How Our Scent Marketing Brings Sales To Automotive Showrooms

While first impressions are vital to the operation of any commercial enterprise, within the automotive industry this aspect has an even greater impact on sales, albeit it is a subtle one.

We’re written extensively about harnessing the power of scent in commercial settings, but to put it poetically, scent marketing is like the flower whose beauty attracts the bee to the nectar within its colorful folds without the bee noticing anything at all.

Consumers do not buy cars every day or every week, as they do other products, such as food or personal care products, which renders the sale of a single car even more important respectively to company profits. The automotive industry is extremely cutthroat and competitive and car manufacturers and dealerships vie with all their might for consumer attention.

Brand rivalry is forcing the adoption of new tools and marketing strategies designed to connect with consumers on a deeper, more personal level in order to win their trust and influence their purchasing choices.

Establishing consumer loyalty to a car dealership/showroom via a signature fragrance is an elusive and challenging endeavor best left to the ambient air-care experts at Air-Scent.

Scents And Their Affects On Human Emotion

The human sense of smell affects 75% of all human emotion and plays a vital role in the formation of memory.

Our scent-marketing experts understand that the perception of newness and luxury is highly desirable for those seeking a new vehicle and that is why so many showroom cars bear the scents of new leather and carpeting. These scents elicit a positive emotional response in consumers. Negative scents specific to the auto industry include: rubber, wax and paint. They are distinctive and can be unpleasant.

Scents and customer care are fast becoming a new standard within the automobile industry. The idea is to create a fragrance for those who visit an auto showroom that will have the affect of being like the words of Nat King Cole’s iconic love song, namely, unforgettable.

Just as vital as creating that first impression, managers of auto showrooms hope to expand the consumer shopping experience so that it will include: increased ‘dwell time,’ feelings of comfort and relaxation and ultimately, the purchase of a vehicle, which may be at even a higher price when sales are conducted within a scented environment.

Scent Marketing, Branding and The Automotive Business

Scent marketing (aka scent branding) offers a new but not so obvious element to customer experience and service.

The proper scent in a luxury car showroom, for example, can enhance perception of product quality and confidence, which on an unconscious level, fuses an emotional bond between the potential buyer and the brand. It is also vitally important that an auto showroom signature scent cater to the preferences and desires of the clientele serviced.

The idea is to create a sensory consumer experience that will live in memory and ultimately, affect sales.

A pleasant scent evokes pleasure and often leads to increased “dwell times” in auto showrooms. Scent marketing is a very subtle tool of persuasion that seamlessly affects sales and brand loyalty.

In the car dealership cosmos, it is not enough to rely on traditional measures like an attentive staff, appealing discounts and ‘sign and drive’ promises.  Meaningful and intense feelings must be tapped in order to cement that connection between the customer and the sale of a new car.

Such a powerful bond can only be achieved by taking into account the type of customer that will enter the showroom and will thereby be influenced by the company’s chosen olfactory logo.

A luxury car dealership, such as one featuring the Lexus, would want their customers, who are likely to be older than consumers seeking a BMW for example, to feel they are in good hands and can trust the company brand to treat them well.

Unconsciously, when an enhanced ambiance is created for a specific clientele, consumers are likely to feel more comfortable about making a purchase.

Scents including vanilla, which evoke trust and dependability, mahogany and leather, which suggest elegance and luxury, and hints of soft violet combine to evoke this sensory consumer experience.

Some dealerships even offer a complementary spray for the car’s interior to those who service their cars at the Lexus dealership, further cementing positive feelings about the brand.

Consumer Decisions And The Power of Scent

A bad first impression is a permanent association, which can never be taken back. However fleeting, it is indelible in the mind’s eye and impossible to alter.

According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking: “Buyers make most decisions by relying on their two-second first impressions based on stored memories, images and feelings.”

Despite politically correct manuals that denounce the judgment of books by their covers, so to speak, there is no denying that it is often human nature to react to a person or business on the basis of how things look and smell.

It is still that initial nerve impression of the mind received upon crossing the threshold onto a desired car dealership that can either foster or discourage interest in the purchase of a vehicle.

Ambient air-care applied by our masters at Air-Scent carries that first impression an important step further than expensive flourishes and pleasant personal exchanges. It seamlessly integrates the right scent at the right time to imprint the foundation for a loyal customer experience.

Olfactory Logos And Purchasing Power (Aromachology)

An olfactory logo is a custom scent that a specific brand creates to embody its unique characteristics. It is designed for use whenever the brand is present with the ultimate goal of strongly associating that scent with the brand.

Creating an olfactory logo within an auto showroom is a way to capitalize on the optimum power of scent marketing. It serves as a bridge that connects a consumer with a specific scent associated with the purchase of an automobile, cementing the experience and the association forever into memory.

Selecting an olfactory logo for a car dealership or brand must be customized to suit that dealership and its target consumer base or it will miss its mark. It must encompass the kind of buying and driving experience the brand is attempting to evoke.

