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What type of scent causes consumers to spend more money?

It’s no secret that smell impacts buyer decisions, but new studies reveal that consumers prefer one type of smell when comparing simple versus complex scents.

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What type of scent led to more sales?

It has long been common knowledge that baking cookies at an open house, or using signature colognes in the air at Abercrombie and Fitch, or baking pies at Williams and Sonoma appeal to an extra sense that consumers respond well to. The sense is often subconscious, and by manipulating smell, businesses can have an impact on one’s impression of a product.

But there is news in the field of the psychology of smell, and it’s good news. Dr. Eric Spangenberg is the Dean of the Washington State University College of Business and has long studied the phenomena of olfactory senses, and is known as a pioneer in the field. A recent study he authored compared simple and complex scents to discover which shoppers respond to best.

Working with Andreas Herrmann at Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen, Spangenberg, marketing professor Dr. David Sprott and marketing doctoral candidate Manja Zidansek developed two scents: a simple orange scent and a more complicated orange-basil blended with green tea. Over 18 week days, the researchers observed over 400 customers in a home decorations store as the air held the simple scent, the complex scent, or no particular scent at all.

“What we showed was that the simple scent was more effective,” said Dr. Spangenberg. The simple orange scent led to a significant increase in sales transactions, as well as an average spend that was 20 percent more money than the other two options, sophisticated, and unscented.

Why is this scent more effective?

The researchers say the scent is more easily processed, freeing the customer’s mind to focus on shopping. But when that “bandwidth” is unavailable customers don’t perform cognitive tasks as effectively, says Spangenberg.

In a separate experiment series, WSU researchers had undergraduate students solve word problems under the different scent conditions. They found participants solved more problems and in less time when the simple scent was in the air than with the complicated one or no scent at all. The simple scent, say the researchers, contributed to “processing fluency,” the ease with which one can cognitively process an olfactory cue.

The research, says Dr. Spangenberg, underscores the need to understand how a scent is affecting customers. “Most people are processing it at an unconscious level, but it is impacting them. The important thing from the retailer’s perspective and the marketer’s perspective is that a pleasant scent isn’t necessarily an effective scent.”

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. kenbrand

    November 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    What about Old Spice. Is there any evidence in their study that a splash of Old Spice would amp attractiveness, spark conversation and build trust?  The commercials look promising. 
     
    Seriously.  When I sold new homes we used an Orange scented spray through out the models, we had positive comments galore and I would say it had a definite positive impact on how we were perceived relative to our competitors.   Sales were brisk but I think it was combo of great product and salesmanship;-)  But I believe the Orange scent also had an influence.
     
    Thanks for sharing, something to add to our secret weapon toolkit.  Cheers.

    • AGBeat

      November 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      @kenbrand I think people die on the spot if you spray Old Spice, right?

  2. bestedusystem

    November 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    @CENTURY21 From today I’m planned to go to a half day course in FC

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Business Marketing

Gloves that translate sign language in real time

(BUSINESS MARKETING) A new wearable tech translates American Sign Language into audible English in real time.

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Advancements in technology never cease to amaze. The same is true right this moment as a new technology has been released that helps translate American Sign Language (ASL) signs into spoken English in real time.

This technology comes in the form of a hand glove – similar looking on the front side to what one would wear in the winter, but much more advanced when in view of the palm. The palm side of the glove contains sensors on the wearer to identify each word, phrase, or letter that they form via ASL, and is then translated into audible English via an app that coincides with the glove.

This is all done in real time and allows for instant communication without the need for a human translator. The signals are translated at a rate of one word per second.

The project was developed by scientists at UCLA. “Our hope is that this opens up an easy way for people who use sign language to communicate directly with non-signers without needing someone else to translate for them,” said lead researcher Jun Chen.

The hope is to make communication easier for those who rely on ASL, and to help those unfamiliar with ASL adapt to the signs. It is thought that between 250,000 and 500,000 people in the United States use ASL. As of now, the glove does not translate British Sign Language – the other form a sign language that utilizes English.

According to CNN, the researchers also added adhesive sensors to the faces of people used to test the device — between their eyebrows and on one side of their mouths — to capture facial expressions that are a part of American Sign Language. However, this facet of the technology is not loved by all.

