Sensory marketing is a fantastic tool, on which the cosmetic industry has relied heavily to create memorable experiences. This consists of creating experiences and emotions through the five senses. The goal is to make the purchase process or first contact with the brand such a pleasant experience that can be remembered for a long time, using hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell. This type of marketing focuses on the emotions and the experience that the customer lives when they interact with the product, in such a way that there is a link with their past, experiences, desires, feelings or imagination. Next we are going to see some very interesting concepts in sensory marketing.
Visual marketing: Everything definitely enters through the eyes and for this reason, applied neuromarketing is essential to correctly mix colors, shapes, logos, fonts and other elements that together produce a sensory synergy. Here it is important to remember the concept of sensory additivity that we talked about in previous columns.
Audio marketing: Audio branding is becoming more relevant today because we are discovering the effects of sounds and music on the way we perceive products. This describes the process of developing and managing the brand through the use of sound elements within its communication framework. Music remains in our memory much longer than we imagine. Another of the common pieces of audio marketing are podcasts, because they allow us to connect with our audience through a short format that is easy to listen to at all times. Music has a noticeable effect on emotions and the cosmetic industry is discovering its potential.
Olfactory marketing: Cosmetics is surprising us with the development of olfactory applications in digital strategies, in online and offline actions. Currently, this type of marketing is widely used in retail, since we have all had the experience of remembering a brand by perceiving its aroma when we walk through the corridors of a shopping center. A well-known study published by the Rockefeller University indicates that human beings remember only 5% of what they see, 2% of what they hear and 1% of what they touch. However, 35% of what is smelled remains in the memory.
Gustatory marketing: The applications of this type of marketing include, as a common practice, the tasting of food to allow potential consumers to obtain an idea of the product and ideally generate a subsequent sale … Cosmetics is no stranger to this type of proposal, since it already we see in the market fragrances and skincare emulsions that are edible.
There is a very interesting concept in the food industry and it is “gourmet camouflage”, it involves products that look like one food, but taste like another. These products have the ability to confuse anyone. This trend is very important because it is inspiring innovation in cosmetic products, because we see products that are exquisite to look at, delicious in their aroma but … they are cosmetics! So we see new sensory proposals such as jams, syrups, juices, pearls, liqueurs (which are fragrances), macaroni, sushi, tarts, cheese … in short, a whole new sensory world that comes from food is inspiring innovation in cosmetics.
Touch marketing: This is the type of marketing more used in cosmetics. There are very interesting trends like unboxing, which refers to a genre of videos on YouTube where people literally take a product out of the box to get to know it and see what it feels like. Basically, unboxing videos consist of a person recording themselves opening a product that has just arrived and removing it from its original packaging. In the meantime, the person explains the characteristics of the packaging and the details that it can include, such as personalized cards, a special wrapper, scented paper or other extra elements. Brands have realized that it is very important to show the product first-hand before the customer receives it at home. Tik Tok is also becoming a major platform for cosmetic brands to feature unboxing videos for their products. On the other hand, another trend on the rise is haptics, since the new advances in this discipline allow the reproduction of tactile effects similar to the desired textures. Haptic beauty also presents itself as a great opportunity for innovation.
Experiential marketing: This aims to study and create surprising consumer experiences, through physical, interactive and multisensory expressions that create a lasting impression of the brand and the product by developing appropriate synergies between visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory and tactile marketing. The neuroscientific perspective is essential to maximize the consumer experience. What does the cosmetic experience we want to create look, sound, smell, taste and feel like? The photogenics masks are a clear example of the new cosmetic textures that are multisensory.
AI & human senses: Recently the portal analyticsinsight.net published an interesting article that indicated the new findings of AI in the interpretation of the human senses. MIT has been working on a project that helps AI see the world, just like humans do. The article mentions that: “the framework allows computers to analyze scenes and perceive objects from a few images. Essentially that’s giving computers the ability to see.” It won’t be long before AI can interpret human emotions. These findings are very disruptive and in a few months we will see how our industry can begin to predict the emotions that cosmetic products can generate.
Music & purchase decisions: On the web we find several publications on how music impacts sales in different ways. Unconscious listening is interesting because consumers are not aware of the influence of background music when they are visiting a cosmetics store. For example, if the music is well designed and selected, it can increase the sensory experience of fragrances and can also increase the purchase of certain types of products. This is a strategy that comes from other types of industries, it is well known and documented that in supermarkets, when French music is used in the background, the sale of French wines can increase. Science says that the human brain has a primitive fear of silence, as it was crucial to our survival in prehistoric times. When there is extreme silence, our brain is alert, because something may not be right. Silence makes people more observant. That is why it is important to understand the power of music to increase the confidence of customers and, in the process, maximize their sensory experience.
Phygital: This term comes from the terms Physical + Digital and refers to the presence of the same person both in the physical world and in the digital world. Brands are having an increasing ability to identify the presence of each person in both worlds. The goal is to understand the physical and the digital as a single reality for each person and not as two separate entities. In this stream, we can see advances such as robots that paint nails and beauty routines curated by AI, among others. Phygital and Metaverse come together to create new trends.
How do you imagine the cosmetic textures that we will see in three years? Surely, we will see very original proposals where flavor and music will help us enhance the experience of a skincare product.