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Scent Marketing: How It Works

Chocolate banana bread in a pan.


We have all been there before, you are walking through a mall and are hit with the most amazing smell that instantly grabs your attention. Your nose then leads you across the way to that lone Cinnabon or Auntie Anne’s sitting in the corner. As the cinnamon swirl goodness wraps around your nose, you have no choice but to give in to your sudden sweet crave. However, here at P&J, the instant we smell baked goodness, we know exactly what is going on: Scent Marketing. Read below to learn all about the ins and outs of why your nose can lead you to not only Cinnabon purchases but other products as well!


Scent marketing is a way for businesses to discreetly grab your attention. Businesses have so much to focus on when trying to capture your interest like spacial awareness, music, decor, and ambiance. However, businesses or organizations never forget to consider your nose. This might sound silly, but the olfactory system or nose plays a large part in the marketing world. It gives businesses the ability to create a memorable experience. Organizations may use certain scents to give consumers various feelings ranging from happiness to hunger.



For example, if you have ever visited Disneyland, most of you would say you had a memorable experience because of the rides or the people. This still holds true, but you might not have noticed the tactical marketing efforts Disney takes regarding scents. Disneyland pumps that cinnamon goodness scent from the vents as you are walking down main street to stir up feelings of hunger and happiness. This also allows you to form memorable events of happiness associated with the scent which links back to the personal Disney experience.


Let us also take a look at a more frequented place like Starbucks. This organization does a great job of taking scent marketing into consideration when creating a consumer experience. If you have not noticed before, when you walk into a Starbucks, the first scent you may experience is coffee. Even though Starbucks provides food like breakfast sandwiches, you still only smell the coffee grounds. This is an organizational choice to market the coffee scent because it is a coffee shop of course.


We also could not leave out one of the most prevalent scent marketing examples: Cinnabon or Auntie Anne’s. Both of these companies resemble an organic scent marketing effort. How many times have you walked by either of these businesses and have not looked over at the baked goods shop? We know we can never resist the urge to walk over and buy a treat. This is truly scent marketing at its core, working to grab your attention and possibly a little money.


We wanted to share this fun information with you just to show you how much scents can have an affect on you and your emotions. If you want to learn more about the olfactory system, click on our Education Section!