Ontag Marketing Digital

Sensory Marketing: a sensory-proof strategy

May 11, 2024

Sensory Marketing: a sensory-proof strategy

The world of marketing is constantly surprising us. It’s absolutely fascinating how we can take any subject, and if we add marketing strategies to it, we build a new sales weapon. And that’s how sensory marketing came about.

Did you know that this concept has been around since Ancient Rome?

Back then, the Romans already flavored their stores to attract customers. However, it was only a few decades ago that the term Sensory Marketing began to take on the form we know it today.
As its name suggests, Sensory Marketing is a sales strategy that seeks to stimulate the body’s five senses (touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing) with the aim of awakening the need and/or desire to purchase a product or service in the potential customer.
Through this approach, companies are able to differentiate themselves and improve a consumer’s experience. This also allows them to increase the perception of the value of their brand in their eyes.
When a potential customer begins to associate sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations or visual content with a brand, affective memory is activated. At the same time, curiosity is stimulated and any objections to purchase are reduced.

In a world with more and more competitors, it is urgent for companies to look for methods that make them stand out. A good quality-price ratio combined with a marketing strategy is essential for your business. And Sensory Marketing could be the answer to boosting your business.

But how can you use the senses in your business?

As with all the strategies we’ve shared with you, in order to apply a Sensory Marketing strategy to your business, it’s essential that you know your market, your audience and what your main competitors are doing. However, we’re going to leave you with some tips and suggestions so that you can apply this strategy to your reality:

– Vision: This is probably the sense that most brands work on the most. Whether it’s the unique design of your logo or product, vision is key to creating brand awareness. Before making a purchase, we all like to analyze the product in detail, so the visual elements are just as important as the quality of your product.

Think of brands like Coca-Cola or Apple. These are two of the most valuable brands of our time and will probably remain so for many decades to come. And both of them rely heavily on vision. If you were given an unlabeled bottle of Coca-Cola, your brain would automatically think of Coca-Cola. Even if it had another label from another brand, you would know who that bottle really belonged to.
Apple’s communication is so strong that nowhere on their products does it say “Apple”. You see the apple and you know which brand that product is.

That’s what they want to happen with their products, they want them to “scream” their brand, without having to say/write a single word.
In addition to very strong communication regarding your products and logo, another way to take advantage of this sense is in your physical store. The lighting in your space and the organization of your products are also ways you can make your brand recognizable. So try to have your own style in your store, and if you happen to have more than one, try to communicate in the same way in both.

– Taste: It’s not just me who thinks that one of life’s greatest pleasures is eating, right?!

For this reason, this sense is also worked on a lot, especially by brands linked to the food sector.
Their aim? That someone blindfolded who has tried their products before is able to recognize them, even without seeing their brand. Or even if the person is consciously eating something from another brand, but their experience of your business was so good that they automatically think of your products.

– Tact: This sense is based on the principle that your product is available to try, which will increase the possibility of impulse purchases. This strategy is fundamental in clothing stores. Allowing your customers to see the garments in person, touch the fabric and have the chance to try them on is fundamental and a very powerful strategy. Technology stores can also take advantage of this strategy, since having the chance to hold that cell phone I’m thinking of buying will make me want to buy it more, even if it’s on impulse. Because now I know how it feels to hold it.
– Hearing: The use of distinctive sounds in your store will manipulate the way the waiting time is perceived.

Did you know that hypermarkets also use this strategy? At busy times, they play faster music so that people can do their shopping more quickly, thus avoiding long waiting times at the checkouts. At quieter times, they play slower music so that people slow down and do their shopping to the rhythm of the music.

– Smell: I have to confess that this is my favorite sense when thinking about Sensory Marketing strategies. Not because it’s the most effective! Not at all! They’re all equally effective when applied well. It’s just that I find it absolutely fascinating how a smell can have such an influence on our experience in a store or when buying online.

Think about it, if you make a purchase online, and when you open it, the box smells nice, won’t that make you feel premium, special? As if the brand had chosen that scent just for you, even though you know it’s a scent they use in all their orders.
If, on the other hand, you go into a store and smell something you like, you’re much more likely to stay there and eventually buy something. What’s more, associating a smell with your brand will make it stand out even if it’s nowhere near.
However, this strategy requires you to choose a scent that is pleasant for a large number of people, which may not be an easy task.

This sense can and should, of course, also be applied to your business if it is linked to the food sector. At mealtimes you can choose to add a pleasant smell of food to attract customers.

At this stage, we’re convinced that we don’t need to tell you about all the benefits of applying Sensory Marketing to your business, but we’ll do it anyway … to convince the most skeptical:

1. It allows you to create a stronger bond with your consumer: having a quality product is essential, but providing your consumer with a differentiated experience allows you to develop an even stronger bond with them.
2. Encourages purchases: this strategy will encourage your customers to choose your store or service when they make purchases.
3. Develops your brand identity: allowing your customer to associate your brand through sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing will develop your brand identity.
4. Loyalty and delighting customers: with so many brands to choose from, it is increasingly crucial to make your customers loyal to your brand.

As you’ve already seen, Sensory Marketing is a sales strategy that, when applied well, is totally sensory-proof! Delighting your customers is a great way to encourage them to buy from you.
If you need help applying this strategy to your business, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Written by Inês Oliveira, digital marketer.

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