Part 3 of 3: THE POWER
Jenna Worrell, Marketing Manager
Product and Vertical Marketing
In this three-part series, we first defined sensory marketing and then looked back at how all five senses have been used in advertising and marketing over the years. Sensory marketing strives to tap into a consumer’s emotional impulses, instead of their rational reasoning. In this post, we’ll conclude our series with several examples of how today’s major brands use sensory marketing to achieve success and build loyalty.
From simple to complex
You might not consider a Hershey’s Kiss to be an example of sensory marketing, but it is. Removing the crinkly foil wrapper is an experience that involves sight, sound and touch, which turns eating a small piece of chocolate into a much more luxurious experience.
Olay Regenerist facial products are designed to generate heat when applied, but heat is not relative to the product’s functionality. The thermal sensation is a sensory cue so the user believes the product is working.
Can you recall the scratching sound a Sharpie marker makes or the rubbery feel of a Rubbermaid container? How about the music you hear and the smell of fresh-baked cookies at the Magic House at Epcot in Walt Disney World in Florida? These are sensory signatures that help improve brand recall and reinforce positive consumer experiences.
How five brands use sensory marketing
- Apple: In Apple stores, consumers get a complete, immersive experience by being able to see and touch expensive products while they learn about them from knowledgeable employees. That approach has helped make Apple one of the most valuable brands in the world.
- Starbucks: A pioneer in this sensory marketing tactic, Starbucks engages consumers’ sense of taste, sight, touch and hearing. Consistency among flavors, aromas and visuals is critical to their success. The corporate office even supplies the music selections that are played across all locations worldwide.
- Singapore Airlines: To enhance travelers’ experiences on long flights, Singapore Airlines created a patented aroma called “Stefan Florida Waters.” The signature scent is used on hot towels and in flight attendants’ perfume so it permeates the entire plane.
- Dunkin’ Donuts: Commuter buses in Seoul, South Korea were outfitted with devices that released the aroma of fresh coffee whenever a Dunkin’ Donuts’ commercial jingle played on the radio. This campaign increased visits to locations near bus stops by 16 percent and sales at those outlets by 29 percent.
- Abercrombie & Fitch: Although Abercrombie & Fitch stores have been the subject of controversy, they are designed from a multisensory perspective to get consumers to buy products. By displaying aspirational images of attractive people, infusing their stores with masculine fragrances and playing loud club music, this retailer wants their target shopper to make impulsive purchases.
Feeling inspired to incorporate sensory marketing into your plans? Be sure to consider these techniques right from the start for maximum impact and results, whether that means product development, store design or retail merchandising.