Marketing to Engage the Senses

As consumers we have become highly skilled at tuning out all of the advertising that surrounds us.  Successful marketing is now about creating an experience with a customer, a bond that goes beyond traditional advertising and branding.

Sensory branding reaches out to the senses to create the emotional connection we all long to create for our companies.  This approach engages customers by focusing on human senses and emotions.  It goes beyond the normal marketing message to create a new identity for your product.  We have all experienced these feelings.  A smell can bring back happy memories long forgotten and create new ones.  The feel of today's incredibly soft fabrics makes a person want to wrap a blanket around them and feel comforted.  The sound of our favorite song. 

“The consumer is faced with a multitude of stimuli involving the five senses.  Sensory branding is the art of finding a way to better control the perception of these stimuli.  The more points of sensory contact there are, the more memorable traces a brand leaves behind.” – Body and Giboreau of the European Sensory Network

Sight, Sound, Taste, Smell, Touch

Connecting your product or service to as many of these senses as possible creates the strongest brand.  So how do you do this when your company is based around a service you offer or a product that you don’t feel lends itself to an emotional bond through the sense?  If you are a box company?  A garbage service?  An accounting firm? You sell copiers?

Promotional products – those items that surround us with company logos and messages - can reach all the senses.  They are advertising that customers say “thank you” for.  Our customers use them and remember you. 

Here is why they work – they create that experience for you with higher recall, number of impressions, purchase behavior, repeat business, referrals and good will than any other form of advertising.  With over one million products to choose from (seriously), there are so many ways to make an impression, gain a new customer or thank an old one, reward an employee, make your company memorable.

Sight: These products surround us at the office, our home, our car.  They are products we reach for and use every day.  Some are actually pieces of art like a fine award, a beautiful pen with your name on it or as simple as a water bottle with an uplifting message or fun artwork.

Sounds: Speakers and ear buds are some of the hottest products these days.  And there are many great attention getters to create fun and attract attention at trade shows to draw customers in.

Taste: The gift of chocolate, nuts, popcorn and so much more bring pleasure to your clients.  Even wine, champagne and Canadian maple syrup can be branded with your logo. 

Smell: The smell of a great cup of coffee in a branded coffee mug, or a set of essential oils, a beautiful scented candle all connect people to your brand.

Touch: Promotional products are items you touch and use every day.  There are so many items that are ergonomically designed to fit well in your hands and help you work better.  Stress balls that have a unique texture that draw you to them every time you are talking on the phone.  And of course the great strides that have been made in amazing fabrics.

These products do not have to scream your logo to be effective.  Combined with pleasing graphics, motivational words and your logo subtly displayed can make a powerful impression with a product that your customer will keep and enjoy using. 

People do business with people they like and trust.  By creating an experience that touches one or all of their senses, a bond is created that reaches beyond the clatter of a noisy world.

Several research products have been conducted to measure the effectiveness of promotional products.  You can find a collection of them at this link -