As a human capable of reading this blog, you should already understand the importance of the five senses to the human experience. However, have you considered their role in your business? Enter “sensory marketing.” This technique is a kind of total submersion approach to promoting your brand by appealing to all of the five senses when engaging consumers.
A great example of sensory marketing can be summed up with car shopping. The test drive itself lends itself to four senses right off the bat, especially if it’s a newer model. The shiny new paint, the lush feel of brand new upholstery, the sound of the engine, and of course, that new car smell all combine to create an experience that is unique to car buying. In fact, each of these aspects can be tailored to specific brands and models to more seasoned car aficionados. As far as incorporating the taste buds, it would be pretty simple for a car dealership to stick a Keurig in the middle of their sales floor to add a little coffee aroma to the already seductive smell of a brand new ride.
If you are not in the business of selling new and delicious-smelling cars, your experiential marketing may be more of a challenge, but with a little creativity, it is entirely possible. In fact, some of these ideas are ones that you probably never noticed from your childhood. Example: when you rode with your parents to the bank as a child, did they have lollipops? Did you get a piece of bubble gum after your shots at your annual check up? Both of these businesses found a way to incorporate taste into their marketing strategy so that customers would remember the pleasant experience for their taste buds and potentially apply that feeling toward the experience itself.
Packaging is another way that businesses have found to be creative and incorporate touch, sight, and even sound into an appealing brand experience. Take, for example, any refreshing drink in a can. The smooth, cool exterior immediately makes the consumer want to touch the can, just to see if it is in fact as cool and smooth as it appears. Once the can is in hand, the refreshing drink company knows that it’s only a matter of time before that irresistible tab on the top is popped, the sound of which is very satisfying in itself and is exclusive to canned beverages.
Appealing to your customers’ senses of smell is perhaps one of the more obvious marketing tactics, but undeniably important, especially when dealing with a food product. As Joey Tribbiani from Friends once proclaimed with regard to his meatball sub, “Half the taste is in the smell!” Jimmy Johns is one restaurant who has taken this theory very seriously and advertises “Free Smells” in their store windows. On the other hand, you don’t necessarily need to be a restaurant to engage with consumers’ sense of smell. Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch stores have yet to offer edible sustenance, but they know that if they spray their signature fragrance on all of their clothes, people will begin to recognize the scent and relate it back to their brand.
The bottom line with sensory marketing is solid customer engagement. If you make your customers feel as though all of their needs are being met with your brand, they’ll be much less likely to look elsewhere to fill in the gaps. As always, creativity is key. This is your chance to have fun with your customers!