There are countless theories about the proper approaches to effective marketing and appealing to customers, especially when establishing your brand identity. Often overlooked, sensory marketing could yield huge conversions and favorable response rates. So, what is this technique exactly? In short, sensory marketing involves implementing strategies to trigger responses that influence how a customer may think or feel about a brand or product, “to communicate with consumers through sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste senses.” (Tek & Engin, 2008)
Statistically, it is shown that the majority of marketing focuses on the sense of sight but lacks connection to the four other primary purposes. “In the 1950s; importance of sight was discovered for the first time in terms of colors, product designs and advertisements” (Erenkol & AK, 2015) Yet, if you think about the majority of people making decisions about a product, often a factor in other variables other than visual appeal. Let’s further examine the possibilities of appealing to all the senses, otherwise known as sensory marketing. “Touching, tasting, hearing, smelling, and seeing a product plays an important role in our understanding. Perception of these roles has a valuable advantage in the market today. These senses are images of our daily lives, and by using them, we satisfy our needs and desires.” (Shabgou & Daryani, 2014)
Purpose of implementing sensory marketing in branding.
Sight refers to visual appeal and design; often, advertisers use sight to tell a story. More than 80% of the commercial and shopping communications are done through the sight sense (Jayakirishnan, 2013). Some of the most common ways visuals are implemented into marketing include; color, images, text, light, graphics illustrations, and design.
When establishing your brand, you should focus on visual appeal; according to studies in the e-learning industry, “We process images 60,000 times faster than words”. Therefore, it’s crucial to utilize a similar look throughout your marketing strategy; this may include brand color and the implementation of color theory across your brand messages. For example, pastel colors may indicate a soft, comforting message, whereas neon colors may come across as fun and bold. Another important visual aspect is packaging and display.
Touch is considered the most intimate of the human senses, which helps humans to interact and connect with the environment. When developing products, it’s essential to consider how you want consumers to feel when they touch the object. Touch can stimulate emotional responses and impact how consumers associate a product; this may include the feel of the product and material or even how the product is packaged. For example, soft products tend to trigger emotions associated with delicacy, thus connecting the product to comfort and ease. Complex products can trigger a sense of sturdiness and strength.
Therefore it is essential to think about the message you want to send with marketing and select products accordingly. The best way to establish an emotional connection and provide a memorable association is to provide consumers with high-quality products presented in packaging that reflect your brand positivity.
According to Psychology, the smell is most closely related to memory and emotion. According to Lindstrom M. Brand sense, 75% of human emotions are generated by smell, thus making it the most powerful sense”
Furthermore, a Sense of Smell Institute study states that the average person can distinguish over 10,000 different scents, directly impacting both positive and negative human behavior, mood, and emotional responses.
According to Harvard Business, “Scented environments have been shown to reduce typos made by office workers; improve the perception of product quality; increase purchase intent, average unit sales, and duration of a retail visit or stay among consumers; and boost the willingness of consumers to pay more for a product.”
Audio-based marketing is best utilized to elicit positive emotions with specific sound cues, such as a freshly poured cup of coffee or the sound of soothing music playing in the background. Since various sounds in our daily lives often surround us, we can associate certain songs and auditory stimuli with an experience or memory that involves that specific sound.
According to Kendu.com, “Studies have shown that when a person listens to music and finds it pleasing, their body releases dopamine, which increases their disposition to buy” this can be a subconscious way to help draw interest to your products with an inviting atmosphere.
In cases where the music has a positive reaction, a customer can feel as if they have spent less time in the store, therefore convincing them to stay longer. But, if the music has a negative perception, they may become uncomfortable or think they’ve spent too much time in the store.
The sense of taste is greatly dependent upon other reasons; therefore it must work in tangent to be effective.
According to NYFTA, “Research published in the Journal of US-China Public Administration showed that people could sense five basic tastes: bitter, salty, sour, savory, and sweet. And, it’s often said that taste is the sense that merges all of the senses, creating a complete experience that is emotionally-based.” Unfortunately, when it comes to marketing taste, some products cannot depict this sense; however, if the product reflects a familiar taste, this can trigger a similar emotion. For example, an apple cinnamon candle can not be eaten. Still, the consumer may have a positive memory associated with the taste of apple cinnamon, thus connecting a positive response to the candle.
“Within sensory marketing, the taste is represented by taste marketing. Taste-based marketing aims to increase the quality of the product perceived by consumers and thus create new sources of inspiration that will affect the imagination and taste experience of the consumer “Dani, V., and V. Pabalkar. “Branding through sensory marketing.” Journal of Scientific Research 2.11 (2013).
Sight, touch, smell, hearing, and sound- the human body’s five senses linked to our brain, all essential to consider as influential factors when marketing. Sensory marketing may be one of the most effective approaches if done right. Corporate gifting can be taken to a whole new level if businesses actively consider engaging with the sensory side of things. Hopefully, some of these facts inspire new ways to creatively reach your potential customers that will set you apart from competitors.
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