What Is Sensory Marketing?
Sensory marketing is used to appeal to at least one of the five senses of the customer. Its goal is to prompt emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and memorable reactions from customers.
Sensory marketing develops content around the senses of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. It can elevate and intensify brand perception. The marketing technique is effective in capturing the attention of an audience and making your brand memorable.
Some customers prefer appealing visuals, others are fond of listening to the audio, and some are attracted to smell or touch. Brands can plan marketing campaigns for products and services based on these sensory appeals.
Benefits of Sensory Marketing
After understanding what sensory marketing is, you must know how it can help your brand. Sensory marketing strengthens the relationship between brands and customers through individual experiences and emotions. It taps into the strongest feelings of the target audience to develop advertising campaigns. As a result, it boosts customer loyalty and simplifies the referral marketing approach.
Another benefit of sensory marketing is that it gives a definitive competitive advantage. Brands can differentiate themselves from the competition and create a place in the customer’s mind. Marketing campaigns that are fundamentally sensorial stand out and last longer in the minds of the customers.
Why Use Sensory Marketing?
In today’s competitive environment, sensory marketing helps brands trigger emotion and maintain engagement. It places the customer experience at the forefront and helps companies make customer interactions more compelling and meaningful.
Some of the world’s leading and most successful brands use sensory marketing to boost brand awareness. Marketers can leverage multisensory experiences to guide brand perceptions.
According to research on embodied cognition, bodily decisions aid in decision-making without any conscious awareness. Sensory marketing allows marketers to capitalize on this highly researched field. It ensures an improved connection with consumers compared to regular visual and audible marketing campaigns and advertisements.
How To Engage the Senses?
Customer experience determines the performance of a marketing campaign. The five senses, namely sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch, all trigger different memory responses. Sensory marketing helps in engaging the senses of your audience to inspire the right memory and drive sales.
Blend Emotion with Marketing Sense
One of the most powerful forces of human nature is perhaps emotion. You must make an emotional appeal if you want customers to believe in your brand. By evoking feelings in a person, you can win their attention successfully.
Today, consumers wish to build personal connections with the brands they shop from and develop meaningful relationships with them over time. The most successful marketing campaigns establish a connection with people on matters of importance – their pain points, values, and personal feelings.
The goal behind blending emotion with marketing sense is to convince the viewer to complete an action, whether it is to sign up for the subscription list, buy a product, join the community, fill out a form and so on. Generally, emotional marketing efforts focus on one specific emotion. The emotion can be positive, like pride, excitement, joy, or anticipation. In some campaigns, it can also be anger, fear, or envy.
Use Smell to Your Advantage
The smell is a powerful sense. It is connected to the limbic system responsible for regulating emotions and memories in people. That’s why it has the most memory recall. Some smells transport you back in time to your childhood with vivid memories or a specific moment of your life.
Brands must appreciate the power of smell in a marketing strategy. Two ways to play on the sense of smell of your customers are by using a trademark fragrance in your stores and placing scented ads in major magazines.
You must have often sensed a distinct signature scent in a retail store or a fresh-baked aroma at the local supermarket. Stores fill their stores with this smell purposely to connect consumers with positive experiences and memories.
But, while tapping into the sense of smell, make sure that the scent is not overwhelming. A scent can prompt positive memories, but it can also repulse the audience.
Add Sound to Your Marketing Campaigns
People’s sense of sound is always active, even while sleeping. It is not possible to “turn off” the ability to hear. According to studies, people find music pleasing. It helps their body release dopamine, which inclines them to make a purchase.
Adding sound to your sensory marketing strategy is beneficial in building your brand and increasing its recall value. The use of sound has been popular across the various fields of marketing, from traditional jingles and ambient music to slogans and signature sounds.
Music impacts the mood and the perceived value of customers. Brands must choose music wisely. It reflects the brand’s values and determines the marketing message. Varying pitches, tones, tempos, and volumes can impact consumer perception.
The most common ways of adding sound to sensory marketing campaigns nowadays are through sound effects, voiceovers, audiobooks, podcasts, etc. Audio clips capture your audience through a storytelling moment.
Develop Marketing Senses for Touch
Touch is also an element of sensory marketing. It gives an essential amount of information to make an informed decision. Consumers fall in love with your product or service through hands-on experience. The powerful sense helps to generate a more interactive and connected experience for the consumer.
Brands mustn’t forget to leverage the power of touch. Invest in heavy, high-quality card stock for advertisements sent to the customers. Or, give your target audience a physical object to touch and feel. The experience will create muscle memory, capable of engaging the customer later when they feel or touch a similar product.
For instance, before buying clothes, customers will want to touch the fabric to determine its softness, quality, thickness, and so on. More often than not, they will want to try the clothes on. The opportunity to touch products allows your brand to attain more sales and give customers reassurance about your products.
Implement Sense Marketing with Eye-Catching Design
Sight is one of the most developed senses to use in the world of advertising. Brands can easily engage consumers by making the most of this marketing sense. The sense of sight has a vital role to play in key retail moments, like influencing the customer to enter the shop. Moreover, it is responsible for transmitting the brand’s values and image.
