After the Christmas holidays, I went shopping with my wife like many others. The winter was here, and at the turn of December and January we found out that our children did not have the right shoes for winter activities
My wife chose several stores, and I did the driving, consulting, carrying things, and other necessary jobs that belong to the role of father and husband.
As we primarily needed to buy winter sports shoes for our daughters, the first store we visited was a sport-chain store well-known in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (currently, said to be for sale). Before we set off, I had noticed their flyer with an exciting offer. I am not a frequent visitor to this store, so I could only gauge the quality based on what I saw in the flyer.
I could tell the difference between the leaflet vibe and the reality right at the entrance. And I mean, I really sensed it – right in my nose. There was such a stench! I wasn’t sure about going in. I pictured the whole process of production of their goods – a long journey from distant Asia to Europe, bad-smelling containers, large warehouses, and trucks. I could smell all of it when entering the store.
Aroma marketing is what we have been focusing on for several years, and we often use the term “welcome effect” and “effect of enchantment and pleasant experience.”
When entering the sports shop, I sensed a welcome effect – and it really worked. My effort to leave the area as quickly as possible was tremendous. Then I remembered that we had spoken to the management of this sports chain more than a year ago. Still, the management could not decide whether to invest in improving the customer’s environment or not. Back then, it was not a priority for them.
I don’t want to judge anyone on their way of determining their priorities. After all, if a company works well, they probably have their priorities set correctly (in the short term at least). Anyway, I might have a little piece of advice. I understand that my expectations might be too high, and some products just don’t smell good. Many products are made of a material that might not smell nice, and the journey of these products from the production to their potential customers is quite long. However, when a customer enters your store, you can greet them in two ways – either making them feel so good that they don’t want to leave or making them want to leave as soon as possible. And the scent of the environment we are about to enter plays a significant role and makes all the difference; therefore, it should be the number one priority.
You do not need to have a scent marketing service. All you need to do is have one person in your store who will “freshen the air” and make your store smell great using commercial products every half an hour. At the end of the day, it will cost you more than a service from a renowned company, but you will have an extra staff cost that your company can “manage”. Your customer will appreciate it for sure. And in the long run, your boss will do too.
Happy New Year and BEST OF LUCK IN CREATING THE WELCOME EFFECT
Henrich Sikela, Executive Director, Store Media