How are smell and memory connected?
How often have you walked into a store, restaurant, hotel or other building and smelled something that takes you right back to a pleasant time in your life? Perhaps it’s the smell of freshly-baked cookies, a certain type of flower, a loved one’s perfume, or any number of things.
One of the leading triggers of memory is smell, and having the right scents and smells in your place of business can trigger pleasant feelings and memories in clients and customers. This can affect their mood, their emotions and create a better experience.
At Ambius, we are Premium Scenting experts who work with you to select a scent that perfectly matches your brand and business. Triggering the right memories with the right scents is a delicate science. The right memories will make your place of business one in which clients and customers will enjoy themselves and want to spend more time.
Science explains smell and memory
The connection between smell and memory is not arbitrary and it isn’t just theory: it’s science. Back in 2004, a scientist named Dr. Linda Buck actually won the Nobel Prize in physiology after studying how humans can differentiate thousands of smells. Some estimates say that the average human brain can tell the difference between 10,000 different smells that range from freshly baked bread to a favorite barbecue recipe.
What Buck’s studies proved was a connection between smelling particular scents and the memories they trigger. It turns out that there are tiny bundles of nerve cells inside the human nose that can differentiate between scents. Dr. Buck discovered that when those cells detected a scent, it was within the same sensory area that humans use to store memories.
How scent and memory affect business
Now that it has been proven that scent can trigger memory, the question might be, how does that affect or improve business? There are two things to consider:
- The time spent in the environments
- The overall customer experience
For the first, it has been proven via similar science that those experiencing pleasant memories will stick around longer. In the retail sector, if you use Premium Scenting to trigger positive memories, customers are more likely to spend more time inside your retail establishment. The longer customers spend in your retail space, the more likely they will be to make a purchase.
For businesses who want to create a positive impression on clients and customers, scenting can make a difference. Even outside of the retail space, there is reason for a scenting solution. Putting a scenting machine in the conference room where you give sales pitches to clients can create a positive experience in the minds of your potential clients. While it doesn’t guarantee the sale, it sure goes a long way toward putting your company top of mind.
Scent and memory affect business in the real world
Beginning in late 2007, Starbucks experienced the impact of scent in a big way. In an effort to keep up with industry players such as McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks introduced heated breakfast sandwiches to their menu. In theory, this was a positive change. It gave customers more options and allowed Starbucks to compete in the “fast food” breakfast scene. But there was one big problem…the smell.
When cooked, the heated breakfast sandwiches produced a scent that completely overpowered the signature Starbucks coffee aroma. When the coffee scent went away, so did some of Starbucks’ profits. According to Forbes, U.S. sales were down by 1 percent and traffic declined by 3 percent for the second quarter in a row. Not only did customers love that trademark smell, studies have shown that the smell of coffee alone has its benefits. A Stevens Institute of Technology study found a positive correlation between the scent of coffee and cognitive performance.
Since that time, Starbucks has made quite a few changes to bring back the coffee scent that brought customers in. Employees are not to wear strongly-scented perfumes or deodorants so as not to interfere with the coffee smell. They also brew fresh coffee on a regular basis to maintain circulation of the scent. As for those sandwiches, Starbucks re-launched them with a few key changes. By improving the quality of the ingredients and lowering the baking temperature (to avoid burning cheese), they were able to have the best of both worlds…breakfast sandwiches and the coffee smell.
Discover the Premium Scenting difference
Harness the power of smell with the latest in scenting technology. At Ambius, we have a passion for providing unsurpassed scenting services and creating memorable multi-sensory experiences. Our scent experts have the solution for your business. Our customers trust our consultative approach and benefit from our in-house global full-service expertise. With Ambius, you can simply sit back and enjoy your enhanced experience. Our full-service approach saves you time and effort ensuring your scenting program is personalized for your space and goals. We make sure it’s done right the first time and our trained service specialists manage the consistent service standards to ensure your satisfaction.
Contact your Ambius professional now at 888-368-8060 or use our online form to learn more about our revolutionary scenting solutions.