Pheromones used to make shoppers loyal
A Canadian air circulation systems company, Enhanced Air Technologies (EAT), has released details of casinos and retailers using its specially developed synthetic human pheromones to "instil a sense of comfort and security" in their customers, aiming to make them feel more at ease, and more inclined to return to the establishment in future.
It is nothing new to fill a retail environment with pleasant odours (such as the smell of freshly baked bread) to steer consumers toward emotionally-based purchasing decisions. But, according to EAT, a growing number of retailers are infusing their establishments with a synthetic human pheromone designed to stimulate sales. Originally contracted to design a specialised pheromone compound for use by a major Las Vegas casino, EAT has now released its Commercaire pheromone, which causes consumers to feel a subconscious sense of comfort and security, which in turn causes them to stay longer and ultimately spend more.
"The compound doesn't cause consumers to get into a spending frenzy so much as it causes them feel more at ease in an environment, and more receptive to sales messages," explained Nigel Malkin, director of development for EAT. "At a subconscious level, the sense of comfort and security instilled by the compound causes consumers to have positive memories of any environment in which they are exposed to it. They're more likely to return as a result."
What pheromones do Odourless and airborne, pheromones are produced naturally by most species of insects and animals, including humans. The Vomeronasal Organ (VNO) within the nose detects pheromones emitted by other people and sends response signals to the hypothalamus (the brain's centre of emotions).
Different pheromones trigger different responses that are rooted deeply in instinct. EAT researchers have identified and synthesized their own proprietary pheromone compound that instils the sense of comfort and security in humans.
New markets Already in use by several major casinos, the company's client base has seen a rapid increase into several non-gaming related industries, including retail, restaurants, night clubs, and car dealerships. "Our clients are reporting increases in their bottom lines across the board," said Malkin.
The Commercaire compound is suspended in a gel that evaporates into the air over time with the aid of EAT's air distribution systems. Although it is natively unscented, the firm has also produced scented 'private label' versions of the product for four unnamed "major retailers".