We have all had the experience of walking past a bakery and smelling freshly baked bread which definitely makes us go in and buy. We have also experienced in shopping malls the smell that reminds us of a specific brand when we walk right past their store. These are examples of sensory branding and in this column, we are going to talk about this concept that is on the rise and in which many brands are innovating in the post-pandemic world.
Sensory branding is the growing practice of branding that explores new ways to convey a brand identity to the public, creating all kinds of positive reinforcement through stimulation techniques that appeal to the consumer’s senses. Next, we will look at some interesting concepts and trends in this field.
Marketing of experiences: We are beginning to live in a new reality, the post-pandemic world. Although we see in the news that the peaks of infections are increasing in some regions, the fact that vaccination is so advanced and that the symptoms of the new strains seem milder means that consumers are eager to consume new experiences after long confinement periods. For this reason, the great trend since Q3 of 2022 is the „return of experiences“ and here the cosmetic industry has a great opportunity. A great example is Amazon Prime Day Experiences, as experiences are added to all discounted products for the first time. So we see for example devices that are promoted with SPA experiences. Memorable experiences are the new connectors between products and consumers.
Multisensory Marketing: It is the art and science of engaging our senses holistically. This variant of marketing tries to instill a positive sensory experience in the customer to convey the desired message. Immersive and sensory campaigns are back, with unique, eye-catching and innovative proposals. A very inspiring example for the cosmetics industry is the new Feeladelphia restaurant in New York, created by the Philadelphia cheese brand, since dishes are not requested here, but rather feelings. Customers can order a real food menu, which is intended for solidarity actions. The menu is based on real feelings. Concepts related to feelings also represent an interesting opportunity to launch new ideas in cosmetics.
New tools for the future of branding: We are seeing an exponential use of tools that facilitate decision making, such as data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning, management of value offers, cost and pricing models, mobile marketing, marketing with artificial intelligence, advertising algorithms in social networks, among others.
White label: This is an interesting trend that we are seeing in almost every country. Currently, in addition to the pandemic, we are experiencing inflation and the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine. The interesting topic is that there are white brands that are becoming very trendy not only because of the price but also because of the benefits and differentials they offer. Companies that develop private labels have a great opportunity with multisensory marketing to continue positioning themselves. Statistics indicate that 40% of consumers have increased the purchase of this type of product.
Tik Tok Beauty: Viral marketing uses marketing techniques to try to exploit social networks and other electronic media trying to produce exponential increases in brand recognition, through massive self-replication processes that are analogous to the spread of a virus. We recently saw a very interesting example in Latin America, as a renowned Peruvian beer brand launched a restaurant in a care repair store to protest the absence of Michelin stars in the country, managing to go viral. This year we are seeing how some cosmetic brands are striving to go viral on Tik Tok, to do so, they must be very authentic, very informative and adaptable.
Brand activations: Data indicate that 98% of consumers create content for an event or brand experience in which they participate. Let us remember that experiential marketing is a strategy that generates a direct experience of consumers with the brand. Bring the products, services or spirit of the brand closer to your audience so that they can experience it first-hand. We are seeing on pages like blog.hubspot.es different applications in brand activations that may include: – Experiential sensation marketing: It is designed to stimulate the senses of consumers, without overloading them. You must choose the most important ones that fulfill the task, both for the objective of the campaign and to benefit the contact with the product or service and for the client. – Experiential marketing of emotions: When consumers have a positive experience with a brand, they usually make the conversions that the brand expects of them. It is very important to achieve a positive connection beyond the sensory, that appeals to emotions related to happiness, pleasure, tranquility, etc. – Experiential marketing of experiences: It refers to what the experience means in the lifestyle of the audience: what does it give them to add value to their day to day life? What does it tell you about the decisions you make, based on your context? – Experiential marketing of thoughts: By using creativity to get people’s attention, experiential marketing will appeal to cognitive processes so that prospects associate the product or service with something positive, thanks to the way it solves the pain points that exist in the customer life cycle. – Experiential relationship marketing: Appealing to empathy through interaction is an effective way to nurture trust with a brand. The objective is to build relationships, either through experiences that unite groups of people in front of the brand, or that it is the brand that is presented through influencers or collaborators. These are some of the lessons learned from successful activations: – Define the message that the brand wants to communicate and then create an experience based on that message. – Create a branded hashtag that consumers can use to share their experience on social media. – Campaigns that are local tend to be more successful. – Cosmetic companies can partner with another brand of other categories to create an even better experience. – Generating discomfort is a good strategy when the brand has products on topics that are taboo or difficult to talk about, so that an important debate can be created. – It is very important to create a special experience for people who do not know how to use the product or service. – The marketing of experiences is presented as a great opportunity for co-branding. – When selecting a marketing partner, an experience must be created that requires a change of product for each of the brands, so that the audience can interact with both parties. – Appealing curiosity is a good strategy to captivate the target audience. – It is important to identify what makes the product or service so recognizable to consumers. – The help of influencers can be very interesting for brand activations. – Showing how the product being sold works is very important. In this sense, cosmetic brands are making an effort to show the benefits and efficacy claims provided by the products. In this new post-pandemic world, experiences are the new black. For this reason, sensory branding is presented as a great innovation opportunity for cosmetic brands.
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.
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