Marketing: If it Smells Good, It Sells Good

You Gotta Make ‘em Smell the Bacon

Ever walked down the street past an amazing smelling BBQ smoker? It makes your mouth water. Within almost a moment, all you can think about is how great that food tastes.

What about a scrumptious smelling bakery or donut shop, with delicious sweet-smelling pastries?

Ever past a breakfast café, that you can smell the delicious smelling freshly-ground coffee aroma, and bacon sizzling away as you walk by?

When you walked past these places, did you ever go into any of them and buy food, just based on how good it smelled?

I bet you’ve probably walked by a place similar to more than ONE place like the ones I described above.

You’ve then ACTUALLY GONE IN TO EAT, just based on the SMELL ALONE.

You’ll even walk straight into somewhere you’ve NEVER HEARD OF, if it smells good. No advertising, no smart copy, no newspaper, radio, or TV ad can tell you how good that food smells.

This is the big difference between marketing, and sales.

In my last article, I described how on social media, likes and shares don’t make you any money.  Especially if people are just ‘walking by’ your offer.

You need to captivate people’s interest.

That’s why, in marketing, I always say you gotta ‘make ‘em smell the bacon.’

In marketing, we ‘sell the sizzle, not the steak.’

If it Smells Good, it Sells Good

Everybody knows what steak is, what it looks like, roughly how much it costs, etc.

You’re never selling a steak by showing it to somebody. You can tell them how to cook it, describe how fresh it is, it won’t work.

This is because nobody is BUYING steak.

That changes when I describe to you the sizzle of the steak on a grill, smell the steak cooking, imagine it just browning off, filling the air with that delicious aroma. It’s seasoned perfectly.

You’ve been looking forward to this dinner all day. You’re throwing a party in the backyard with everyone around. The grill smoke fills the air, beer in your hand, friends and family around laughing, talking, having fun.

How’s that delicious steak sandwich sound now? Fucking AWESOME, right? Even as I described this to you, it sounded absolutely delicious to me.

Notice I didn’t mention how it tastes, how much it costs, or what cut of meat it was.

In fact, I didn’t mention the steak itself even once. I only told you how it sounded on the grill, and that it smells good. Your mind did the rest.

You could be even thinking right now, about going out and grabbing a steak. This is because you could almost SMELL it.

If it smells good, it sells good.

Just like the smell of the bacon when you passed the café.

By describing the benefits of this steak to you, I just created the desire in your mind to eat steak.

Nobody BUYS food. They buy delicious meals.

Apologies to all vegans out there who may not enjoy a good steak, It’s just a reasonable analogy of how the human mind works. It does, however, bring me to another great point.

Why Vegans Eat Burgers

I have a vegan friend that likes to go out and eat some great tasting vegan burgers. That reminds me, I must take him up on his offer to try them (I’m curious, man, seriously!).

One of his favorite restaurants makes vegan versions of famous fast food chains burgers, such as the McDonalds’ Big Mac.

I’ve gotta say I was definitely intrigued by this. Probably because I’m one of those annoying people that has to question everything. Especially if I don’t know how it works.

To begin with, I kinda thought this action an oxymoron. I mean, if you don’t want to eat meat, why would you want to eat things made to look like and taste like, meat?

His answer was both interesting and satisfying.

He explained that being vegan is a lifestyle choice. Vegans don’t want to eat meat for various reasons, but almost all vegans grew up eating meat. They still remember what meat tasted like.

Many vegans didn’t stop eating meat because they didn’t like the taste of it, but because of what it IS.

So, vegans still want to eat something that SMELLS AND TASTES AWESOME, but not made out of dead animals.

It’s not as if vegan people want to eat a burger, its because they want to eat something great tasting, like a burger.

So, in this way, even vegans want to ‘smell the bacon’, too.

In addition, as my awesome vegan friend also helped explain, many meats are packaged and sold to children in a way that they don’t resemble meat, or an animal at all.

Meat is sold as chicken nuggets, hotdogs, and burgers, etc. This is how meat is marketed to children, to make it more desirable to them.

So, if it wasn’t for the clever marketing and presentation of these products, would our kids even want to eat meat at all?

Even with a complete lifestyle change, nothing can take away the desire of something that tastes and smells good.

BBQ Chicken Ribs

When my son was really young, he would only eat chicken nuggets. When we went out to a BBQ place and had ribs for the very first time, we told him they were ‘chicken ribs’.

Ever since trying them, BBQ ribs have been his favorite food. Had we told them I they were pork, he wouldn’t have even tried them.

We marketed the ribs as chicken, as it was something he understood.

If something is desirable, then all you need to do is provide the customer with those benefits, to create the desire to buy.

This describes the role of marketing perfectly.

We Create Dreams

In marketing, it’s not the product or services features that are important at all.

If you can get the benefits across to your prospect in the right way, the desire to buy is a completely natural next step for the customer.

For fitness products, nobody is buying a supplement or powder, they’re buying the perfect body they want, and dream of achieving.

If they believe what you sell will help them achieve that goal, they will ‘need’ to buy it.

Here are a few good examples of reasons people buy things;


In fashion, nobody’s buying a functional waterproof coat, or a watch that tells the time accurately (we have those on our cell phones).

They’re buying the upmarket, fast-paced, fun lifestyle, and the admiration of others. They want to look a certain way, and feel important.


In business, nobody buys a desktop computer or laptop. They buy the efficiency and opportunity. With a computer, you want the ability to design and publish things quicker and easier.

People buy computers to save themselves some time, or make it easier to contact them. Stay connected with the world, communicate, design, whatever they need to do. All in the hope that this will enable them to make more money.

iPhone / iPad

We don’t buy cellphones and tablets like iPhones and iPads. I want to stay connected, be more portable, get information faster, get directions and traffic reports when I need them.

I use my iPad and Smart Keyboard to type articles like this one. These devices also remind me of important events and help keep my life more organized.

How do You Create Desire?

So there you have it, in marketing we tell stories that create dreams, resulting in desire. We use the benefits of the product to create that desire, and bring you to the decision to buy the product.

But how exactly do we create desire? What do we do to show people the reasons they need our product?

It’s all about understanding your customers unique needs, and providing value.

In my next article, I look closer at how that process takes place.

Thanks for reading.


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