The Bond Between Memory & Smell In Visual Merchandising

You're Here:Home»Visual Merchandising»The Bond Between Memory & Smell In Visual Merchandising

The Bond Between Memory & Smell In Visual Merchandising

When preparing strategies to improve the attractiveness of your store and the way in which customers perceive the shopping experience inside your store, you need to be aware about a lot of simple facts that can help retailers get the best of any set of ideas they intent to implement so as to improve brand recognition and boost sales. Generally speaking, the principles of visual merchandising can provide insightful information about the details behind each approach that aims at creating a balance between what customers want and what stores and products are able to offer them.

A proper marketing concept has to combine each side of the visual merchandising, taking into account not only the visual aspect that is to be seen in the store layout, but also the other senses. Experiments in retail have proven that the more stimulated a customer is inside a store, the more he is willing to pay for the services or products you can offer. In other words, if you invest in “the five sense of retail”, you’re more likely to increase your sales and to ensure proper brand recognition that can lead to a prosperous business over time.

Basic principles about the bond that exists between memory and smell in retail

This article aims at providing a few important basic principles through which you can generate your own ideas about the way in which you can exploit the natural bond that exists between memory and smell in retail.A lot of experiments are conducted worldwide in order to understand the dynamics of customer behavior and this is the place where psychological information is important to start developing strategies for retail.

Smell is the first of our senses to develop in the evolutionary chain. 75% of our emotions are generated by what we smell. Researches have shown a 40% improvement in our mood when we’re exposed to a pleasant fragrance. Odors tend to produce certain specific characteristics to objects and places, making them distinctive, easier to identify and remember.

Researches have shown a 40% improvement in our mood when we’re exposed to a pleasant fragrance. Odors tend to produce certain specific characteristics to objects and places, making them distinctive, easier to identify and remember.

This is due to the fact that the olfactory bulb has direct connections to two brain areas that are strongly implicated in emotion and memory.

The so-called olfactory memory gains importance when knowing that visual, auditory and tactile information do not pass through the brain areas that have a role in decoding and encoding emotions and memories. This is the reason why smelling is so successful at triggering emotions and memories.

The so-called olfactory memory gains importance when knowing that visual, auditory and tactile information do not pass through the brain areas that have a role in decoding and encoding emotions and memories. This is the reason why smelling is so successful at triggering emotions and memories.

Some behavioral studies even suggest that smells can trigger more vivid emotional memories and are better at inducing the feeling of “being brought back in time” than images. Scientists called it “the Proustian phenomenon”. The connection that smell has with emotion is used in perfume industry; here there is a constant struggle to come up with fragrances that convey different types of emotions or feelings (desire, vitality, relaxation and so on).

The so-called olfactory memory gains importance when knowing that visual, auditory and tactile information do not pass through the brain areas that have a role in decoding and encoding emotions and memories. This is the reason why smelling is so successful at triggering emotions and memories.

Some behavioral studies even suggest that smells can trigger more vivid emotional memories and are better at inducing the feeling of “being brought back in time” than images. Scientists called it “the Proustian phenomenon”.

The connection that smell has with emotion is used in perfume industry; here there is a constant struggle to come up with fragrances that convey different types of emotions or feelings (desire, vitality, relaxation and so on).

People may perceive differently the same smell, but there are certain smells that all humans find repugnant because they are seen as a warning or as a threat.

People suffering from anosmia describe a feeling of isolation and an impossibility to actuate different emotions. Imagine the situation of stores that don’t take care of the smells inside.

The absence of triggering smells can alter the entire experience of shopping, making customers feel they’re cut off from the world around them, the experience losing its genuine form. If smell can trigger emotions, there is no better and simple way of providing them but by adjusting the smell to the emotion we want our products to produce, because we already are aware of the way in which emotions can influence the purchasing decision.

Scents like lavender, for example, relax customers almost as much as a massage. Citrus scent is rejuvenating and should be used in stores that would like to be remembered by their power to energize. Floral and fruit scents are usually used in fashion boutiques or jewelry stores for their power to induce a feeling of freshness.

People usually go shopping here for something new (jewelry, clothes) and this is the reason why retailers need to improve this expectation customers have. Smells like chocolate or coffee are usually used in food shops where the memory should be triggered by using something customers actually buy. Plus, it is a lot easier to pulverize the smell of coffee which some believe is as effective as its taste.

Smell is among the last of the five senses that has started to be exploited in retail, many retail chains launching “personalized” ambient-scenting programs to improve their scent marketing or scent branding. Scent branding is one of the strategies widely perceived as being very important in improving brand awareness, because of its effect on people’s general way of perceiving the shopping experience a store can offer.

Some companies take this very seriously, by implementing certain projects so as to make sure they will be remembered by their customers even when they leave the store. Shoes of Prey, for example, implemented “scented packaging” using their fragrance in packaging, so as to remind shoppers the brand a few more times after opening the package.

The persistent scent they use is “activated” a few more times when customers comes across the item they purchased from Prey. This is one of the best examples of scent marketing that has a strong impact on long term memory and, of course, on sales.

The power of the scent to bring up-to-date the same item and the same brand could lead to the development of a habit, and this is the most important role of marketing, to ensure a long-term prosperous business. Examples as this one prove once again that great things can be achieved by knowing some simple facts about the details behind each marketing strategy.

By | 2017-05-29T00:54:33+00:00 April 14th, 2017|Visual Merchandising|

About the Author:

Get your daily fix of retail design inspiration from Zen Merchandiser: amazing new store designs, creative window displays, smart visual merchandising ideas, creative lighting & signage and many more design focused post to help you build a better store!