Today, there are dozens of theories about how best to appeal to customers.
“Tell a story,” some say. “Use images,” others say.
But what if the answer was much simpler? What if the answer was simply to appeal to a few things that are as foundational and essential as it gets: the five senses?
As it turns out, great marketing really is that simple. It’s come to be known as “sensory marketing,” and it’s sweeping the digital world.
What Is Sensory Marketing?
Before we talk about sensory marketing, we should define sensory branding, which is a type of marketing that appeals to all senses.
Sensory marketing is the techniques that are used to reach your customer’s senses and influence their behavior based on how your brand and tactics make them feel.
As we know, the five senses are sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Sensory marketing is simply the process of winning a customer’s trust and attention by appealing to each of these five senses.
To no surprise, it has become popular among a variety of industries and businesses around the world to implement sensory marketing into their overall strategy.
Why Does Sensory Marketing Work?
Today, great marketing is all about the customer experience. This is as true for something like website design as it is something like product creation. If the user isn’t having a great time, none of it matters.
As you can imagine, sensory marketing ties into this concept quite nicely.
Because it’s all about enhancing customer experience, sensory marketing has become a go-to tactic for many multi-national brands. For example, Abercrombie & Fitch and Dunkin Donuts, both used sensory marketing to increase sales at one South Korea outlet by 29%.
Sensory marketing provides a complete experience. For this reason, it stands out as a uniquely interactive way to win audience attention. One of the biggest marketing mistakes a brand can make is catering only to a single sense at a time.
How to Appeal to Your Audiences’ Senses
While Dunkin’ Donuts may seem like an obvious candidate for sensory marketing, you might question your brand’s suitability for the process. Fortunately, this tactic is very well-suited to a variety of industries. Here’s how to apply it to yours:
Get Emotional with Them
Emotions are playing into marketing more today than they ever have before. If you want to make your customers believe in your brand, you’ve got to start by making an emotional appeal. Brands like Airbnb do this beautifully, with their “Belong Anywhere” campaign.
Think of it this way: the more deeply you can connect emotionally with your readers, the more likely they are to remember your brand. This, in turn, will give you the opportunity to appeal to their other senses, as well.
Play on the Sense of Smell
When Dunkin Donuts used sensory marketing in South Korea, it released a coffee smell into the air while playing a company jingle. Even if this sounds a little too extreme for your brand, there are still ways to play on your customers’ sense of smell. Two smart options include placing scented ads in major magazines or using a trademark fragrance in your stores.
Smell is a powerful sense, and tests have shown pleasant smells can improve mood by 40%. Find a way to incorporate scent into your brand and stick with it.
A note about using smell in your advertising, though: be sure that whatever scent you use is pleasant rather than overwhelming. While scent has the potential to create positive memories, it has the same potential to repulse your audience. Approached this sense with caution and intention.
Don’t Forget About Sound
Sound takes many forms in advertising. It can be State Farm’s “Like a good neighbor…” jingle or a slogan that you can’t get out of your head. Today, sensory advertising requires that all brands find a way to use sound in their branding efforts. If it sounds difficult, you can trust that there’s always a way to do it.
Consider lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret, for example, which plays Classical music in its stores to make customers feel like they’re part of an exclusive shopping experience.
Play Up Touch
Touch is a powerful sense, and it’s easy for most brands to capitalize on. There’s virtually always a way for your brand to take advantage of texture. This could mean using heavy, high-quality card stock for your mailed advertisements, or going the extra mile to ensure your products feel good in a customer’s hand.
No matter how you incorporate it, be sure that you’re not overlooking this essential sensory opportunity in your marketing.
Make It Beautiful
Sight is, of course, one of the most powerful senses in the world of advertising. Luckily, it’s also easy to make the most of. To play up the value of sight, make sure your company website is beautiful and appealing to customers, or hire a professional to design your social media or advertising graphics.
Color is a large component of sight, and brands like Coca-Cola and Virgin Airlines have found ways to use color to promote brand recognition for their products.
If you don’t already have a color scheme for your company, now is a great time to create one. Hire a professional web design company if you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own. Since color says so much about your brand, this is one marketing step that’s well worth investing in.
Sensory Marketing to Help Build Your Brand
Today, taking advantage of sensory marketing is one of the smartest ways for brands to trigger emotion and maintain engagement. What’s more, it’s available to brands in all industries and specialties. So regardless of whether you sell clothing or tech products, this is a tactic you can use to grow your brand.
Designed to place the importance of the customer experience at the forefront, sensory marketing is a powerful method for any company who wants to make its interactions with customers more meaningful and compelling. What’s more, it’s accessible and easy to use, and when you get it right, it has the potential to overhaul your marketing strategy.
To learn more about sensory marketing, or to start using it for your brand, contact the experts at Thrive Internet Marketing today.