Multi-sensory techniques – aroma in particular – increase retail sales by 400%!

It brings us great pleasure to have our founder – Simon Harrop – write a guest blog for us. Simon founded The Aroma Company in 1993 and now helps brands to build relationships with consumers, across multiple senses.

Simon appeared on Monday’s edition of the Channel 4’s series Shop Secrets: Tricks of The Trade.  Here he reiterates the key message that his segment of the show provided and provides a recap on why multi-sensory (especially smell) is so important.


We were delighted to be asked to participate in Channel 4’s programme on the secrets of the retail trade.

Adding the smell of sausages and other promotional sensory cues to a small independent supermarket increased sales of sausages by a staggering 400%. Surprising you might think? Not to us.

This is not just sausages to The Aroma Company, but our bread and butter too!

For 20 years, I have been working to understand how the human emotions can be used to influence our brand preference and – most importantly – our propensity to buy. I am left with two main conclusions.

Firstly, in a world of increasing visual overload we have relied too much and for too long on visual communication to get our brands noticed and to try to sell more. An overwhelming 83% of all brand communications appeals to the eyes alone. And when you realise that the sense of sight works in our brains like an initial screen – we ignore most of what we see – you will agree that this is crazy.

My second conclusion is that the other senses, and smell in particular, have a direct connection to the emotional centre of our brain where preference and behaviour is influenced. Furthermore, it directly cuts through all that visual noise. In addition, when more senses are added to a promotion, the emotional impact isn’t just added, it’s multiplied, what psychologists call Super-additivity, or 1+1=3. This is why I set up The Aroma Company in 1993 and we have worked tirelessly to innovate in order to help our clients to benefit from these simple facts ever since.

So in a retail environment, brands that appeal to multiple senses really can see sales uplift of 400%.

Remember, sell the sizzle, not the sausage.

To watch Shop Secrets: Tricks of The Trade, you can click here.

If you are interested in finding out more about The AromaBox, that was featured in the show, send an email to with your contact details and as much information about your requirements as possible.