Branding in the air : A study about the impact of sensory marketing
Background: Previously, marketing has focused on audiovisual stimulus but as a result from the information overload of the modern society, companies find it harder to differentiate from the competitors through the traditional marketing channels. Consumers of today tend to take functional attributes for granted and seek for an emotional involvement in the purchasing process. Sensory marketing aims at strengthening the relationship between a brand and its consumers on a deeper level through the involvement of the human senses; sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Since the phenomenon is relatively new, the amount of studies concerning the eventual benefits on brand perception is limited.
Purpose: This study investigates how sensory branding can influence the perception of a brand for the consumer.
Method: The use of sensory branding was explored by conducting interviews with specialists within the field. The main basis for this research was an experiment, where the effect of using an ambient scent in the branding process was tested in order to investigate and analyze its effect on brand perception.
Conclusion: Sensory marketing changes brand perception positively when the stimulus is congruent with the other brand elements. It can thus be seen as a suitable tool for reinforcing the value of a brand. A congruent stimulus influences the consumer on an unconscious level and can affect preference positively hence triggering impulse buying behavior.Adding a sensory dimension to the marketing strategy can strengthen the brand equity implying a stronger bond between the brand and the consumer. However,the authors argue that a strong brand platform is required to benefit ultimately from an investment in sensory branding. The use of sensory branding is growing rapidly and it is predicted to be the future of strategic branding.
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