“The tech is redundant because deaf signers already make extensive use of text-to-speech or text translation software on their phones, or simply write with pen and paper, or even gesture clearly,” said Gabrielle Hodge, a deaf post-doctoral researcher from the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at University College London. “There is nothing wrong with these forms of communication.”

What are your thoughts on this advancement? Comment below!

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Business Marketing

Stand out with video as part of your resume (but be careful)

(MARKETING) This new tool helps you stand out in the job market, as video now dominates – so it’s possible to use this to your advantage (with caution).

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job market video

In the midst of a pandemic, people are finding themselves thrust back into the job market sooner than expected due to mass company layoffs or underemployment as a freelancer. Fields are oversaturated and jobs are sparse so it can be hard to stand out in today’s job market.

Although standing out in the job market is hardly a new problem, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use some new and creative solutions. One company, VCV.ME has designed a tool to help you get creative and stand out from your competition.

VCV.ME turns your traditional resume into a video à la Instagram stories.

The process is simple. You answer a few questions and upload a video of yourself then the tool will provide you with a sharable link.

VCV Founder and CEO, Arik Akverdian, believes that video is the future saying, “Video will represent 80% of all internet traffic by 2021 according to Cisco, and according to eMarketer 94.1% of millennial internet users were streaming digital video in 2019. With growing demand for video social media such as TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram stories, and others, we’re bringing the short video format to the job market.”

There are some obvious limitations to using this tool in your job hunt.

First, not all employers will take videos as part of an application both for technical and legal reasons.

On the technical side, many automated tracking systems are not designed to filter that kind of file, so there may not even be an opportunity to showcase it. That’s not to say there aren’t some work-arounds. Many job applications will have a place for applicants to link to their portfolio or websites. An alternate option for this tool could be to place the video introduction on your website.

Another problem with the tool is how it exposes candidates and hiring managers to bias.

As more companies work to remove bias from their hiring practices and hire more diverse candidates, a video intro just won’t fly. Some companies have removed names and even alma maters from their applicants in order to make more unbiased hiring decisions. A video introduction would expose many characteristics that people have conscious and subconscious biases towards such as race, gender, age, and ethnicity.

Although VCV.ME’s intentions are to help candidates stand out in the job market, it’s worth questioning whether they would be standing out for the right reasons, so tread carefully.

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Business Marketing

Why should you take Facebook’s ‘Summer of Support’ courses

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Every company can use a little marketing advice, well Facebook has partnered with big companies to give you some free digital marketing courses.

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Our world has turned into a place of upheaval and unrest and we are continuously surrounded by more and more evidence of it. One thing that the majority of us are constantly seeing is announcements from companies. Some of those are about closing hours, but others are more helpful. As they all attempt to get used to this new world that COVID-19 has created we begin to see some different tactics. Some are only politically motivated, but others are more focused on helping out their communities.

Earlier this week Facebook announced that they will be putting on a six-week digital marketing education series. This series will be an extensive collection of videos with a full in depth set of courses that will cover a large amount of topics. The company has put together a cast of renowned entrepreneurs for the presenters as well.

The topics will be done in themed weeks starting on June 24th, and running through the month of July. They include categories such “The Changing World” & “Resilience”. Focusing primarily on the world that is here and now, with recommendations on how to adapt to it. With this world in a constant state of flux the push for adapting to change and staying in front of the tide is crucial for a small business.

The next two courses will be going forward with discussing “Reinvention” & “Re-Emergence”. Encouraging struggling companies to take a serious look at their potential for moving forward, or changing the things that they can to stay more on top of their client base. They also plan on attacking the confusing world that we will have when things get closer to normal.

The last two weeks are focused on community and customer care, which is actually their names as well: “Customers & Commerce” & “Community”. These will help develop a sense of how your business affects your community and the impact you have on it. Keeping that in mind you can then develop a plan for how you want your community to see you and shape things within it.

These courses are all set up for free and open to anyone. With a completely online set up with their new “Summer of Support” mini-site they are prepped to reach millions of people. They’ve organized this with a range of partners as well: Dell, PayPal, American Express, & Small Business Roundtable. A helping hand for people who wouldn’t currently be able to source things like this.

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