Life is a sensory experience. Our perspective of the world around us is shaped by our senses of touch, smell, sound, scent, and sight. It’s no surprise that senses were eventually incorporated into marketing technologies that previously relied primarily on words and visuals.

Understanding and leveraging sensory triggers can be quite beneficial in generating interest and trust. This realization has led to the emergence of sensory marketing, an innovative approach that harnesses the power of our senses to make a long-lasting impression on prospects and customers. In this article, we’ll answer the question ‘What is sensory marketing’, explore the role of five senses in modern ads campaigns, provide some interesting sensory marketing examples and figure out how businesses can effectively incorporate sensory marketing techniques into their advertising and marketing strategies.

What is and How to Use Sensory Marketing?

Sensory marketing definition is straightforward: this approach refers to the strategic use of senses for creating a positive brand impression. Businesses can attract customers’ attention and build closer connections with them by appealing to their senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. This strategy entails using unique marketing tools that activate sensory stimuli to create a lasting impression. The sensory appeal definition is quite similar: is quite similar: in marketing context it refers to the impact on the senses of consumers to reach marketing goals.

How to Use Sensory Marketing?

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Appealing to the Five Senses

Human decision-making process is complex, and it is influenced by more than just our visual sense. That is why, the sensory aspect of a brand’s identity, in addition to pricing and services, plays a significant role in establishing the brand’s personality and influencing prospects’ decisions. Experienced marketers often leverage sensory appeals to craft compelling campaigns that resonate with the target audience, whether they work on marketing campaigns for small businesses or elaborate strategies for world-class brands.

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Sensory Marketing with Sight

Visual marketing existed long before the term ‘marketing’ was invented. Posters were used to promote goods and services at markets in ancient Egypt. Advertising has developed over time, yet visual appeal remains a powerful tool for brands. Visual sensory marketing includes color schemes, images, text, graphics, and videos.

  • Colors: different color schemes elicit different emotions and feelings, so brands can build distinct identities that resonate with their target audience.
  • Images: including images of people in advertisements taps into the human interest we have in others (that explains the popularity of social media as well) and encourages customers to try products or services.
  • Text: creatively crafted ads copy is a powerful tool to deliver your key message, capture attention and influence your audiences through headlines, slogans, and advertising copy.
  • Video: with the rise of web-based video, moving pictures have become a popular tool for visual marketing, showcasing products and their benefits.
  •  Light: lighting has a tremendous impact on a brand’s atmosphere, with mood lighting, for example, altering the customer experience in retail stores.

Sensory Marketing with Sounds

With the rise of radio shows in the 1920s, auditory marketing became trendy. To engage listeners and sell products or services, voice-overs, sound effects, thematic music, and jingles have all been employed.

  • Voice Overs: Voice-overs describe items and services to persuade listeners to action by delivering scripted advertising.
  • Sound Effects: Ad sound effects, like movie soundtracks, increase drama and represent a brand’s identity.
  • Thematic Music: Background music in advertising enhances the meaning and atmosphere of the sights and words, adding to the whole experience.

Sensory Marketing with Scent

Scent marketing is less common than other sense appeal advertising techniques, because of the necessity of physical interaction with the prospect. However, scent marketing has the most profound effect on the human brain, triggering memories and emotions. An example of scent marketing adoption can be found in some upmarket hotels that use this technique to enhance guests’ experience and create a memorable atmosphere. For example, a luxury hotel might infuse its lobby and common areas with a signature scent that represents the brand’s identity and evokes feelings of comfort and relaxation.

Sensory Marketing with Touch

Touch might not seem like an obvious marketing strategy, but it is critical for certain items that require hands-on experience before purchasing. Consider Ikea: the brand’s marketers even urge prospects to sleep on beds in the store to evaluate mattress comfort. Many furniture stores have taken the same approach: they allow customers to physically interact with their products to experience the quality. A less obvious example is printed catalogs and brochures, which leave a physical effect on customers after their visits.

Sensory Marketing with Taste

Taste marketing appeals to the biological desires to eat and drink. Samples, new flavors, and flavor variations all help to appeal to clients’ tastes. Providing food and beverage samples in supermarkets and retailers helps customers understand products better. Introducing new flavors within an existing product category attracts new audiences and broadens the brand’s appeal.

Combining the Senses for Innovation

Using sensory marketing allows businesses to create more appealing and memorable customer experiences. Brands can establish deeper relationships, differentiate themselves, and leave a lasting impression on their target audience by appealing to multiple senses. It’s a big mistake to think that sensory marketing is good only for certain industries, like retail, beauty industry or travel. With a creative approach you can easily implement sensory marketing elements into marketing for a healthcare firm or legal advisory office. Be brave to experiment, listen to your customers’ feedback, track and analyze results: such an approach will take your marketing efforts to a different level.

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