Marketing through five senses: On the use of sensory marketing in marketing communications


Marketing through five senses: On the use of sensory marketing in marketing communications

Sensory marketing is based on one or more human senses. Sensory marketing deliberately links several sensory sensations. Sensory marketing makes a use of scents, sounds, tastes, or tactile stimuli. According to the main sensory perception, we sometimes talk separately about visual marketing (targeting primarily respondent’s sight), scent or aroma of marketing (targeting one’s nose), haptic or tactile marketing (touch) or auditory marketing (acting on hearing). A special label for marketing communications focusing on consumer’s taste buds has not yet emerged. Traditional means of communication use in particular the visual and auditory aspects of the communication.
Haptic (tactile) response is, however, an increasingly important element in the work of designers and product packaging. Haptic and tactile perceptions are considered to be essential for equipping leisure facilities such as theaters, cinemas, hotels or restaurants. Likewise, touch elements are taken into account for interior design of new cars or design of sales points.
Haptic response, for example, has become one of the key features for newly launched smartphones. Some phone brands bring up an additional user menu based on the intensity of one’s display touch. The evaluation of the frame and the touchscreen of the phones has become one of the routinely evaluated parameters reported by product reviews. The Android operating system, for instance, enables programming the device’s haptic response when playing commercials, such as for the Stolichnaya Vodka brand in its 2015 campaign. Playing the commercial on one’s phone screen was accompanied by phone’s shaking as a lady was preparing a drink in the shaker. Haptic mobile ads have been popular among advertisers ever since. Likewise, in 2018, the Porsche brand at the Las Vegas fair introduced a new kind of car configurator that delivers tactile perception to customers when choosing options for their new car.
Before Christmas in 2016, the Carlsberg Brewery illuminated an 8-meter tall Christmas tree in London’s South Bank. The tree was decorated with hops. Visitors could pour themselves a beer at the heel of the tree, and the first hundred visitors were presented with a hand-blown Christmas glass. The Christmas tree was the culmination of a sensory campaign launched earlier that year: a beer billboard at London’s Bricks Lane featured the slogan “Probably the best beer poster in the world” and allowed customers to make their own beer. Customers have instantly experienced the taste of Carlsberg, which is the ultimate essence of beer culture. Another way of presenting a business or a product are business cards. Today’s invitations can also be obtained in edible form. Crispy biscuits, chocolate candy, dried slices or laser-cut peanut shells may be a suitable form of sensory marketing for companies with a direct or indirect relationship to a specific edible product.
Sensory marketing deals with human aroma sensations. Research studies found that casino players spent 45 percent more time if the floral fragrance had been present in the venue. Four hundred shoppers at a selected Nike store rated the store and products better, and were more likely to come back to shop again when a pleasant smell was present in the store. The smell of freshly cut grass scattered in the hobby market meant that customers rated the store better in terms of staff knowledge and skills as well as believing that products on display were eco-friendly. Another smelly example is the Dunkin Donuts fast-food chain campaign in South Korea in 2012. Selected public transport stops in Seoul, each time the Dunkin Donuts jingle was played, sprayed the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the air. The campaign was extremely successful and coffee sales grew in stores nearby by 30%.
Retail chains commonly use sensory marketing to create an appropriate shopping atmosphere. Fast fashion chains such as Forever 21 or Abercrombie & Fitch make shoppers enjoy fast clubbing music. Music helps to target younger clients, as older customers are more sensitive to the genre and loudness. Speedy and fast music is also a powerful stimulant for buyers. It is known that over-stimulated customers are more likely to make impulsive purchases.
Sensory marketing is nothing new. Nevertheless, the conscious utilization of human senses beyond eyesight and hearing in marketing communications may be explored at greater wavelength. Whereas the speed of light is much higher than the speed of sound (or transfer of taste or olfactory experiences), more personal experiences are likely to leave a greater and longer lasting impressions with consumers.


Marketing pěti smysly: O využití senzorického marketingu v marketingové komunikaci

Marketingová komunikace tradičně využívá smyslového vnímání příjemců zejména pomocí vizuálních nebo sluchových impulzů. Senzorický marketing je zaměřen zvláště na rozšíření portfolia vnímaných vjemů o zapojení dalších lidských smyslů: chuti, čichu či hmatu. Využívání vícero smyslů najednou či rozšíření působení marketingové komunikace právě o méně obvyklé smyslové podněty napomáhá zapamatovatelnosti a tím účinnosti marketingové komunikace, zároveň napomáhá inzerentům v dosahování konkurenční výhody a je tak jedním z trendů třetího tisíciletí.

Kontakt na autorov/Address

doc. Ing. Pavel Štrach, Ph.D., Ph.D., ŠKODA AUTO Vysoká škola o.p.s., Katedra marketingu a managementu, Na Karmeli 1457, 293 01 Mladá Boleslav, Česká republika, e-mail: [email protected]