One effective measure is to always include as many of the five senses as possible when creating an olfactory logo. This almost always deepens the consumer’s emotional connection to a particular brand.

A Few Relevant Studies And Statistics

Aromachology concerns the science of understanding the role of scent as it relates to the human decision-making process. Eric Spangenberg, a pioneer in the study of scent and dean of the Washington State University School of Business, conducted an iconic but simple study in 2012 involving Nike sneakers.

They placed the same shoes in two different rooms; one scented the other not. They concluded that 84% of the customers surveyed preferred the shoes in the scented room. The study also revealed that the sneakers in the scented room sold for an average of $10.33 more than those in the room with no scent.

Another study concluded that in the presence of a simple scent, one group of about 100 people on average spent 20 percent more money, buying more items.

According to Spangenberg: “Just because pine boughs or baked cookies smell good doesn’t mean they will lead to sales… Most people are processing scent on an unconscious level, but it is still impacting their behavior.

The important thing from the retailer’s perspective and the marketer’s perspective is that a pleasant scent isn’t necessarily an effective scent.”

Air-Scent International And Scent Marketing

Scent marketing is the art of using scent to influence consumer behavior.

If this is considered invisible marketing magic, our experts are the magicians behind this phenomenon, which represents the last frontier in modern advertising.

Many decades ago, a book called The Hidden Persuader stalked about the secrets of the advertising world and tackled odd questions like what makes someone buy a red car and why women are drawn to certain perfumes.

Today, these questions are passé, but they are part of the enduring fabric of scent marketing evolution; a process, which we have been a part of for more than seventy years.

Even thought there are other companies creating aromas, but there is only one Air-Scent who creates marketable fragrances for particular companies that invoke particular feelings and emotions about specific brands.

We’re a leading American manufacturer of air-care systems and environmental odor and hygiene products and serve an enormous range of clients all over the world and are involved with every modern industry under the sun.

Aroma Beam Automotive Scent-Marketing Machine

Click to learn more about the Blue-Toothed operated, Aroma Beam Diffuser

We’re a family owned business in continuous operation since the 1940s, and a pioneer in the development of the scent-marketing industry.

Scent marketing is the foundation for establishing powerful emotional connections to a product or brand and is a valuable business tool. It is the last frontier in modern advertising techniques and a highly effective means to stand apart from all the white noise and barrage of visual and audio marketing.

The Future of Scent Marketing and Air-Scent International

The sensory impact of scent marketing for use in almost any industry under the sun is here to stay.

Aromatherapy has flourished, defying those who considered its use some passing fad and proving its effectiveness in the treatment of moods and certain conditions. The success of scent marketing is well established in the minds of business owners and managers.

Parson’s School of Design in New York reflects the progress of scent application in industry with its Masters Program on the study and application of scent.

This special Masters degree of Fine Arts (MFA) in Trans-disciplinary Design at Parsons exemplifies the enduring importance of the power of scent in the modern world.

In the words of Joel Towers, dean at Parsons: “We understand the world around us through our senses. Through scent we more fully perceive space, fashion our identities, and navigate both constructed and natural environments. This is an ideal topic to address as Parsons prepares to launch this new MFA program, which will break the boundaries of traditional design to create a new method of collaborative, cross-disciplinary practice.”

In conclusion

The future of scent marketing is likely to be greatly influenced by innovations brought about by the constant flow of research and advancements in the world of industrial science.

The idea of using scent to influence consumer behavior has become an indelible aspect of the standard template for business success, both in terms of increasing traffic and that elusive, all-important bottom line.

If you are a manager or owner of a working auto showroom and suffering from a fall back in sales, consider calling our experts at Air-Scent today for help in initiating a customized scent that is guaranteed to improve your image, your brand and your sales.

Final thought about scent and autos: Happiness is the smell of a new car.~ Pinterest


A Few Interesting Facts About The Automobile Industry

  • In 2017, the US motor vehicle industry, which includes manufacturers, dealerships, used part dealers and service centers employed almost one million U.S. workers (approximately 940,000 people).
  • The United States auto industry is still second to China terms of production and sales.
  • One out of every 4 cars in the world comes from China
  • Car sales are increasing every year around the world. New car dealers are estimated to bring in $916 billion by the year, 2020, with used car sales following at 106.6 billion dollars.
  • In India, there are 16 passenger vehicles per every 1,000 people.
  • In 2017, nearly 12 million light passenger vehicles were built in the United States alone.
  • The best selling car of all time is the Toyota Corolla, with over 30 million sales since 2009. One Corolla is sold every 40 seconds around the world.
  • Sir Alec Guinness warned James Dean one week before he died not to get into his new Porsche 550 Spider or “You’ll be dead in it by this time next week.”
  • Holding a remote car key to your head doubles its range because the human skull acts as an amplifier.
  • A single car has about 30,000 parts. About 80% of a car is recyclable.


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