Global Marketing

Sensory Delight – Is sensory marketing considered manipulative?

To what extent do marketers persuade and influence consumers in their consumption by appealing to (subconscious) senses and is considered manipulative.

It is well known that people use, and are influenced by their senses all of the time, whether conscious or subconscious. In order to influence consumers in their decision making process marketers are using this knowledge to persuade or elicit certain emotions in consumers.

“Sensory marketing” is a way of describing the form and function of marketing communication, which aims to create awareness and influence consumer behavior via the various sensory channels.  It is a way to capitalize on new market opportunities and to maximize product profitability by appealing to consumers.

GRAPHIC – unable to post

Hierarchy of senses: Sight, Hear, Touch, Smell, Taste

GRAPHIC – unable to post

Although most brands don’t use more than one or two senses when building/communicating their identity, they can still potentially manipulate a consumer by exploring several senses and various stimuli in order to create a positive and deeper consumer involvement.  Everything consumers experience is the result of sensory stimuli.  If we have 5 senses, why not use them? Creating new sensations or merely emphasizing or bringing attention to existing sensations can increase a product’s or service’s appeal.


How much you influence the consumer to create that positive and deep connection without them consciously knowing it is the question.  Is it truly manipulating or is it just really good marketing?  There are many perspectives as to what people think.  I personally think that it’s just good marketing.  If you can truly appeal to a person’s senses and involve them in your products, then why not use that to increase their consumption.