Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Something smells fishy about Scent Marketing

By guest columnist Cleland Thom
We’ve all done it. We walk into a supermarket, smell the freshly-baked bread, feel hungry and buy some.

It’s called Scent Marketing. And it’s powerful stuff - not to be sniffed at.

Pam Scholder Ellen, a Georgia State University marketing professor, explains: “With all other senses, you think before you respond. But with scent, your brain responds before you think.”

That must be a marketer’s dream. And it’s why more shops, hotels and airlines pump scents into their premises.

They hope to influence the customer’s moods and decisions.

But where there’s a great idea, you’ll find a lawyer.

Several law firms across the USA are currently considering ‘ambient scent’ lawsuits against retailers. They claim the smells deceive customers.

Paul D. Swanson, an attorney with, Lane Powell, Seattle, said: ‘A growing enthusiasm for ambient scent marketing must be checked against the cognitive inability of consumers to evaluate this marketing information.

"Covert objective ambient scents could become an up-and-coming deceptive trade practice battleground.’

I wonder who’ll be first to kick up a stink …

Cleland Thom is director of CTJT, who provide online journalism courses

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