You have a head, shoulders, knees, and toes, but the latest marketing trends with your eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. Consumers are seeking out experiences that pique and stimulate their senses for a variety of reasons, including relaxation, boosted efficacy, and simple enjoyment. Brands that are associated with strong sensations – thrills, speeds, color, taste – are most likely to win out. To adhere to this desire for sensory stimulation, marketers are increasingly seeking to stimulate the senses of touch, taste, and smell to deliver more memorable products, services and even advertising campaigns.


There is a science behind the rise in scent marketing. According to the Sense of Smell Institute, in New York the average human is able to recognize approximately 10,000 different odors and recall them with 65% accuracy after one year of exposure. By comparison, the visual recall of photographic images decreases by 50% after only three months. It seems that the most exciting opportunities lie in scent, particularly in terms of using scent as a marketing mechanism. Scent-as-brand-quality may just be the beginning. New technology is emerging that emits specific scents at certain times, depending on mood, environment, or time of day, suggesting the next frontier of scented marketing will be far more personal and customizable. We’ve even seen advertisers capitalize on the smell trend through aromatic billboards for baked potatoes.


Touch is another emerging powerhouse sense in the marketing realm. Have you ever bought a shirt simply for the way it felt on? You’re not alone, a recent study showed that people generally estimate clothing purchases by comfort level, simply by touching it with their hands. Additionally, more than half of consumers (56%) will only purchase sun protection products with cooling properties, according to Mintel’s Sun Protection US November 2013 report. In another recent study by the Harvard Business Review, people were asked to hold either a warm or cold therapeutic pad. Little did the participants know, the researchers were actually monitoring the effects of the warmth sensation in relation to unrelated purchasing decisions. Astonishingly people invested 43% more money after briefly holding the warm pad, this suggested that the tangible sensation of warmth led people to feel psychologically warmer, safer, and more trusting.

Bed Bath & Beyond enforces touch sensory by encouraging their costumers to feel the brands linens, curtains, and other home decor, enabling them to experience and build trust with the warmth and comfort of their products.


We’ve seen numerous examples of the food and drink industry spicing things up with new and interesting flavors. And consumers are loving it. Technomic’s Consumer Flavor Report stated that 53% of consumers say “new and unique flavors” drive their decisions on where to eat. Among chips, for example, we saw Lay’s make waves with its Do Us A Flavor campaign in countries around the world, after which Doritos added in an element of risk with its hot chip roulette bags in Canada.


As previously discussed, the sight sensory may not have quite as strong of a pull as smell, but it is still a huge asset for marketers globally. We all know the logo as a brand staple. And colors have an immense effect in your logo perception to the consumer. Certain brands are taking the sight concept to a whole new creative level. Spanish physicist Manuel Linares has developed an ice cream that changes color as you lick it. This sensation is a fun way for consumers to enjoy their favorite flavors and colors simultaneously, successfully incorporating the power of sight marketing. Innovations like this are created in hopes of engaging the consumer in new ways, using these unique experiences to draw them in.

The Takeaway:

Try out new product colors, designs, packaging and textures. Spice up your products with a unique and memorable sensory sensation.