Thursday, March 28, 2013

Scents Used in Everything from Marketing to Military Training

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Link to article:
How Manufactured Smells Make People Shop Longer and Kill Better

ScentAir, the industry's leader in providing scents to retail and hospitality, is branching out. Besides scenting a store to mark its brand identity, now companies use individual fragrances for various departments in a large store or change scents to promote seasonal shopping. And the military uses scent to desensitize armed troops from the disorienting smells of the battlefield.

Excerpt: " 'Sometimes our clients get caught up in, "OK, what is the scent that makes customers buy more?"' says Burke. 'We use the psychology and physiology, but when you peel it all back, all scent has a profound effect on emotions and memory. If you get it right, you ultimately get them to do what the business wants them to do, but we focus on the creativity of it.'

The Hard Rock Café Hotel in Orlando added an 'ocean' smell to its lobby so that 'guests can imagine checking into a seaside resort,' as ScentAir's website explains, even though the hotel is about an hour from the coast. It also draws people into the ice cream shop downstairs by putting the popular 'sugar cookie' smell at the top of the stairs and 'waffle cone' at the bottom. By the time you follow your nose, the hope is you'll be craving an ice cream. (In fact, sales jumped 45% in the first six months after the smells were employed.)*

The same tech that allows ScentAir to manipulate shoppers has graver utility. The company has, for example, created a scent of burning flesh and dead bodies, mixed with gasoline, gunpowder, sewage, burning trash, and exhaust, which the military uses during combat training simulations. If you're accustomed to the smell before you enter a combat zone, the thinking goes, it won't distract (or traumatize) you as severely as it would if you were experiencing it for the first time.

'The Department of Defense and the defense contractors spend so much money and effort training and preparing,' says Burke. 'Your sense of smell is so tied to how we perceive experiences and surroundings outside of ourselves. "Improvise, adapt, and overcome" is one of [the military's] mantras. It's being able to navigate your environment and the situation you are in.'

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