Appealing to Senses to Enhance Sales and Marketing
- Why do supermarkets have an in-store bakery?
- Why does scent trigger memories?
Every big supermarket has a bakery inside the store. A bakery is very expensive to operate, but doesn’t generate a lot of sales. Why do most supermarkets have one?
It is all about the pleasant aroma. The smell of fresh bread and cookies make shoppers hungry. Hungry shoppers fill their carts with more goods.
The Power of Sensory Marketing
At brick and mortar businesses, store designs and layouts are created to present customers with a sensory connection to available products. Restaurants waft aromas through the air to stimulate customers’ appetites. Retail products are available for people to handle and experience with all their senses. All the sensory experiences have a strong influence on customers’ decisions and judgments.
Neuromarketing offers many techniques that take advantage of our unconscious access to sensory experiences. Here are some examples of how this phenomenon works for 5 senses we all share:
- Vision – 50% of the Brain Is Involved in Seeing – A recent study shows that when a brand name is written in all lower-case letters, it appeals to female shoppers better.
Many household brands have been subtly changing their brand names to all lower-case letters. Examples include Pepsi, AT&T, Target, eBay, CitiBank and many more.Subtle visual cues can have a strong influence on customers’ decisions. Shoppers want a good look at items before deciding to buy. Successful online retailers like Amazon don’t just show a single view of products. Instead, they let visitors zoom in, view items from different angles, and even change images instantly to reflect color options customers select. The result is more sales. In a physical store, the lighting, colors and product displays should be designed to enhance the shopping experience. Give your shoppers the visual cues they need to make buying decisions.
- Smell – A Powerful Emotion and Memory Trigger – Our sense of smell is a powerful link to emotional and deep memory areas of the brain. Many stores have a consistent smell. Home Depot is known for the smell of freshly cut wood. Movie theaters smell like popcorn. Starbucks stores smell like freshly ground coffee. These scents all aim at creating a consistent, pleasant experience for the customers. Compared to other senses, scent has a much more direct access to the emotional and memory parts of the brain. A subtle scent can trigger emotions and memories.There’s no way to transmit scents over the internet. Images and words in content, however, can trigger the brain’s memories of scents. When content makes a reference to roses, lavender, or a summer breeze, it triggers the memory of that scent. Use this for emotional impact.
- Hearing – A Strong Unconscious Decision Influence – T-Mobile has its signature ringtone. That ringtone is in every TV commercial. Harley-Davidson tried to trademark its motorcycle’s engine idling noise. A memorable sound can imprint our brains with our associations with the brand, making it more memorable.A study showed that in a wine store, classical music made shoppers buy more expensive wines, compared to pop music. Sound can also influence our taste. It was reported that people find potato chips taste better with the crunch sound. Sound interacts with other senses to influence our decisions.
- Touch – A Pleasant Tactile Experience – Unwrapping a piece of Hershey’s Kiss chocolate is a unique, pleasurable experience. Apple designs its packaging down to a science. Unboxing a brand-new iPhone is quite an experience. It is a complete visual and tactile experience. You will be imprinted with Apple’s elegant design from the moment you start unboxing.Touch is an inseparable part of consumer experience. While it’s impossible to let internet shoppers physically handle products you sell, you can trigger the brain with words related to the sense of touch. In your descriptions, use emotionally evocative words that stimulate memories of experiences. For example, replace “smooth” with “silky” in a description of fabrics. For a face cream, “Luxuriously refreshing” lets the brain imagine its feel.
- Taste – How It Interacts with Other Senses – Taste doesn’t exist in a vacuum. What we see, what we smell, what we hear and what we touch can all influence how we taste. Pepsi introduced the colorless “Crystal Pepsi” in the 1990s. It flopped because consumers didn’t know what they were drinking without seeing the dark caramel color.Wine out of a $100 wine glass tastes better than the same wine out of a $5 wine glass. The Limbic System in our brains stores persistent memories associated with emotions and survival. Words and images can trigger recollection of memories of aromas and flavors. Those memories are powerful enough to make our mouths water. They can even evoke emotions like fear or disgust. An image of bacon sizzling in a pan or a description of strawberry shortcake recalls those flavors.
Neuromarketing Helps Stimulate Sense Memories
The examples above are just some of the ways the brain’s embedded memories and emotions can be triggered through sensory experiences. Since 95% of all consumer decisions are based on emotions and intuition, evoking positive memories and experiences of the senses can help businesses stimulate positive decisions by potential customers and clients. Advertisers have used many of these techniques for decades, on a trial and error basis. Neuroscience has learned how and why the brain makes buying decisions. Applying those brain-aware techniques can boost sales and conversion dramatically. We can help your marketing team understand how they apply to your unique business through cost-effective consultations. Contact us today to get started appealing to your customers’ senses.