Running a successful marketing campaigns takes more than understanding design principles, demand, and supply. Marketing psychology decodes some of the reasons people choose to buy a product instead of the other. Making a solid comeback we find sensory marketing – although it never truly disappeared, there is an increasing trend of companies applying these principles and recent research on the topic.

Sensory marketing is based on the notion of embodied cognition or the possibility people tend to choose products that stimulate their senses. Marketing campaigns using the five senses are most likely to attract and engage customers on a deeper level—they can be turned into advocates more easily.

Business structuring their brand around different iterations with smell, sight, sound, touch, and taste are capable of changing customer behavior, having a true impact on their clients’ lives.

Senses help to evoke stronger emotions and therefore intensify brand perception. It enables marketers to leave a long-lasting mark on the business they work in and make strong case studies out of campaigns.

Let’s take a look at how brands have been using sensory marketing and some of the takeaways.

Examples of Sensory Marketing

Scents and Visual marketing combined

The sense of smell is probably one of the strongest allies for branding. Smells sell products as Dunkin Donuts proved 7 years ago when spread smell of coffee on some of the buses in Seoul crossing close to the restaurant. They combined the aroma with a commercial playing on the background, just before the commuter stop close to the store. As a consequence, they increased their sales as much as 16%.

Scents alone remind people of certain sensations and memories. Dunkin Donuts knew they already had a well-recognized design brand and logo, so they complemented their Aroma billboard strategy with the classic advertising song. 

Adding flavor to your ads

How to compel people to buy something that is already popular? Have them to openly give their feedback and build together a new product. Lay’s contest featuring some crazy flavor such as the “Kettle Cooked Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese” is worldwide popular and basically asks people to imagine ingenious chips recipes. With a bit of luck, you can literally taste your dreamed Lays.

Enhancing Beer Taste

Did you know the music we hear while drinking in a pub has an effect on the beer taste? Curious right – Stella Artois knew this and created a multisensory dining experience partnering with bands and using research papers from the University of Oxford. As a final result, they came up with two songs for enhancing fruity and the other for bitter notes.

Experiences through Touch

Heineken wanted to lead potential customers to take a look at their built experience in Amsterdam. They created several bottles and put them randomly around the city – the bottle had a GPS system and a compass inside with a red light for the holder to follow. As they walk, the cap rotates and indicates with the light where the direction is. The bottle holder ends up walking in their former Brewery.