If you’ve ever worked at a tanning salon, then you know that dealing with the various odors that you can encounter daily can be a bit overwhelming. From the members who visit the place of business to the products they use there are a lot of scents permeating in the atmosphere. What is that “burnt skin” smell from tanning? That smell is known as the “after tan odor” and it is caused by bacteria on the surface of the skin. The smell is the result from the bacteria when your body/skin gets hot from a tanning bed. So its not a shock that major tanning industry brands are turning to commercial HVAC scent diffusers to control their locations scent.
Smell is the strongest of our senses and is directly linked to the parts of the brain that control memory and emotion. For this reason, scents can influence involuntary reactions and opinions. For example, a Brown University study found that women experienced more heightened brain activity when smelling a perfume they associated with a positive memory than when given any other sensory cue. This indicates that smell could be more powerful in evoking memory and emotion than even sight. How do you want your tanning salon brand to be remembered?
By leveraging the positive emotions triggered by many widely loved scents, tanning establishments can communicate to their customers that their space is clean, inviting, and pleasant. This technique can also be used to influence employee behavior, increasing productivity and satisfaction. It can also be used to promote a certain time of year or even a new product offering launch, drawing attention to it through a related scent.
Why Use Scent In Your Tanning Salon?
When tanning salons compete for business or want to stand out to their members, they choose to provide excellent service, quality products, and a desirable, clean-smelling environment. When working with some of our tanning salon clients, we found that pure essential oil from the Eucalyptus plant improved their overall member retention and customer experience. Their online ratings were higher over 12 months vs. another location they did not use scent in.
Tanning salon owners can use scent marketing to create an experience at their store locations that customers will remember. They want to connect with their customers on a deeper level than they would be able to with visual stimulation. Here are some of the reasons retailers use scent marketing.
Scent Marketing Boosts Sales
One study found that when major retailers used scent marketing in their stores intent to purchase increased by 80 percent. Additionally, wafting a pleasant smell in the room not only entices customers to buy more add on products and services, it also encourages them to stick around longer.
Scent Marketing Helps Create a Brand Image
Studies show that people can relate a scent to a memory with 65 percent accuracy within 12 months. That means customers will associate a smell with a brand image and recall it when they smell it later. Scents can help create an experience associated with a brand and subtly influence a customer’s view of a brand.
Scent can also affect customers’ perception of quality. For example, some high-end stores will pump the scent of cardamom and frankincense lightly through their air vents to create a sense of opulence or extravagance. Beauty brands that diffuse a fresh, clean scent are perceived by consumers as high-end.
The Available Solutions
When you look at the the various products that are on the market that enable tanning salon owners and operators to have a clean smelling and inviting environment, it becomes clear that there is an apparent gap. The #1 & #2 suggested products are usually an aerosol spray or ultrasonic, water-based diffuser. Both of these are costly to operate and do not provide enough coverage to stop “scent creep.” The scent creep term is used to describe the action of smelling a foul odor that has a slight smell of a covering scent over it. In the end its a strong unpleasant odor that is sure to leave an impression on anyone who had the joy of smelling it.
So when thinking about this idea of scent marketing or sensory marketing you must take into consideration the total cost and continued operation of the scent delivery systems you choose. Some systems are closed, meaning you must buy and use the companies supplied scents while others allow you to use whatever essential oil or scent you want.
Below are commercial diffusers that are commonly used inside of tanning salons.