Emotional sensoriality is a very interesting concept that we will review in this column. The objective is to create sensory experiences that generate an emotional response in the consumer. For example, a product that arouses feelings of happiness or relaxation. Next, we will look at trends on how sensory stimuli can influence consumers’ emotions, creating more enriching and memorable experiences.
Music and Sound: These two stimuli, when well designed and integrated into the experience, can have a great emotional impact on consumers. For this reason, we see them more and more in shopping experiences and advertising.
Lighting: There are studies in the literature that indicate how the degree of lighting can affect mood and perception of space, so there are a variety of applications in shops, restaurants and hotels. We all know that subdued lighting can create a sense of intimacy in a romantic restaurant.
Emojis boom: This is a form of visual communication that can convey emotions and feelings quickly and effectively. Brands know this and are increasingly using emojis in their marketing messages, so they can more easily connect with consumers on an emotional level.
Textures: These can have an emotional impact on consumers and the industry is doing some very interesting findings. This year we are seeing new publications on how different sensory profiles can be linked to the development of emotions. This is a field that represents a huge innovation opportunity for the cosmetics industry.
Colours: Colour theory in the cosmetics industry is fascinating. There are hundreds of publications on the effects of colour on mood and perception. To mention just a few examples, the colour red can convey energy and passion, but it can also convey aggressiveness. Blue can convey a sense of calm and serenity and is certainly the preferred colour of people. We have looked at this issue in a previous column.
Words: Words used in marketing messages can also have an emotional impact on consumers. There is a great opportunity in determining the feelings and emotions generated by words and sentences constructed through neuromarketing.
Virtual and augmented reality: These tools are increasingly being used in marketing to create immersive and emotional experiences. For example, a cosmetics brand can create a virtual reality experience that allows consumers to visualize the inside of the skin, understand biochemical mechanisms and predict the antiageing benefits of products.
Unexpected flavours and aromas: Brands are experimenting with unexpected flavours and aromas to surprise consumers and create an emotional connection with them. For example, an ice cream brand may offer an unexpected flavour such as wasabi ice cream to create a unique emotional experience.
Multi-sensory experiences: These involve multiple senses, such as sight, smell, taste and touch. Brands are using these experiences to create deeper emotional connections with consumers. For example, a restaurant may offer a darkened dinner to create a unique sensory experience.
Sensory design: Brands are using sensory design to create products and experiences that stimulate the senses and emotions. For example, a clothing shop may use soft materials and pleasant textures to create a comfortable and relaxing shopping experience.
Personalisation: It is an effective way to create an emotional connection with consumers. Brands are using technology to personalize products and shopping experiences to meet the unique needs and preferences of each consumer.
Live experiences: Some ideas, such as concerts and sporting events, can create deep emotional connections with consumers. Brands are increasingly sponsoring these types of events to connect with consumers in an emotional way.
Sensing fear: In March 2023, the Farmacosmética fair was held in Bogotá, which brought together around 2500 attendees. Mauricio Guzmán Alonso and Sergio Riascos presented a paper related to the sensosome and how emotions can affect the way we perceive cosmetic products. This research was very interesting because the authors showed results related to how fear can change the intensity in the sensory perception of emulsions and also of fragrances. This topic is starting to become a trend.
A publication in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science in April 2023 entitled “Sensing fear: fast and precise threat evaluation in human sensory cortex” indicates that human sensory cortex independently performs fast and precise threat processing. Sensory cortical plasticity develops from aversive experiences (e.g., threats) and over time, evolves into long-term memory traces stored as mnemonic representations of threat cues. Sensory threat representations are characterized by high sensitivity, specificity and adaptability.
Understanding these mechanisms represents a great innovation opportunity for the cosmetics industry, as in the future we will see more studies on how fear affects the sensory perception of cosmetic products and also how new formulations and materials will be designed so that these emotions do not change or alter the initial sensory perception.
Technology integration: It plays an important role in sensory product design. For example, smart products can automatically adjust lighting, sound and other sensory stimuli to create a more pleasurable experience tailored to individual preferences.
Use of nature: There has been an increase in the use of natural elements in sensory product design. Organic materials, natural textures and colours inspired by nature can evoke emotions of tranquillity, connection to the environment and well-being.
Specific emotional stimulation: Some products are designed to stimulate specific emotions. For example, certain aromatherapy devices focus on promoting relaxation and reducing stress, while others may seek to stimulate energy and concentration.
Personalised sounds: Some products allow customisation of the sounds they emit. For example, personal assistive devices can offer a variety of voice and tone options to suit the user’s preferences, creating a sense of familiarity and emotional connection.
Tactile packaging: Product packaging can be designed with textures that are pleasant to the touch, such as smooth surfaces, embossing or matte finishes. These tactile features can evoke emotions of comfort, luxury or confidence in the quality of the product.
Intuitive interfaces: Product user interfaces can be designed to be intuitive and easy to use, creating a sense of user satisfaction and confidence. Feedback sounds, colours and tactile responses can contribute to an emotionally positive experience.
Sensation represents one of the first steps towards the development of emotion. The more automated and ingrained it is in our way of thinking, the more it will generate a train of thought that will develop an associated emotion, leading to a subsequent reaction. The cosmetics industry is making very interesting discoveries about how we can induce emotions in the development of new products.
Senior Exploration ScientistatBelcorp Colombia
John Jiménez is currently Senior Researcher at Belcorp Colombia. He is a Pharmacist (National University of Colombia) with a Master degree in Sustainable Development (EOI Business School, Madrid) and specialization studies in Marketing, Cosmetic Science and Neuromarketing. John has 28 publications in scientific journals and a book chapter in cosmetic formulation.
Maison G de Navarre Prize (IFSCC 2004), Henry Maso Award (IFSCC 2016) and best scientific papers at Colamiqc Ecuador 2009, Colamiqc Brazil 2013 and Farmacosmética Colombia 2014. He has been a speaker at various international conferences in Europe and Latin America and was President of Accytec Bogotá from 2017–2019.
Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.