How Scented Labels Help Persuade Shoppers

In a world of intense competition, getting your product onto the shop shelves is a feat in itself. But once you are there, how do you make sure that your product stands out from its many competitors?

The answer lies (at least partly) in the product’s packaging and labels. More than 70% of purchasing decisions are made on the shop floor and, as such, effective labelling is crucial to the success of any brand. Until fairly recently, brands have mainly focused their attention on connecting visually with consumers – for example, by using eye-catching colours, or unusual formats such as ‘peel and reveal’ labels – but some companies are waking up to the possibilities of harnessing the power of smell.

The Power Of Smell

Retailers have long been aware of the power of smell and have used it to influence customers accordingly. Research has shown that the smell of baking bread makes people hungry and likely to buy more food, so even most smaller supermarkets have installed their own bakery. Similarly, some travel agent outlets pipe in the smell of coconut to remind customers of tropical vacations.

With this in mind, scented packaging seems like a logical step for product manufacturers to take – helping them to cement brand identity and demonstrate product quality. Smell is the most emotive of our senses and as well as helping your product to stand out from the crowd, scented labels can also help to subconsciously influence potential customers. If the scent of your product reminds somebody of a happy time in their life – for example, a summer holiday by the sea, or baking cakes at grandma’s house – they are more likely to make the purchase.

The use of scented packaging is gaining traction, particularly with pharmaceutical and beauty product manufacturers, and more and more companies are jumping on the trend.

One such company is global brand Proctor and Gamble whose US arm has recently introduced scratch-and-sniff labels on its Whitening Crest toothpaste range. The labels give off a different scent depending on the flavour of the toothpaste, and it is part of an intensive campaign to raise consumer awareness of the product and to give it a unique identity on the supermarket shelves. As well as featuring on the product itself, the label is also used in magazine adverts and in direct mail-outs.

Meanwhile, in Germany, Unilever is using scented ink on the packaging for its deodorant and personal care products, enabling customers to ‘try before they buy’.

Creating Scented Labels

When it comes to packaging, the use of scented labels can be a really effective way of appealing to a customer’s sense of smell. This can be achieved either through scented ink or by embedding aromatic oils into capsules and integrating them into the label. You can also choose whether the scent is activated via touch (as with the more traditional ‘scratch and sniff’ labels), or whether it is released automatically over a longer period of time, using more modern encapsulation technologies.

Research has shown that, given a choice between two similar products, over 80% of consumers would choose the one that they could both smell and see. With this in mind, it seems extremely likely that the trend for scented packaging and labels will continue to grow.

If you’d like to harness the power of scented labels for your own brand, please get in touch. We’ll be happy to discuss your requirements and help bring your olfactory vision to life.