The Fourth Dimension: When Customers Feel Your Product Articles in English / Customer Experience

What if you were listening to a beer or touching a movie?

Häagen Dazs arrived on the Chinese market with a product differenciation that was a frank success. They introduced exotic qualitative tastes like Belgium chocolate or Madagascar vanilla, that were not familiar for the Chinese. To the extent that now, Häagen Dazs ice creams are the reference for vanilla in China.But brands can go even beyond introducing unexpected tastes, and play on their customers’ other senses. Take Dove for instance. It has emphasized the silkiness of its chocolate in every ad, featuring soft environments. This has made you want to touch the chocolate, after listening to the delicate sound of the packaging opening.This is where sensory marketing starts. Always pushing innovation further, brands now want to produce emotion and suprise by crossing senses in the most unexpected ways.That actually comes from an emerging consumer need. From submarine hostels and wwoofing, to grilled insects and 3D printed food, people are now looking for new sensations.


Sensation: Package your product with sensory marketing

It would be a mistake to think that brands can only limit themselves to classic product experiences. Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, demonstrated that hearing impacts feeling. In an experiment, he displayed different crisp sounds while people were eating chips. If the crisp was not loud, the chips would seem less fresh. At the same time, coffee tastes nearly twice as intense but only two-thirds as sweet when it is drunk from a white mug rather than a clear glass one, and that bittersweet toffee tastes ten per cent more bitter if eaten while listening to low-pitched music.Based on the fact that people are even able to identify whether a beverage is cold or hot with the sound of it being poured, industrials and marketers can really start to think about using sounds to sparkle creativity in their products. Norrland Guld Ljus played on sounds and launched a campaign on this theme. “Ear Beer”, an ASMR beer sound available on music platforms, allows you to enjoy beer in places where you are not supposed to drink.

Emotion: Create “the place to be”

You can offer a cosy atmosphere, like in Ikea, where the Chinese linger around during cold days and where sleeping and eating on the furniture is perfectly acceptable. Creating a “second home”, that is warm and crowded was a concept inspired by typical Sunday afternoons when people seek for company or for something to do.In general, developing a specific atmosphere triggers visits and strengthens the brand image.


Multi-sensory experiences to multiply the number of consumers?

Playing on people’s feelings and sensations is a double-edged sword. Companies should not forget that the goal is for consumers to enter the brand’s universe, not the opposite.UK scientists have created the multi-sensory television called Feelyvision. Ultrasounds can create tactile sensations of raindrops or wind in the hands, thus enhancing the viewer’s sensation. This will also be a way for advertisers to create consumer experience from their homes. Dunkin Donut’s tried in 2012 this kind of multi-sensory experiment. The goal was to make customers associate their morning coffee with their donut brand in South Korea. To do so, they displayed coffee smell in buses, while a sonor advert was playing. At the exit, people faced Dunkin Donut’s adverts, with a shop nearby.

Find the right balance between your different dimensions

Differenciation can take place through several dimensions, the most classic ones beingproduct, packaging and customer experience. Emotion can be the 4th one that crosses the three previous.All of them shall change according to the brand’s offer. The objective is to find the right balance between them, avoiding excesses like for Dunkin Donuts that played too much on senses.

Here are the keys to become a sensational brand

  • Find inspiration in senses to thrill your customers through different dimensions (packaging, product, experience…)
  • Create emotion to deepen the value of your brand
  • Though multisensory is tempting, think strategically and balance the dimensions of your offer

Avatar de Pierre Gomeriel
Pierre Gomeriel

Après un Master 2 en économie du numérique et entrepreneuriat à Rennes 1/Télécom Bretagne Pierre rejoint Equancy en 2013 pour des missions d’acquisition, de suivi de la performance et de maîtrise des aspects techniques et opérationnels des projets (plan de marquage, implémentation et test de tags) pour Nissan Middle East, Amundi, Michelin ou Disneyland Paris. Pierre est certifié sur les principales solutions de mesure d’audience et de gestion des tags.

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