What is Sensory Marketing?

Consumers are surrounded by marketing in their day-to-day lives. How do we reach our valued customers that have outsmarted traditional marketing methods? In the unique and dynamic field of marketing, we must be proactive and innovative – sensory marketing is the perfect alternative to traditional marketing.

What is sensory marketing?

Sensory marketing, also known as sensory branding, is a form of marketing that appeals to consumers through all five senses. Each sense is utilised to relate to consumers on an emotional level. Sensory marketing engages the consumer's senses and affects their perception, judgement and behaviour.

Why should marketers utilise sensory marketing?

New research on the concept of embodied cognition suggests that our bodily sensations help in decision making without our conscious awareness. By utilising sensory marketing, marketers have the opportunity to capitalise on this highly researched field. The perception of quality, price and enjoyment of a product can be manipulated by using sensory marketing techniques. The perception of a retail store, hotel, conference area and any other area can be manipulated by changing the framework in which customers experience the area through sensory marketing techniques.

How do you appeal to your customers through all 5 senses?

Each of the 5 senses plays a key role in creating an emotional association. The goal is to link your brand with as many senses as possible in an authentic way. Research shows that the most successful brands have more than three senses engaged.

Let’s focus on three traditionally ignored senses and how they influence customers behaviour:


A hands-on experience is the best way for consumers to fall in love with your product or service. The way your marketing material feels has a significant impact on the total perception of the brand. Think of sharp corners versus round corners on your business card. Smooth versus rough texture. Which one is most memorable? Which texture resonates with your brand?


One of the fastest growing trends in the sales and marketing industry is scent marketing. Internationally, many leading organisations have recognised the power of scent and are carefully selecting the right scent to be associated with their brand.

In the short term, after our sense of sight, the second most powerful sense is smell, whilst in the longer term, smell is the most powerful of all the senses. Scent has a better processing fluency, higher associative learning and association, and greater effect on mood compared to any other sensory input. People show a 65% accurate recall of scent after 1 year past exposure compared to 30% accurate recall after 3 months past exposure to a visual stimulus. Another study has shown that you are 100 times more likely to remember what you have smelled versus what you have heard or seen. In some studies scenting the environment in which the product is presented has increased purchase intent by up to 80%. Customers linger longer in scented areas, the feel better, they rate products as better, they rate customer service as better and even gamble more in scented areas.

Scent sparks recall of products, brands and experiences and improves customers’ overall experiences.


Businesses know the importance of carefully designing the way they look, but very few remember to design the way they sound.

Sound matters. It powerfully affects customer experience, attitudes and behaviour. It changes people’s moods, pace of movement and even brand affinity and product selection. If you haven’t designed every aspect of your brand’s sound, the chances are that sound is working against you.

Sonic logos are probably the easiest way to apply sound to your brand. Brands like Intel, Netflix and Apple are prime examples of companies that have linked sound to their brands. Sonic logos can be recognised and recalled in this utmost reduced form of articulation and so easily cuts through the marketing noise to impact the customer.

Sonic logos are a very cost-effective marketing tool and easily distributed through most brand “touchpoints”.

Sensory marketing has the ability to heighten and intensify perceptions of brands. As marketing experts, we have an excellent tool right at our fingertips. Once you understand how sensory marketing can benefit your brand, you have the aptitude to widen your reach and connect with consumers in a completely new context.

How will you use sensory marketing to engage consumers?

Contact Sensarama South Africa and find out what we can do to help create a sensory experience that will take your brand to new heights.

9 views0 comments