Vaibhav Rajput | MIB-Delhi School of Economics
Sensory marketing aims at creating an “experience” and forcing yourself to excogitate the experience resulted out of the product usage by catering to the five senses. According to Schmitt, brand experience comprises of:
• Product experience
• Look and feel
• Experiential communications
Hence, sensory marketing strategies can be devised under these heads. Product experience strategies highlight “usage experience” of products like “snap”, fragrances, color and consistency. Several product specific strategies can be employed to infuse necessary attributes.
Look and feel can be enhanced by creative design of logos, packaging, store ambience etc. In-store audio/videos, “feelie” packs, store architecture are among numerous strategies.
Experiential communications should highlight “Experiential selling point” through video/audio, captions, celebrities, color scheme.
The key is to establish a unifying theme consistent with product positioning and pervading all the individual strategies.
The five methods or strategies which are a part of the sensory marketing are:
1) The Visual
2) The Auditory
3) The Olfactory
4) The Gustative
5) The Tactile
The above strategies have been substantiated with examples from overseas market as well India.
The simplest and the most common form of marketing is Visual. Whether it is billboards or television, all that we see is visual but the point to emphasize here is of looking at something different which creates an impression and stays there in the mind of the customers. For example, the Filmfare magazine had John Abraham and Bipasha Basu on its cover page. Amul has always created innovative print ads so as to catch the eyeballs of the customer.
Logo, signage, packaging, the retailing store design, merchandising and website graphics are used to titillate customers’ senses.
The auditory marketing focuses on creating a special sound, music etc. which touches heart of the customer and also to enables him/her to imagine the attributes of the product. The two points are substantiated with the following Indian products/services employing the above strategy.
a) The Airtel music: AR Rahman has actually been showed creating the same in an Airtel Advertisement.
b) The Kaun Banega Crorepati music which is played before the show starts and during break time.
c) The recent advertisement of Sunfeast Snacky, featuring Sharukh Khan and Dia Mirza emphasizes on the sound of the crispness of the biscuit.
d) Scharffen Berger, America’s finest dark chocolate makers cater to chocolate connoisseurs and experts through extensive care in production process and multiple tests to check the “snap” (the sound when chocolate is broken or a piece is taken) of the chocolate. They are able to position their chocolate as “America’s finest” and extract price premium because of such subtle attributes that consumers appreciate.
It’s marketing through smell. It reminds you of the school time when the new notebooks and copies spread its fragrance all over the room. The concept is new and being used by the marketers at large, so as to leave an impression in the minds of the customers. The companies employing this strategy are:
a) Aroma can be attributed to, and differentiates different foods. HUL aggressively communicates the special aroma of its Bru coffee brand. Coffee lovers associate high quality and purity (made from pure coffee beans) with nice aroma. Another relevant example is “Arrey Hajoor…waah TAJ boliye” from the Taj Mahal Tea advertisement.
b) For quality-wise identical skin-care products, fragrance can be a great differentiator. Olfactory aspects of powders, sunscreen, fairness creams, moisturizing creams and body lotions, especially in case of “extract theme” products (like strawberry silk crème) speak about product ingredients and quality.However, the smell should not be too strong or repulsive to the consumer.
Marketing through taste: You might have heard about the wine tasting or tea tasting sessions. Most beverages use this strategy. In the advertisement of Taj Mahal Tea, Zakir Hussain first smells and then tastes the tea.
Marketing through touch: it’s all about the feeling which a person gets or about an experience which is derived from the touch of the product
Packaging offers a wide scope for strategizing marketing around it.
Texture of package can be tailored to reflect the feel of the product itself.
Shape and size of the package can impact product usage experience besides improving the look and feel. Tiny, mobile containers of Vaseline for use on the move are different from large containers of body lotions which are ideal for storage and usage at home.
At the end, it’s all about the time, technique, place that matters the most while employing this strategy.