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How are senses used in marketing?

Updated: Feb 14

Axel from VF

Author: Axel Sousa

Date of Publication: 16/06/2023

Nowadays, a lot of huge brands use the different senses of the customers to sell their products in an appealing way: This is the sensory marketing. But how do they use each sense to promote and attract the average customer ?

Sight: the most important sense

This is the most important sense, we always are using it and we use it unconsciously in our decision-making. Firstly, brands use sight by creating distinctive logos and graphical charters which are imprinted in the brain of the consumer. Besides that, the sense can be used with the structure and design of the shops. As a result this creates a coherent store that marks the customer's mind and can be decisive for their purchasing decision. In the advertising world, sight is the most important sense. In fact, advertising is based on the intention of attracting the consumer's eye with careful selection of colors and arrangement of information.

Notice your senses


What sense cannot be turned off, even during our sleep ? Indeed, our sound sense.

Big brands always use our sound sense by putting music in their stores. The reason for this use is that, according to studies, our body releases dopamine when listening to music it likes. By putting music in stores, the customer’s body will release dopamine and unconsciously, the customer will associate the sensation of well-being with the brand.

Sound can also be used in the identity of a brand with, for example, the jingle of a company.

The sound sense is also used in advertising on audio platforms such as radio or streaming platforms.


Studies have shown that our smell is directly related to our limbic system. Actually, this is in charge of regulating our emotions and memories. In order to mark the mind of the customer and create an experience that will permeate in his mind, brands use smell. For example, some fast-food brands intentionally use appealing smells to attract the potential customer around the restaurant.

Other examples could be Disney that uses the Smellitizer or Rolls Royce which perfumes their cars interiors. Smell is also used in the products themselves: soaps, candles or even food have a specific smell that is made to attract the consumer’s brain.


For the sense of taste, the most obvious examples are restaurants that use unique flavors in their food. This way, they release dopamine and pleasure in the brain of the customer. So they come back to the only place that can provide them with this flavor.

Another way to use taste is less known but used by brands. Some brands managed to associate a taste experience to their stores. This is the case of Ikea which, with their inside restaurants, associated a unique food experience to their stores.

Giving taste samples to the customer is also a strategic way to use sensory marketing with the taste sense. Actually, nobody refuses a sample and it can trigger the decision of buying a new product.


Touch is the sense that is the most interactive to us, and the brands understood that.

A lot of brands allow you to touch and try the product in store to give an experience of the product to the customer. This way, they make the customer want to buy the product. Apple is the best example, you can try all their products in-store. Car manufacturers also use that by allowing a test-drive to their customers.

Another way of using the sense of touch is the 30 days guarantee or money back. In fact, it allows the consumer to create their own experience with the product in a given amount of time. So, in most of the cases, it will result in keeping the product.

To conclude, sensory marketing is used everywhere by most of the brands. According to studies, the use of the 5 senses in advertising, in the stores or in the identity of the brand is a key in the decision making of the customer. So, creating a unique experience is part of what forged some of the most successful brands in the world.


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