Sensory Marketing: What makes it different? [Part 1]

28 de March de 2023

Have you ever walked into a store and felt transported to another place thanks to the smell that permeated the atmosphere? This is part of a pre-planned strategy. Sensory marketing uses the senses to create unique and memorable experiences throughout the customer journey.

In this article we will explain what sensory marketing is and how it can be introduced into the marketing strategy.

Sensory marketing: What is it?

Sensory marketing refers to the branch of marketing that focuses on the search for emotional reactions in consumers by provoking stimuli in one of their 5 senses: smell, taste, hearing, sight and touch. It seeks to create a sensory experience that associates positive values with the brand.

It has gained great importance in recent years, since it is the best way to connect the brand with the customer’s lifestyle. Thus, it creates value to the environment by appealing to feelings and achieves an emotional engagement with the consumer to remain in their memory.

What does sensory marketing provide that other strategies do not?

Implementing sensory actions in the marketing strategy brings great benefits such as:

  • Increased sales: The use of sensory actions boosts the desire to buy among customers. For example, Dr. LookLab analyzed if they increased sales by adding a scent vaporizer in their stores. Indeed, customers said that they perceived the olfactory stimulus as pleasant, increasing sales by 29% compared to the previous weekend.
  • Creating an emotional bond: Instead of creating rational arguments to capture the customer’s attention, the aim is to create an experience that appeals to emotions and positive feelings associated with the brand.
  • Strong brand identity: The sensations allow the brand to have its own identity and stand out from the competition. For example, Mercadona’s jingle or Coca-Cola’s color.
  • Unique experience: Creating positive and memorable experiences adds value to the differentiation among other brands.

Not everything is positive… What are the disadvantages of sensory marketing?

As with any strategy, there are advantages and disadvantages. Below, we will explain some of the obstacles that a brand may encounter when implementing sensory marketing in its business strategy.

  • Many sensory actions at the point of sale require physical spaces to achieve interaction with consumers. This can be seen as a disadvantage if the brand only has an online presence.
  • Once a sensory campaign is launched, it is very common to copy that format or idea in other businesses. As a brand there is no control over that.
  • A small percentage of the population suffers from a sensory disorder, deficit or disability. This can leave some people unhappy if they are impacted by a campaign based on a single sense.
  • If the customer understands the message launched by the brand in a different way, it can lead to an error in the understanding of the message.

How many types of sensory marketing are there?

We will now explain the 5 strategies on which a brand can rely when implementing this type of sensory actions.

Taste marketing

Taste is the most complex sense of all, since it requires the other senses to fulfill its function. This is because when it is put in the mouth, the texture of what is ingested can be appreciated, the smell it produces or the color of the food can affect the consumer’s taste experience. In fact, taste is related to emotional states, which can contribute to changes in people’s attitudes.

This sense is one of the most demanded in the food and hospitality industry. Through these actions they manage to attract the attention of customers by offering products that contain recognizable flavors.

Olfactory marketing

Did you know that human beings remember 35% of what they smell and are capable of distinguishing more than a trillion olfactory stimuli? It is considered one of the most sensitive and emotional senses, capable of relating a specific situation with a smell.

Therefore, stimulation through smell can completely change a customer’s experience, creating buying impulses thanks to the feeling of comfort they experience. Getting a person to associate a positive smell with the brand increases the presence of the memory in the consumer’s mind.

Auditory marketing

This is the second most used sense after sight. Through audio, emotions or feelings can be aroused that influence consumers’ relationship with brands.

Music is one of the key elements for the creation of the image in the consumer’s mind. The rhythm, the lyrics or the tone with which the melody is played is crucial to get the customer to respond as the brand wishes. For example, in a massage establishment they will play slow melodies, without lyrics and that lead to total relaxation.

Tactile marketing

The sense of touch is the one that allows to control the consumer’s unconsciousness and perceptions. Consumers will be more likely to finalize the purchase of the product once they can see and touch it.

With the increase in online sales, the brand will have to pay special attention to all the elements that the consumer comes into contact with, from tertiary packaging, security padding to primary packaging. All of them will convey different sensations depending on the state in which it arrives.

For example, a bank will use this strategy to offer strong credit cards and if a brand is sustainable they will use recycled materials or materials that do not negatively impact the environment.

Visual marketing

Who hasn’t recognized a Coca-Cola product without seeing the brand name? It has managed to make such a strong impact on the consumer’s mind that the logo is not necessary to identify it.

Sight is one of the most evolved senses, providing 80% of the information received from the environment. This sense is the most exploited at the point of sale in all sectors, since it offers infinite options to address the public. It is the first contact that the customer has with the brand in most cases. The light and colors of the establishment, the signs visible from the outside or the main color of the brand are elements that have an impact on the consumer and can become differentiators compared to others.

Therefore, it is vital to have an establishment that conveys the right message. Depending on the business, there are elements that may vary, but all of them must generate positive sensations to the consumer. For example, a jewelry store is not the same as a car repair shop, both must transmit positive sensations, although each of them will do it in a different way.

All these actions that are implemented in the sensory marketing strategy seek to establish new links with the potential public through the senses. Thus, brands awaken emotions more strongly than the rational part in the final decision to buy a product or service.

Don’t miss our next article!

In which we will explain some aspects to take into account before creating a sensory marketing plan. We will also talk about successful cases when implementing this type of sensory actions, you will be surprised by the creativity of some brands!

We look forward to seeing you in the next article, but if you want to contact us at any time you can find us here