Podcast: Sensory marketing

03 Feb 2017|Added Value

Marguerite de Villiers, an anthropologist from our South African office, spoke live on SAfm, South Africa’s national radio station. She was interviewed about sensory marketing on the Media Show, hosted by Ashraf Garda.

Listen to the podcast:

Our senses connect our external and internal worlds; they mediate our understanding and moderate our experiences. We decode meaning through our network of connections. These interpretations are influenced by our pre-existing knowledge, memories, preferences, assumptions, and experiences.
How can marketers take advantage of our sensory relationship with the world in which we life to enhance our relationship with the brands we consume?

First, we divide sensory perception or how we perceive through our senses into three categories:
– Physical = Basic senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing)
– Sentiments = Sense of… (balance, humour, justice, duty, colour, rhythm, etc.)
– Mentalities = To have sense (to understand, to make sense of, to have common sense, etc.)

Second, we acknowledge that marketing is the management and manipulation of sensory perception. Marketing establishes a connection or communication between the external (a brand, a product, a service) and the internal (the consumer; their needs, desires, and sensory perception).

Third, we apply absent presence.

An absent presence is when the original object, moment or idea (the signified) is no longer present, but rather a sign (the signifier) is present in its absence to repeat, remember or represent it.

Therefore, meaning (in the repetition, remembrance, or representation of the original) is always in need of reconstruction through interpretation. The marketer’s role is to mould the consumer’s interpretation and experience of what is being signified.

A logo is an absent presence. Logos means ‘thought’ or ‘reason’. A logo represents the idea or purpose behind the brand.

Successful brands are those that apply what Simon Sinek identifies as The Golden Circle:

While most companies begin with the ‘what’ (the product or service that they offer), disruptive brands begin with the ‘why’ (an inherent belief or purpose that drives purchase).

In starting with the ‘why’ (an idea in the absence of something concrete), and working through to the ‘how’ (the anticipated impact) and finally the ‘what’ (the concrete presence of something), brands are able to build community, trust, identity and loyalty with their consumers.

Here are several brands that effectively applied multi-sensorial or innovative marketing:

If you would like to read more about Marguerite’s point of view on sensory marketing, read her article ‘Sensory marketing: What is it and which brands are successful?’ which was published on The Media Online.

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