Sensory Design for Your Spa

spa sensory designIf you have a spa or are designing one, you should pay particular attention to its sensory design. This includes sight (lighting, color scheme, cleanliness), sound (noise, music), feel (temperature, comfort) and smell (ambient scent, product scents and outside scents).

Sight and Sound

Spa goers preferred natural materials for the spa design, favoring wood (37%), stone (33%), glass (23%) over metal (5%) and plastic (2%). Neutral colors were also preferred and were much more conducive to relaxation than other color schemes. Earthy colors came in second, followed by warm and cool tones.

Sound was also important. Nearly a quarter of respondents said that there was excessive noise in the spa, which made it difficult to relax, annoyed them, caused stress and in some cases, made them leave the facility early. Most people (43%) liked meditative music and 31% liked classical music, with the remainder liking jazz (12%), blues (11%) and easy listening (3%).

Effect on Mood

According to recent research, the sensory elements that most influence customer mood in a spa are:

  1. Temperature – Since spa goers are frequently barefoot and at least partially undressed for many spa treatments, the right temperature is critical.
  2. Cleanliness – Because of the personal nature of spa treatments, cleanliness is a must
  3. Scent – The third most important sensory factor for spas is the scent.

In a survey of customers going to four different spas in Italy, nearly 60% said that the scent was appropriate. Of these, 64% said it was relaxing, 33% said it induced peace of mind and 3% said it made them happy. A quarter of the customers said they did not consciously notice the scent. Nevertheless, 15% of them said the scent was relaxing and 7% said it made them happy (we know from previous research that scent does not have to be noticeable for it to be effective as a marketing tool).

Nine percent of customers said the scent was too strong and 7% said it was unpleasant. Interestingly, even among those who said the scent was too strong, 20% said it was relaxing and 10% said it made them happy; the rest were annoyed at the intensity. Since scent is such a strong influencer of mood, it is particularly important to get it right.

A scent specialist at Air Esscentials can help you choose the fragrance and equipment to make sure that your scent is pleasant, set at the right intensity and evenly distributed. Contact your Air Esscentials rep today!