Innovative Company Makes Customized Scents for Retailers

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A growing number of Canadian retailers are using scent marketing as a key tool to enhance customer experience and brand awareness.

It’s being used by more stores which are looking for that something extra to create the ambiance that may entice customers to linger a little longer in their bricks and mortar location.

ScentAir, with corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, has become a global leader in scent marketing with the hospitality, real estate, senior care, gaming, and retail markets being its primary focus. It also has a presence in Toronto for the Canadian market.

“We’re the largest, most experienced scent marketing firm in the world,” says Ed Burke, vice-president of customer strategy and communications. “We take a very passionate view of the senses. Smell is the most powerful of the five senses when it comes to memory and how we connect to experiences.”

Image: ScentAir

“Our business is essentially to help businesses put the sense of smell to work in their retail experience and hopefully creating more of a connection with their consumer or a more memorable connection or to drive things. Each retailer has a different objective. It might be dwell time or it might be perception of time. There’s all these different objectives that retailers are trying to create so we try help them think about the air in their retail space and how they can use that to help create a better experience for customers. We help them through the entire process from the initial strategy all the way through execution and service.”

Burke says the company has about 120,000 active locations that it services around the world for all industries. The retail industry would encompass about 20,000 to 30,000 locations.

The company has been around since the late 1990s.

The hotel industry drove ScentAir’s growth in its early days. It ended up developing signature scents for most of the major hospitality brands.

As that growth took place, retailers started to look at ways to differentiate themselves from competitors. This opened a new door for scent marketing.

“Our most powerful memories are those tied to our sense of smell, which makes olfactory marketing the final frontier for businesses looking for a competitive edge. Scent is the most powerful way to connect on emotional and memorable levels with your customers,” says the company on its website. “We have used scent in our homes and lives for millennia and businesses are just starting to tap into this awesome power.”

ScentAir operates in 109 countries.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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