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The modern consumer faces a marketplace jammed with hundreds and thousands of products.

Companies bombard the buyer from every angle in an effort to stand out, capture market
share, and establish brand loyalty.
Efforts range from the traditional to the viral to the outrageous.
Companies have tried to promote their products in market through numerous different
marketing methods such as Cloud Marketing, Content Marketing, Cross-media marketing,
Digital Marketing, Guerrilla marketing, Marketing Communications and Sensory Marketing
etc.

The most striking and rarely used marketing strategy out of the ones mentioned above is
Sensory Marketing. On hearing the word Sensory, the readers can easily grasp that it is
somewhere related to senses. But what actually is interesting, is how marketers use this
methodology to attract customers. This word must have created a lot of inquisitiveness among
the readers and hence we will discuss in depth about this strategy and its applications in the
current scenario.

The first question that pops up in a readers mind is What exactly is Sensory Marketing?
Appealing to the consumers multiple senses, including touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound,
can help establish a deep sense of brand loyalty that resonates long after the marketing
message has been sent. This is known as Sensory Marketing and increasingly, companies are
trying to engulf it as their marketing strategy.

According to us, the other probable questions that could arise are:
Is sensory marketing really effective?
Yes, sensory marketing strategies has successfully built better
relationships with customers, giving brands a better opportunity
to connect with them by using a particular sense.
It is interesting to see how this approach has successfully affected
the marketing of products in many ways.



The few classic examples which have created a strong impact are:
Apple is a perfect example of sensory marketing as its product, the iPod TOUCH evokes a
sense of touch and the consumer is more excited to own the product.
Making an invisible product visible, such as the Intel Pentium chip with its signature
sound.
For arousal, when artificial smells are sprayed in pizza and cookie stores, or when Adidas
and Reebok play loud and happening music to attract teenage customers.
Trial samples of perfumes or deodorants create sense of Smell as well as Touch.
Customers buying decision is highly influenced by touching the perfume bottle or
smelling the deodorant and then buying it.
Product demonstrations of makeup products such as Lakme, Maybelline etc. create a
sense of Touch. The customers can feel the effect of the products on their skin and hence
most of them end up buying it.

If sensory marketing is so effective then why was it not
emphasized in past?
People were overly focused on the visual aspects of products. They somehow ignored the
others. No one had thought consciously about sensory marketing. People were being impacted
by other senses then, but companies were not doing enough in terms of creating the brand, the
packaging, the advertising, etc. to really engage all the consumers senses.
But certain things were being done, just without conscious knowledge. For example, perfume
bottles have been elaborate for a long time, and peoples desire for the perfume was affected as
much by the bottle as by the perfume itself.
The Nirma soundtrack was one of the very rare cases of sound marketing which created an
impact on the customer. Other companies were just concentrating on the product and not on
creating an impact on buyers minds by appealing to their senses. Even now when you hear
Nirma, you get reminded of this song. That kind of recognition wasnt there before. People are
starting to engage the senses more consciously now.


How does Sensory Marketing function in external environment?
Culture plays a vital role in sensory perception, especially our sense of smell. Our likes and
dislikes of certain smells are dependent on what we were exposed to in our cultural setting.
Similarly, the smells associated with certain occasions and moods vary by culture as well.
Certain flowers may evoke associations of funerals in one culture, but happy celebrations in
other. Menthol is another example we can relate this article to. The smell of menthol is
considered fresh in the U.S., but in the U.K. its a medicinal smell. Marketers need to be aware
of those differences.
You make your product more sensorily engaging, you attract more people, and you keep them
loyal to your brand. Once a consumer gets attached to a particular sensory aspect of a product,
theyll be less likely to give it up.
The well recognized brands which have successfully evolved over a period of time using
sensory marketing as a tool are Starbucks and Singapore Airlines.
Some deeper insight into the human senses and their use in marketing:
Visual
Sight is the most used sense for marketing because it is the one most responsive to the
environment. We can appreciate logos, corporate colours, characters and other graphical tools
with which one can identify a specific product. Sight is how the customer knows the product
offering, quality, changes, store layout, materials, lights and colours. Shapes and colour are the
first aspects of a brand that is noticed by the customer.
Colour is a big influence on visual branding because it can affect people emotionally. The
colour of a brand logo improves brand recognition by 80% and 84% of people believe that
colour amounted to the major consideration when they choose a brand. Red is the highest
stimulation hue. It increases pulse and heart rate, raises blood pressure and stimulates appetite.
This can be used by sensory branding in restaurants to stimulate hunger or in bars etc.
Auditory
Sound is used in branding to evoke emotions and feelings to influence brand experiences and
interpretations. Perhaps the second most used variable by marketing and advertising is the
sense of hearing. Sound when matched with a message is a powerful way to make the
customer remember it. Background music is an effective way to influence customer behaviour
at the point of purchase. If used properly, music can create a mood for the consumer that
encourages them to buy, for example playing rock and roll music in a guitar store.
Olfactory
Smell is used in branding because it increases the customers' remembrance of the brand. The
human nose can distinguish over 10,000 different odours, besides being the most sensitive of
the senses; it has a tremendous evocative power of memories and experiences over the years
which can create instant connection of the brand with other memories.
Neuromarketing studies show that 75% of emotions are triggered by smell. Smell is linked to
pleasure and wellbeing, emotion and memory. Research by the Sense of Smell Institute
indicates that while people's visual recall of images sinks to approximately 50% after only
three months, they recall smells with a 65% accuracy after an entire year. Similarly, a study
carried out at the Rockefeller University shows that in the short term we remember just 1% of
what we touch, 2% of what we hear, 5% of what we see, 15% of what we taste and 35% of
what we smell.
Gustative
Taste fuses all the different senses together to create a holistic brand experience. Therefore
name, presentation, environment, scent, sound and texture must all be considered when
branding with taste. Taste is linked to emotional states, and so it can alter mood and brand
perception. Gustative marketing is usually used (for obvious reasons) especially for food and
beverage brands.
Tactile
Touch strengthens brand identity and image by appealing to this sense. Touch considers
physical and psychological interaction between the customer and the product. Touch is a way
to control the unconscious of the consumers, their perceptions, feelings and tastes. Touch can
be manipulated through materials, weight, softness, and comfort of the product.
In the future how can companies market their products
more Sensorily?
Companies should ask themselves, Which senses am I engaging with my marketing efforts?
Can it be done any differently? Can I somehow engage the customer through auditory sense?
They also have to look at every aspect of the product along with packaging and advertising
and then assess how it can be made more Sensorily engaging.
To establish emotional linkages to customers, a permanent presence is required in the brand
consciousness of the individual. This can be achieved in Sensory Marketing if all five human
senses are activated in getting closer to and deeper into customers mind and heart.