it is what the brands use for marketing. That’s how Scent Marketing works.

Scent Marketing done right

These are some of the brands that fabulously used scent marketing coz their brand smells made sense to customers.


Starbucks scent marketing

Starbucks uses scent marketing to tempt its customers to have their coffee. The aroma of roasted coffee beans environs the outlets to draw customers in the outlets.


We have discussed every kind of business but not electronics. Here Samsung has done a great job by adopting scent marketing for its stores. It uses a signature smell called ‘intimate blue.’

Cinnabon Rolls

Cinnamon roll from Cinnabon bakery using scent marketing

This bakery chain uses its very own signature smell to do scent marketing. It produces cinnamon rolls, and one cannot resist buying it from them if they sense the smell of their buns.

Rolls Royce

The brand uses scent marketing by including scent in its product. They use the ‘new car smell’ to give a newly purchased feel to customers.

Burger king

Burger King Whooper using scent marketing

Burger King knows how to make its customers hungry for their famous ‘whopper.’ The hamburger chain smartly uses its ventilation ducts to influence the customers.


It is a jewelry brand that uses scent marketing in their stores. The brand uses ambiance scent marketing type to create a good atmosphere for their customers.


Scratch ‘N’ Sniff Valentines by KFC- example of scent marketing

The brand did outstanding use of scent marketing. During Valentine’s week, it offered Scratch ‘N’ Sniff Valentines Smell Like Fried Chicken limited edition valentines and sent a message to its customers featuring its founder Colonel Sanders.

KFC’s valentines come in four different intoxicating designs, each with a fried chicken scratch ‘n’ sniff patch, so your valentine can indulge in the heavenly aroma of the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices.

The scent marketing part of this strategy was that it offered scratch and sniff with a message that would let the customers smell the aroma of Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices. Bravo!

Benefits Scent Marketing can bring to your business.

Scent marketing is a unique strategy, and it is very effective for any business. It is like discussing how customer’s smelling sense can bring success to your business. Well, it does and not just one but many benefits. The benefits that it can bring to your business are:

Keep your brand in their memory.

Scent marketing can keep your brand in your customer’s memory. Just like you recall old memories with different scents, your brand becomes memorable for your customers. It remains in their mind for a long time.

Creates brand Identity

If your product has a bold scent, then it can create a brand identity. Customers can recognize your products and every detail by just smelling its aroma, and how cool is that.

Delight your customers

Fresh fragrances can light up any mood and create instant happiness, and your happy customers are the most satisfied ones.

Think of how your customer would react if your store smells like a dead fish, they will probably not buy anything from you.

No good smell equals no sales for your business in this case.

Increase Customer engagement

If your business place has a thematic aroma, then your customers will stay for long. In any spa, the customer’s experience is enhanced by lavender aromas that relax and calms them. It makes customers stay for a longer period. That’s how fragrances can lead to increase engagement of customers


This strategy is not only profitable for the business but also for its customers. Today marketers can capitalize on our smelling buds as well. Next time you visit a store, give that extra star in rating if your smelling senses are satisfied too with the brand.

We know how marketers try every possible way to grab the attention of customers, and smell marketing is an incredible way of doing that.

Scent marketing is all about spreading aroma and making customers happy, and it can never go wrong.

Not sure what scent you want to try?

Ask your customers!

Get a few paper samples and ask visitors to come to your shop and give you their opinions.

Tejaswani Sharma
My educational background is in Management and business administration. I've always had a keen interest in marketing, which has brought me here to present the knowledge that I've gained on this subject and matters related to it. I am very observant of things, and I think that the best way to learn is through observation. I love being creative with my ideas and every work that I do. I'm always happy to help others in whichever way possible. I believe that a positive mind leads to a happy life. My mantra in life is to go with the flow and accept whatever comes my way. I love listening to music in my free time. My interests include watching movies and series that involve reality, lifestyle, docudrama, and Art.