Does the smell of peppermint and chocolate remind you of the holidays? Is there more pep in your step when a boutique provides a hint of a candle’s pine scent combined with the sound of “Jingle Bells”? Does the taste of crème Brulee with the aroma of vanilla caramel put you in an elfish mood?
Think about it. You walk into a Christmas-themed store in the middle of a hot summer July evening. There are Christmas displays with brightly colored red, green, and white ornaments creatively positioned on an assortment of trees. Presents are elegantly wrapped in beautiful tissues and paper while you are pleasantly greeted by helpful staff donning festive aprons. Definitely feeling the vibe? Are you truly ready for Christmas in July? It depends, of course, on your mood. Now, envision a store that has all of the above but has added the soft background sound “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.” You grab a complimentary apple cider or hot cocoa and take a bite of the mouth-watering sugar cookies craftily plated by the register. Then, you take in the seasonal atmospheric smells that permeate your surroundings. Even if you don’t purchase a thing, it is likely, that this complete experience will leave an impression on the brand, its merchandise, and the overall store environment.
Merchandising experts are betting on such a response. In fact, retail and merchandising experts have turned to experiential and immersive experiences to tap into senses that positively affect a shopper’s psyche. Professional experiential marketers often introduce specific colors, music, and olfactory cues to leave consumers with lasting impressions, and not just during holidays or seasonal events.
According to ScienceDirect.com, retail atmospherics or “environmental stimuli such as interactive ambient scent and music” in such settings can affect mood, memories, and behavior. One specific study noted consumers responded favorably to the addition of an ambient Christmas scent mingled with Christmas background music. The doubling down on the sensory input provided an enhanced environment for sensory exploration. Of course, such an experience is subjective to an individual’s psyche. The smell of pine, for example, with the sound of “Rudolph, The Red Nose Reindeer,” may trigger a memory of cutting down the family Christmas tree each year. However, adding a different Christmas tune, such as “Let It Snow,” might change the memory when mingled with the same pine aroma, sending your thoughts back to that time you all rented a cabin to celebrate the holidays.
The power of designing environmental atmospherics for immersive sensory experiences has become an art with brands looking to spark a brand reaction for their products, parties, spaces places with crowd-pleasing encounters that engage their audience.
SensoryCo can enhance experiential marketing projects with our scalable scent machines. Our library has a wide selection of smells and aromas to tickle the nose any time of year. We believe that the retail therapy theory is definitely a thing and we want to trigger happy memories with each successful shopping spree. Even the small humans in our lives seem to understand that the body’s senses are a source of humor this time of year… ”Jingle Bells, Batman Smells”!!!