Sensory Marketing

Have you ever wondered why every Starbucks has the smell of freshly roasted coffee? They are playing with your sense of smell so you can make a purchase. This type of tactic is considered sensory marketing. 

Sensory marketing is when companies use tactics that appeal to the consumers’ senses to manipulate their behavior into making a purchase. The following are examples of how companies play with your senses. 


Sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses, in fact, it is shown that certain smells can improve your mood by 40%. When you go into a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop, it always has a fresh doughnut smell because they want to lure in customers to crave a doughnut, resulting in a purchase. Some baking shops even heat cinnamon and sugar to grab customer attention. 


Recognizable jingles or sounds are used to associate a brand or company. For example, the McDonald’s jingle is a recognizable sound. When someone hears the “I’m lovin’ it” they already know that it is McDonald’s. Also, when shopping, some luxury stores play classical music in order to make customers feel luxurious. 


Sight is when companies use colors to capture customers’ attention. For example, kids cereal boxes are bright in color to capture kids attention. Some fast food chains have bright colors to reveal urgency- “you need this now!”


Touch allows consumers to become intimate with the product before purchasing it. Have you ever questioned why retailers allow you to try on their clothes? If you like the way it feels and looks, then there is a higher likelihood that you will purchase it, as opposed to not being able to feel the fabric.


Taste is one of the most intimate senses because flavors differ from person to person. Food stores and food chains are known to use their sense of taste to lure customers. Companies such as Costco and Publix are known to give samples of their products to make customers aware of their product. 

Sometimes the most thriving companies are those that use a mixture of all senses. For example, Apple allows customers to fully experience their products by allowing them to touch, see, and learn about the brand. When you go into the store or into the Apple website you feel that it makes you feel luxurious and high tech. So, next time you go to your local Starbucks, pay attention to your surroundings. Take a look at how they are attempting to get your attention with sensory marketing.