When engaging the sense of sight, brands must think through everything the customers will see. Remember to pay attention to not only what they’ll see but also how they’ll see it. A good aesthetic of advertising visuals can spark the creation of images in individuals.
Brands must consider two vital aspects while adding a sense of sight to their sensory marketing campaigns. The objective is to attain positive perception toward the brand. The elements to look into when choosing visuals include their positioning and orientation in space, the range of their movement, and their content, such as shape, color, and size.
Examples of Sensory Marketing
Sensory Branding by McDonald’s
McDonald’s uses visuals to appeal to its customers’ five senses. Each time it announces a new item on the menu, it releases commercials with extreme close-up shots and showcases the preparation of the food. Furthermore, it uses autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) worthy sounds and highlights food textures. The models’ actions create an impression of how the food smells and feels.
In just one view, the commercials create a perception in the consumers’ minds. They inspire cravings. McDonald’s jingle – “Ba-da-ba-ba-ba – I’m lovin’ it.” is also one of the most popular jingles of the modern day. Through the jingle, the brand has tapped into the sense of sound for its marketing campaigns in an effective, catchy, and recognizable way.
Sensory Branding by Visa
Visa recognized that sound influences purchase decisions and devised a sensory branding experience for its users at the end of every transaction. As part of the campaign, after a Visa cardholder completes a transaction using their card, they hear a distinct sound. The company spent a lot of time perfecting the sound.
The goal was to let customers relate to the sound and know that it indicates a secure and successful transaction. The sensory branding effort offers comfort and consistency to Visa cardholders. On hearing the Visa Checkout sound, a feeling of safety and trust is aroused in the consumers, thus associating that feeling with the brand.
Sensory Branding by Apple
Apple’s marketing strategy taps many senses in one go. For instance, all their stores are white, clean, and have a minimalistic approach. These aesthetics are indicative of a sleek, modern, and high-end tech company and creates a similar perception in the consumers’ minds. The packaging provides the same feeling with its look. Moreover, the brand allows customers to touch and feel every product by showcasing it at the stores.
Apart from sight and touch, Apple reaches out to its customers through sound. For example, when iPhone users go to lock their smartphones, the devices make an identical, identifiable, and memorable sound.
Sensory Branding by Mastercard
The goal of Mastercard’s sensory branding is to establish a new identity – the sonic identity – for credit card customers. After completing a transaction, consumers hear a sonic sound, symbolizing the interaction of the red and yellow circles in Mastercard’s logo.
Consumers hear the sonic sound when they shop with their Mastercards online, in stores, or when using voice search. This form of sensory marketing focuses on the consumer’s sense of hearing and prompts the emotions of consistency and security. Consumers are assured of successful transactions with the familiar sound. Moreover, as the sound is symbolic of the circles of the Mastercard logo intersecting with each other, the campaign also provides an imaginary visual experience to the customers.
Sensory Branding by Singapore Airlines
The marketers of Singapore Airlines target many senses with a focus on scent and sight through their sensory branding. The airline uses a subtle, refreshing, and unique scent (lavender, rose, and citrus) for its flight attendants, towels, and other elements offered throughout the journey. Customers are exposed to this kind of smell only when they fly with Singapore Airlines.
Furthermore, all flight attendants are wearing “The Singapore Girl” uniform. The uniform differs in colors and patterns based on the attendant’s designation. These aspects are unique to Singapore Airlines and give its flyers a high-end, consistent, and professional experience.
Sensory Branding by Rolls Royce
Rolls Royce’s Ghost Six Senses Concept was meant to stimulate all senses of the consumers. Its new car has special, bespoke features meant to evoke a response from taste, smell, sound, sight, and touch. The small details appeal to the eye, stimulating the visual sensories. There are special wheels on the outside, while the interiors have rich leather. The stereo touches the sense of sound by creating the environment of a symphony or Metallica concert.
The brand appeals to the sense of smell efficiently, with its cars having a special “new car” scent that appeals to many car enthusiasts.
Sensory Branding by Starbucks
Most customers can relate to the strong smell of fresh coffee at a Starbucks store. It is because each store grinds its unique coffee beans, which allow the smell to float around and hit customers as soon as they enter.
To evoke a reaction from the sense of smell, Starbucks keeps the aroma strong. The company knows that sending ground and packaged beans to the different stores will be more cost-effective. But doing so will cut the potent aroma. The coffee chain wants to give its customers a soothing, memorable, and consistent aroma and establish a brand image for its stores worldwide.
Sensory marketing has gained immense popularity among businesses and marketers. It can help you reach your target audience and customers in a way that no other form of marketing can. By stimulating at least one or more of the five senses of a consumer, you can boost loyalty and advocacy apart from increasing sales and revenue.
After you understand what sensory marketing is and how it can benefit your brand, you can widen your reach and connect with consumers at a different level. Companies can identify the sensory appeals they want to use to promote their products and choose a method of sensory branding accordingly.
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