How Fragrance Affects Consumer Behavior

KNF diaphragm pumps in scent diffusion systems facilitate successful fragrance marketing

Stimulating fragrances at retailers and in restaurants, a comforting scent in a hotel room or hospital: Marketing experts aren’t the only ones who know that fragrances evoke emotions. In the digital age, the competition for the attention of potential customers is stronger than ever. As customers are increasingly overwhelmed by visual input, more innovative marketing methods that appeal to the other senses are needed. As a result, scents and their influence on our emotions have an increasingly important role to play in marketing. In this article you will learn how to use KNF diaphragm pumps to make this distinctive s(c)en(t)sation possible.

Follow your nose

In fact, encountering a scent can stimulate the same regions of the brain as seeing a product or product logo. Research has shown that humans more easily recall smells than visuals and that specific scents are tied to calmer, happier customers and more inviting spaces. Since scents are subtle, this type of marketing is often more effective than (purely) visual marketing.


Who hasn’t walked past a bakery and had the smell of freshly baked bread waft up and tickle their senses? At your favorite supermarket, the scent of fresh fruit is almost irresistible. And the aroma of a charcoal grill might remind you of warm summer evenings spent outdoors. Yet all of these scents can originate from the same source: a scent diffuser that releases an artificially generated room scent with the aim of attracting customers.


It is scientifically proven that scents have an extraordinary influence on our neural system. They:

  • enhance mood,
  • increase excitement,
  • improve learning ability,
  • trigger memories,
  • decrease anxiety and
  • spark desire.

Fragrances not only inspire customers to make immediate purchases, they also provide brands with an emotional charge. This becomes increasingly important in the digital age, where customers are so overloaded with visual stimuli that purely visual marketing often fails to attract their attention. In addition, growing competition from online retailers is forcing brick-and-mortar stores to turn to more creative marketing methods – shopping must become a unique experience!

Creating an experience

Adding scent to a building should be done cautiously. Responses to a smell are subjective, and selecting the wrong fragrance can have a negative effect on customers and employees. On the other hand, a well-chosen scent can have a positive impact, for example by driving sales.


When introducing fragrance, businesses generally don’t just light a scented candle. Instead, they choose between using standalone diffusers or pumping the fragrance directly into their HVAC system. And the choices don’t stop here: Are you looking for something uplifting or calming and relaxing? Would you prefer something woodsy, floral, sweet or unique? If a customer is willing to spend up to $25,000, a customized formula can be created to emphasize the uniqueness of a brand. Typically, however, businesses select from a range of existing fragrances, which reduces their costs to just a few hundred dollars per month.

Choose your scent carefully

Research has shown, for instance, that millions of people find vanilla fragrance particularly appealing. An experiment in the USA demonstrated that using highly feminine fragrances, such as vanilla, doubled sales in a clothing store.


Fragrances not only make a valuable contribution to marketing and sales goals but also help increase the feeling of well-being. In hospitals and fitness studios, they are used to create an atmosphere of comfort and trust. Woodsy scents are thought to be particularly suitable for this purpose.

“iSens” scent diffuser used by KNF customer SHAMS
“iSens” scent diffuser used by KNF customer SHAMS

Meeting the customer’s needs

The technical requirements for the fragrance equipment used by customers in retail or in the hospitality industry are very similar. Sufficient pressure must be applied to the scent bottle. The scent solution must be transported through the diffuser at a constant flow rate. The application must be programmable in order to regulate the intensity of the scent. In addition to a long service life and low maintenance, the device should also be quiet. You certainly don’t want the customer to notice that the aroma of freshly baked bread isn’t coming from the oven.

With these requirements in mind, KNF has developed a range of pump products for everything from the standalone diffusers for lobbies and smaller spaces all the way up to the industrial-sized diffusers for large spaces such as cruise ships or movie theaters.

A glimpse into the future

The use of fragrances will continue to evolve in the future. Some cinemas are already inviting visitors to a 4D cinema experience, where they not only follow the movie hero on the screen in 3D but experience the action with their nose. The real estate industry is also increasingly using room scents to boost their sales numbers. There are almost no limits how scents can be applied. We are looking forward to being part of future developments with our KNF diaphragm pumps.

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