Sensorial Marketing: Bring the Senses Into Your Brand Marketing

Posted on Apr 24, 2020
Sensorial Marketing: Bring the Senses Into Your Brand Marketing

What would happen if marketing was a way to connect with your audience on a more human level? 


Marketing can feel like a gratuitous, greedy, gross and salesy monster. Sensorial marketing, on the other hand, does away with said monster and instead replaces it with little whispers of magic–commonalities and values shared with your audiences via delicious and inspiring cues especially created to attract your ideal customer. 

The brilliance of sensorial marketing works in a few ways:


To inspire desire through the senses. 

The goal of using sensorial marketing is the same as any other marketing–to get your audience to want the thing or service you sell. But it goes about doing so in a different, revolutionary way: inviting current and potential customers to experience the things you show on your visual marketing, from the photos on your Instagram, to informational printed pieces or packaging. 


Think of the senses as your hook and line. 


For example, let’s say you sell silicone travel bowls (for pets and humans alike) and you need to inspire purchases through your website. Truly sensorial marketing images would be used throughout the site to set a scene, and invite the user in where they would: 

  • See: a scene where the bowls could be ideally used, like camping. Set the scene with a beautiful photograph/video.
  • Hear: this is especially for video, but say the camping scene was in the morning, at breakfast. You would hear birds, sounds in the environment.
  • Feel: this is where the quality of your photography comes into play, because you can’t make someone feel something unless you are physically there, right? Wrong. An exquisite photograph can do that. Feel the sunlight, the chill of the morning, you get it.
  • Smell: same as above, is there a steaming cup of coffee in the scene? Breakfast being prepared, morning air.
  • Taste: If your product is a bowl, then this is a big one. Whatever is in the bowl, has to look enticing or effectively used. A dog, happily anticipating breakfast, and a bowl full of delicious food.


Ultimately, sensorial marketing imagery and video take the whole scene into account to get the viewer to think, “Now that is something I could use for camping.”


Sunset camping scene. A woman and her dog by a picnic table, preparing dinner


Establish commonality/community of like-minded folks

We know what coffee, sunlight, breeze and salt water feel like to our senses. They are common experiences we share. Grab onto these experiences and find ways to attach them to your brand aesthetic to connect with folks who value or love those same experiences.


Show a steaming cup of coffee by a campfire and a glorious sunrise with a sleeping dog curled up in a tent and you know lovers of all those experiences will resonate with these things.


Sunrise camping scene. A man sits in the sun with two dogs laying on the floor by his side. He holds a cup of coffee in his hand.


Connect to your audience on a human level via the senses

Our five senses are a great gateway to connect. Think of who you want to attract. Through it all, ask yourself this: “How will my product/service make these experiences better for my people?”


To sell without selling, instead, try connecting and inspiring your audience and focus building a following that shares your brand values. If you go with my silicone bowl example from earlier, you probably value portability, something you can take anywhere, is easy to clean and use. These are all things that can come through in your visuals by showing the product in use, for example: neatly stored in your pack, a meal ready to eat and then showing it being washed.


Woman gives water to her dog via a blue water bottle with a dog bowl attachment.


Make someone say “I want/love how that feels/sounds/tastes/smells/looks”

By showing your audience deeply familiar scenes that are easy to relate to sensorially and that are not overly distant, staged, perfectly posed or fancy, you are then able to make an authentic connection and allow them to see themselves in your “scenes”. 


Afterall, this is about them and how you can help make their lives better.

A man walks with his old Husky dog along the beach.


To get started with your own sensorial marketing, ask yourself the following questions about your brand’s imagery:


  1. What do I want my audience to experience with my product/service?
  2. In these experiences, what senses can I clearly identify or imagine?
    (can you name at least 3?)
  3. Are these senses coming through in my current imagery?


How did you do? Is your imagery falling flat, or is it connecting? If you’d like to learn more or could use guidance on giving your branding a sensorial reboot, we can help.

YES! I want to learn more.👇

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