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Operations and Management

The Upsell Smell

When you think of the consumer experience, you need to focus on the five senses – sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing.



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When you think of the consumer experience, you need to focus on the five senses – sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. The easiest one that is conveyed in a car wash is sight. They see the intensity and color of the foam and the coverage of other products as they are being applied to the car. Then there is the scent. Many companies offer a variety of fragrances but do you take full advantage of this sense?

The sense of smell is the most powerful sense and is the one that strongly evokes memory. Fragrances can have positive psychological reactions that enhance the experience, lift spirits or mood, and lead to an overall happiness. A delightful fragrance can enhance a pleasurable experience. This is a good factor in retaining customers as fragrances better help a consumer retain a memory, especially if it is a good one. If your consumer can associate a good experience along with the scent you provide, it can trigger their memory of the car wash in other situations where they come in contact with that same scent.


Offering a fragrance to a package can increase your profitability. Consumers today want to know that they are getting the most value out of what they are purchasing. Not informing the consumer about the fragrance that they will be providing in the wash is missing an opportunity.

It is important to market these fragrances. To enhance the fragrance and the memory of it, you can do more than just add a fragrance. For example, if you have a bubble gum scented product, add color to the product so that along with a bubble gum scent they see a light pink product being applied to their vehicle. Adding the visual can enhance the smell just by association. Inform your customers of the fragrance that is available to create a want or intrigue to smell the new fragrance you have added to your wash.


Fragrances are especially important in roll-overs and exterior express tunnels where the customer stays in their vehicle. For the soccer mom that is going through, they might like a fragrance that is more relaxing such as vanilla or lavender. For a more kid friendly wash, bubble gum would be a good fragrance to choose. Make sure you do your research. It is simple to find out what emotion a fragrance might trigger and how it can affect a mood. From there, you can decide what mood you would like to set for your wash. Make changes throughout the year to keep things fresh or to associate with a event or promotion.


From the Lustra Team – Keep Shining

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