The Role of Ambient Scenting Post Covid-19

by Heather Lane

As businesses look to the future post COVID-19, many are looking for creative ways to welcome back customers. Industry publications in hospitality, retail, offices, and more, are exploring how businesses can leverage multi-sensory experiences in the reopening economy.

Articles such as “As Coronavirus Turns Retail Therapy into Retail Anxiety, Experiences are More Important Than Ever” and “How to Engage Customers While Wearing a Mask – Enhance Other Senses,” feature the role of ambient scenting companies, like Prolitec, play in creating a comforting, welcoming, and confidently clean experience for customers emerging from quarantine.

Why Scent?

Reassure Customers with a Sense of Cleanliness

In a sea of masks and shuttered businesses, people are looking for ways to communicate comfort and confidence upon reopening. “Ultimately, if retailers and hospitality service providers want customers to return in greater numbers the goal will be to minimize the perceived risks of infection, and also managing the emotional component of the retail experience, which will become an even more crucial part of the overall value offered,” says The Fashion Law.

Craft Brewing Business captures why – “Typically, guests don’t like to walk into an establishment and get punched in the face with bleach from fresh mopped floors. However, with cleanliness and sanitation top priorities, a clean aroma can be desired in non-overwhelming levels.”

Create a More Comfortable Workspace

Whether concerned about their employees having to spend a day in masks serving customers, or worried about the atmosphere of an office space, businesses are going to have to address the workplace environment post Covid-19.

According to the New York Times, “We can’t ask employees to come back to the same office… Companies feel we have to address the root fear.”

Scent is a powerful way to put any fears to rest by reassuring workers that their workplace is safe. Despite how clean a building may be, if there is not a fresh, clean scent that reflects the efforts to disinfect, people will remain spooked and concerned. More and more businesses are looking to ambient scent to give their employees comfort and relief.

Ease Back into Increased Dwell Time

Since wearing masks in public is our new normal, businesses are putting more emphasis on using scents to make cents. Scents can play a role in quelling the anxiety that consumers will feel reentering the shopping, office, and hospitality world.

“While the scent of a retail outlet may seem trivial, as consumers, our senses play a major role in how much we enjoy retail experiences. Retailers have long employed the art of store atmospherics to encourage us to stay and spend,” The Fashion Law wrote.

These strategies, once the purview of the retail industry, will have farther reach post Covid-19. With a calming, reassuringly fresh scent, people will be more comfortable staying longer in waiting areas, spending the day working in office environments, and traveling through airports or vacationing in hotels and on cruise lines.

Breathe Life into Your Brand

In the world of the six-feet-apart rule, it is increasingly difficult for consumers to feel connected to a brand. Scent can help bring brands to life by providing an emotional and memorable experience without people having to get too close.

As The Fashion Law says, it is “more satisfying” to be in an environment pleasing to the senses, and this is especially relevant when talking about brands. According to a study by researcher Martin Lindstrom, “75% of the emotions we generate on a daily basis are affected by smell.

Look to the future of Ambient Scenting

The Fashion Law highlights leading ambient scenting company, Prolitec for scenting in 100k+ installations, in countries around the world, suggesting that this is only just the beginning.

In 2016, Prolitec CEO Richard Weening predicted that the retail ambiance industry was slated for “strong 10-year growth” in terms of revenues. “It’s about to, I won’t say explode, but become a lot more meaningful.” The new COVID-19 environment has potentially, to a large extent, made considerations of in-store experiences more important than ever before.”

The importance of diffusing comforting, reassuring and uniquely designed fragrances brings consumers one step closer together in a world where six feet apart is our new normal.

What do you think about the importance of the “sense of clean” in welcoming back consumers post Covid-19? Where would you want to experience a fresh clean scent? Comment below!


Sources Cited

Coplon, A. (2020, June 2). How to engage customers while wearing a mask? Enhance the other senses. Retrieved from https://www.craftbrewingbusiness.com/business-marketing/how-to-engage-customers-while-wearing-a-mask-enhance-the-other-senses/

As Coronavirus Turns Retail Therapy into Retail Anxiety, Experiences Are More Important Then Ever. (2020, May 22). Retrieved from https://www.thefashionlaw.com/as-coronavirus-turns-retail-therapy-into-retail-anxiety-experiences-are-even-more-important-then-ever/

Richtel, M. (2020, May 4). The Pandemic May Mean the End of the Open-Floor Office. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/04/health/coronavirus-office-makeover.html?referringSource=articleShare

Kotler, P. (1974). Atmospherics as a Marketing Tool. Journal of Retailing49, 48-64.

Singh, R. (2005, August 17). Sense It. Retrieved from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/sense-it/articleshow/1202917.cms?from=mdr

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About the Author

Heather enjoys delving into research exploring the ways fragrance impacts people in their daily lives. She is a VP at Prolitec, a global provider of ambient scenting, and a recent graduate of the MBA program at Tulane University in New Orleans.

When not studying the fascinating ways fragrance intersects the world of business, Heather renovates historic houses and gets her hands dirty with her non-profit ceramics arts studio.

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