Why Your Marketing Should Appeal to the Senses

Does your business see customers as just numbers, or actual, real people?

It’s easy to forget the human when looking at numbers, statistics, and results. Across history, people communicated most effectively face to face, sharing interesting stories. Leveraging all the senses. When brands neglect this, they are more susceptible to failure. Even some of the biggest commercial brands we know are guilty of this – Toys R Us, House of Fraser, BHS. What these three brands have in common is their lack of connection to the customer, and thus all three have become out-dated and have been side-lined by more innovative companies such as Coca Cola, Virgin Holidays, and Lush.

Success is only achieved when our marketing mix appeals to the human senses: Sight, Smell, Touch, Hearing, and Taste. If you’ve ever walked into a Lush store, you will know that familiar smell that overwhelms the senses immediately. You may have also experienced their product testing that allows you to touch, smell and personally use the products for free. The brand has capitalised on this and opened an in-store spa in Birmingham; offering massages and facial treatments using their own products, available for the customer to purchase after their experience. An interactive experience that appeals to the senses is more likely to provoke a purchase. This technique is commonly referred to as sensory marketing. Simply put, it is marketing that influences consumers’ perception of brands by using multi-sensory experiences to establish positive emotional connections with them.

Another great example of this is when Marriott Hotels used a virtual reality headset to allow their customers experience being digitally transported to holiday destinations that Marriott had a presence in, and allowed them to see popular locations, as well as experience smells and sounds associated with the area. VR has the power to add a dimension to marketing that is essential – the visual – and take it to a new level where it can be more interactive and personalised.

Creating a multi-sensory brand experience is also relevant to B2B. Sight remains the most impactful form of marketing in the B2B world, but the other four senses provide opportunities for companies to stand out. Connecting to potential prospects using their senses can foster a feeling of trust, strengthening the relationship between customer and provider. Connecting to customers on an emotional level, even in B2B markets, increases advocacy, loyalty, engagement and brand awareness.

Remember the human behind the numbers, and tailor your brand experience to them.

We are part of a group company called Marlixia, and we have created a video about sensory marketing and remembering the human. How human is your brand?

About the Author

Emily Graham-Cumming

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