Scent Marketing: What is the impact on stores in Umeå? (Management Project)

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The way of consumption has changed. Now, consumers are not only rational when purchasing. They do not buy just for the functionality of the good or service they are looking for. The consumption is more affective and consumers are considered now as poly-sensorial entities that are looking for more emotional and sensorial stimulation during their purchase process.

This evolution of consumption is part of the trend that is called “retailtainnment”, a mixed of “Retail” and “Entertainment”. It is a concept of distribution that combines both of those two activities. Earlier studies have shown the success of using the Sensory Marketing, a concept based on stimulating the five senses in a strategy view. But, if certain senses are heavily used by companies/brands, as the sight and hearing, some are still underused, as the touch, the taste and particularly the smell.

Wherefore a study on scent marketing is considered relevant to measure the potential of it. Even if several studies have already explained the important role of smell in a company’s strategy, only few of them are using it. Our paper aims to go further on this subject by understanding the scent marketing in stores through the aims, the obstacles, the techniques used, in Umeå, Sweden.

For our research, we first had to collect knowledge from scientific articles and previous studies on odours, on smells or perfumes and on scent marketing. Then, we constructed three hypothesises that helped us to conduct our research and made conclusions. Those hypotheses will be discussed by conducting a mixed-method, that is to say by combining two types of researches: a quantitative one, mainly to measure how many stores are using smell as a marketing tool, and then a qualitative one to go deeper into the reasons and how those stores are applying it.

The quantitative research, based on a deductive approach, was conducted by using questionnaires. The qualitative research, based on an inductive approach was conducted by making semi-constructed interview. Both types of data collected and analyzed enable us to draw conclusions about scent marketing in Umeå. In this paper we identify the stores in Umeå that have odours or perfumes, those that are using smell as a marketing tool and their reasons to use it or not.
Source: Umeå University
Author: Blondeau, Mathieu | Tran, Amélie

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