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The Science of Sensory Marketing

The past year has seen a surge of interest in sensory marketing, and marketers are starting to take advantage of these types of stimuli. “ Such influences are subtle—and that’s exactly why they are so powerful. Consumers don’t perceive them as marketing messages and therefore don’t react with the usual resistance to ads and other promotions.”

The Harvard Business Review article cites a few industries where these techniques are already in practice. In foods, for example, “Hershey’s has long been aware that the tactile pleasure people get from unwrapping the foil around a Kiss transforms an ordinary piece of chocolate into a special experience.” More recently, Dunkin’ Donuts in South Korea discovered that playing the company jingle while releasing a coffee aroma on city buses increased store visits near bus stops.

According to researcher Aradhna Krishna at the University of Michigan, “In the past, communications with customers were essentially monologues—companies just talked at consumers. Then they evolved into dialogues, with customers providing feedback. Now they’re becoming multidimensional conversations, with products finding their own voices and consumers responding viscerally and subconsciously to them.”


An article in last month’s AdAge also tackled sensory marketing in the context of mobile.


Read the full HBR article.

For more on this topic, check out the Marketing Tab in Morning Coffee .

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