I recently met a friend at Weber Grill Restaurant for lunch. As I walked toward the entrance I was greeted by the smell of charcoal burning. Despite the fact that it was about 35 degrees out and there was snow on the ground, somewhere in the back of my lizard brain I felt the sunshine of a summer’s day with kids laughter nearby. There were friends setting in lawn chairs chatting while a gaggle of men surrounded the grill (as they always do) at a backyard barbeque.
Never mind that the smell disappeared once I walked into the restaurant. The feelings and emotions of a lazy, lovely summer day were firmly planted in my mind.
Welcome to sensory marketing.
Too often marketers rely only on the visual to get messages across, ignoring the power of the other senses. However, research has shown that the other senses can sometimes invoke stronger reactions. For example, one university experiment found that giving pencils the unusual scent of tea tree oil dramatically increased research subjects’ ability to remember the pencils’ brand.
As an added bonus to marketers, consumers don’t usually perceive sensory marketing as advertising, so they don’t view the reaction with the cynical “advertising filter” most of us have.
So, don’t forget to give your customer’s other senses something to do.