Sep 2019

When consumers chat about advertising in general, it’s only natural they relate the term to television commercials, video campaigns, social media posts, or billboards on the streets and in the malls. What is the one thing common between them? They are visual marketing activities that we as marketers bombard consumers with and as consumers, they are exposed to a minimum of 4,000 visual advertising messages every day. And so it’s impossible they remember every advertisement they have seen throughout the day making it a fierce competition for the sense of sight.

To stay ahead of the competition, marketers need to up their game and embrace multi-sensory marketing. Sensory marketing as we all know appeals to at least one or more human senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch and multi-sensory marketing is basically the same except that it appeals to at least two or more of the human senses at one time. They connect with consumers on a more personal and emotional level than the mass marketing methods that will last longer and prove more effective.

Branding expert Martin Lindstrom found in a study that while the brand impact is increased by 30% when more than one sense is engaged, it is increased tremendously by 70% when three or more senses come together to provide a brand experience. He also explains that visual branding is responsible for thoughts and actions while smell and taste that is linked to the network of nerves in the brain influences an individual’s memories and emotions which has a higher influence on their purchasing habits even more. Hence leveraging the emotions would attain top-of-mind in consumers’ minds to create an unforgettable brand experience.

Below are examples of some brands that have employed multi-sensory marketing:


Image result for starbucks luxury seatsSource: Inc

A global and well-known coffeehouse brand and a pioneer in adopting multi-sensory marketing, Starbucks aims to build brand advocacy through engaging with the customers’ five senses. They involve the customers’ senses in various ways that include its coffee aroma, luxury seating areas that encourage them to unwind, personalised orders to the customer’s liking amongst others. Being customer-centric, they create meaningful connections with their customers which makes them feel that they have a relationship with the brand beyond purchasing coffee creating a Starbucks experience for them worldwide which means they would not hesitate to go into a Starbucks store on the other side of the world.

Porsche, New York

The German automobile manufacturer that specialises in high-performance Sports Cars, Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and Sedans, Porsche promotes itself as a unique lifestyle choice and so 5 years ago, the brand opened its first-ever pop up in Manhattan, New York called “The Sound Of Porsche: Stories of the Brand” for three weeks. The idea behind this temporary pop-up music store was to connect with consumers on a more emotional level involving the sense of sound.

The space had three different concepts:

  1. The Sound Lab Virtual Drive Experience powered by Bose – Consumers experienced the iconic Porsche 911 through its melodies from urban drive to the mountain pass to Nurburgring which allowed them to recognise the car model through these sounds.
  2. The Media Stations – Carefully created and curated playlists by Porsche, this area was an experience center for consumers to see what was Porsche’s significance to celebrities like race car drivers or movie stars in the audio perspective.
  3. The Design Corner – Given a blank canvas, consumers expressed what the sound of Porsche meant to them through their creativity, uploading their designs to social media via the hashtag #soundofporsche. One lucky winner was given the opportunity to visit the Porsche Museum in Germany.

Harris Tweed Hebrides x Johnnie Walker 

Image result for Harris Tweed Hebrides x Johnnie Walker Source: Hypebeast

United Kingdom’s (UK) main producer of Harris Tweed fabric, Harris Tweed Hebrides collaborated with popular Scotch whisky brand, Johnnie Walker to create whisky-infused Harris Tweed fabric. The fabric has not only been designed to reflect the colours of the whisky ingredients but is also whisky-scented. While most scented clothing items do not last beyond one dry clean, this fabric has been created such that despite a dozen washes, the scent will not disappear. Using the sense of smell, both the brands aim to create a sense of brand recognition so that consumers are reminded of the Harris Tweed Hebrides brand when consuming the alcohol from Johnnie Walker brand and vice versa. Researchers have found that 75% of our feelings are influenced by our sense of smell, hence making it the most powerful sense linked to emotion.


The Apple Store 

Image result for apple store laptopsSource: Business Insider

The multinational technology company, Apple, stimulates the consumers’ sense of touch in its concept stores by setting their laptops at a 70-degree angle to tempt the consumers to touch and open it to their viewing angle. A Harvard Business Review article mentions that with the sense of touch comes a sense of control. When consumers are able to touch and handle high profile purchases like buying laptops, they are more likely to buy it because they know how they can control it beforehand.


City Gross, Sweden

While taste is one of the most difficult senses to cater to as this is very much on the individual preferences’, Swedish food retail chain, City Gross leveraged on the sense of taste for their marketing and branding instead of traditional tactics like coupons or discounts. They delivered grocery bags that contained samples of bread, beverages, sandwich spreads, and fruits to their customers’ houses which created a memorable connection with the consumers.


Have you noticed the trend in the examples above? Brands have used Multi-Sensory Marketing to place customers at the heart of their marketing strategy to resonate with their respective audiences and leverage emotional selling. So there you have it, whether you are a food retailer, clothes retailer, grocer or car manufacturer, you can leverage multi-sensory marketing as a tactic to better market your brand to the target audience.

Neelam Patel
Neelam Patel

Digital Strategy Associate Consultant, fearlessly getting things done 🔥

She is goal-driven 📈 and puts her heart 💞 into developing holistic digital strategies for clients 🤝

If not managing new clients, she can be found dancing 💃🏻 to the tunes of Bollywood music, learning the beautiful Spanish language 🇪🇸 or indulging in painting 🎨