There is a fascinating and relatively new field of study in marketing called sensory marketing. Aradhna Krishna, a professor at the University of Michigan and the foremost authority on sensory marketing, defines sensory marketing as “marketing that engages the consumers’ senses and affects their perception, judgment and behavior (and suggests that) from a managerial perspective, sensory marketing can be used to create subconscious triggers that characterize consumer perceptions of abstract notions of the product (e.g., its sophistication or quality)”.
Take a minute to consider the power of “embodied cognition” (the role the environment plays on peoples’ cognitive processes). These unconscious processes are working in addition to our conscious processes. Studies over the past two decodes suggest the effects of external stimuli on our decision making process are strong. Consider a Dunkin Donut advertising campaign in South Korea where commuters riding the public bus were exposed to the Dunkin Donut jingle and at the same time, an atomizer spayed an aroma of fresh brewed Dunkin Donut coffee in the air. It was reported that visits to Dunkin Donut outlets near bus stops increased by 16% and sales at those outlets increased by 29%. Not bad, huh?
If you would like to learn more, check out this Harvard Business Review article, The Science of Sensory Marketing (https://hbr.org/2015/03/the-science-of-sensory-marketing), or pick up Aradhna Krishna’s book, Sensory Marketing: Research on the Sensuality of Products.