How are the Five Senses Utilized in Marketing?

by Meher Tandon

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Marketing is an ever-evolving field of business. In the 60s, marketers only employed words and black & white visuals to sell their products. It was believed that customers used their rational thinking, associated with the left lobe of the brain while purchasing products. However, with the beginning of this new millennium, researchers found out that consumers are more inclined towards having an emotional connection with a product/brand rather than logical. Customers like to believe that they buy a commodity after weighing its pros and cons with reasonability. It is rather surprising to know that around 90% of our purchasing decisions take place within our subconscious mind. Putting these facts into use, marketers have brought forward a new era of advertising to life, which is known as Sensory Marketing.

Sensory Marketing involves triggering any or all our five human senses to iterate our emotions. Generally, this new technique stimulates more than two senses of a consumer, thereby making them more engaged with what’s being offered. In a world where most advertisements are only composed of visuals, a salesperson who uses this craft is bound to gain a competitive edge over his rivals. It is more compelling since it is very subtle and often goes unnoticed by the conscious mind of the consumers. One of the examples is the sense of touch accommodated in various mobile stores. The customers are free to use the mobile phones that are put on display. This gives them an interactive experience with the product and increases their chances of buying the phone.

Let us individually have a look at each sense and their utilization in marketing:

•  Sight: It has been discovered that 83% of our overall sensory experience is registered through our vision. Although, we only remember 5% of what we see with our eyes. Sight is still the most essentially used sensory faculty to date. Unlike the older times, today’s visual imageries have become very detailed. Incorporating design and aesthetics has made advertisements more pleasing to be looked upon. Moreover, various retail stores have been attractively designed to generate a unique and intriguing experience for the customers. Brand identity and image are so powerful that most of us clearly remember the logo and the characteristic colour of many leading brands.

•  Sound: Audibility is the only sensory experience which cannot be paused even while we are asleep. Auditory sensibility defines the ambience of any advertising commercial or even retail stores. Possibilities of a customer taking interest in any brand increase if they relate to the music that is being played in the background. Many retail stores target their audience with the kind of music that their listeners find soothing. Although we tend to remember only 2% of the sounds that we hear throughout the day, it is everybody’s experience that some catchy tunes get stuck in our brains. Advertisers try to use the same kind of melodies in their jingles, making their commercials more memorable.

•  Touch: The sense of touch in marketing is highly informative for the customers. They understand the article’s texture, weight, size, and feel. This activity generally has a positive impression on the users. A tactile experience with the product creates a personal involvement from the buyer’s side. For the same reason, people prefer buying footwear from retail stores rather than from online stores. Even the shape and form of product packaging is crafted very carefully, keeping in mind these miniature details. Most companies carry out public activities which comprise of giving a hands-on acquaintance with the product.

•  Smell: It is obvious that fragrance is perceived as pleasant by everyone. Therefore, marketers can target the complete audience with only a fine aroma. Out of all the sensory receptivity, the smell is found to be most associated with the human psychology. A good smell can make our mood positive very quickly. Our ability to remember is maximum in the case of smelling amongst all our senses. This fact is used by brands to attract customers in their retail stores. Recall any perfume store or café. They always tend to maintain a sweet odour, because of which people flock to these outlets.

•  Taste: It is not easy to utilize the sense of taste in marketing. The idea related to this sensation should be unusually good to lure customers into it. The sense of taste must be accompanied by other senses when incorporated in advertising. Many companies give a free sample of their edible products to the customer. This deed makes it more likely for them to purchase the edibles. This technique is not only useful for brands selling foodstuffs but is also applicable for other brands. Many retail stores have a box of candies placed on their counters. Kids are handed over a candy for them to form a mental association with the shopping experience.

Conclusion

The whole objective of Sensory Marketing is to affect the consumers’ emotional decisions and that too very delicately. In contrast with traditional advertising, sensory marketing aims at tapping the subconscious part of the brain. This way, the brands have a more lasting and memorable impression on the people. More the number of senses being engaged, more would be the attraction felt by the customer.