Consumers are being bombarded with the introduction of several thousand new brands per year. This leaves brands with fewer consumers paying attention. When price and quality are often the same, brands need to differentiate from competitors, brands need to be innovative in the way they connect to people as the average ad exposure per day in 2014 was 362 (Johnson, 2014). Hence generating positive in-store experiences can help make this differentiation even stronger. Brands need to break from the clutter and the solution might lay on creating branding experiences that rely on appealing to all five senses. SM provides a tool for marketers to successfully differentiate their brand.
SM offers brands the possibility to express through different senses so they can create an emotional connection with customers and therefore increase sales “By going beyond the traditional marketing media of sight and (sometimes) sound, brands can establish a stronger and longer-lasting emotional connection with consumers” (4imprint, 2009).
Brands like Kellogg’s, Pringle’s and Toblerone use the SM model. The crunch of the Kellogg’s cornflake was developed in sound labs. With this strategy, they integrated four senses into its product: taste, touch, sight and sound. The company Toblerone has a particular shape that distinguishes its candy bar. Pringles also use SM model to stand out from its competitors by choosing a different packaging alternative. (4imprint, 2009).
Another way retailers, especially in the food industry, use sensory techniques is by food tastes. A UK supermarket wanted to increase their sausage sales so they made a food exhibition show and used fake aroma of sausages at the store entrance and people got involved as the smell was so good so then they followed the smell and tested the product. This strategy allowed the supermarket to increase their sausage sales. Brands are definitely investing time and financial resources to create sensorial experiences for customers, betting that these efforts pay off as customers will be persuaded to buy their products.
People tend to believe they are rational when they chose a product but studies have shown that this is far from the truth, the following figure shows where the preference for a brand comes from. With sensory marketing, brands will connect on a deeper level with customers and therefore they will appeal to buyer’s emotional side.
Figure 1: Brands, where preference comes from.
So just by tweaking your strategy a little bit and adding SM as part of it, you can help your business boost those sales. Think about, is pretty simple, play with the lighting of your store, add some music that you think your target audience might listen, and if you want to take it up a notch, spread a scent that invites people to come in. After all, we are all humans and we are moved primarily by our emotions.
Figure 1. Source: Simon Harrop YouTube Channel, Secrets of branding revelled.