Sensory Branding not as easy as it seems.

Many authors claim that marketers need to provide their brands or dedicated POS’s with sensory cues, like smell, sounds, taste, to trigger the activation of emotions that make customers desire a given product. This technique is also referred as to “Sensory branding”. The coffeehouse chain Starbucks professionally applies sensual codes to make customers fall into love with their products. The cozy interior and music, the scent of crushed coffee beans and the lighting are important features to form the typical Starbucks atmosphere. According to Marc Gobe, author of the book Emotional Branding, every brand should contain subliminal codes that stimulate the perception of positive emotions with regard to a branded product.

According to Nespresso, 60% of sensory experience of drinking espresso comes from the retail environment! Hence, one could argue that enriching the POS with pleasant smells is the key to success.

However, Starbucks recently announced to quit serving breakfast sandwiches, since the smell of warm eggs,, toast and cheese interfered with the scent of coffee beans. To me this is an amazing reason, due to the fact that the breakfast seemed to be a new promising source of revenue. However, Starbucks showed that they not only understand expressed customer needs, but also subliminal branding.




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