Krishna (Marketing/Univ. of Michigan) examines the relatively new idea of sensory marketing, which “engages the consumer’s senses and affects their perception, judgment, and behavior.”
The study of sensory marketing may be in its infancy, writes the author, but its use, intentional or otherwise, has been around for years, including such sensory signatures as the royal purple dye of the city of Tyre, Tiffany Blue and the pink of the breast cancer campaign. Krishna is clearly beguiled by sensory marketing, and she manages to convey that fascination by concentrating on each sense in turn, explaining how it works and giving sharp examples of how it has affected marketing. Her touch is light as she tackles how marketers make use of visual bias, cultural preferences for certain colors, packaging designs that move our feelings, the impact of a spokesperson’s voice or the music in a store, the dance of brand names and sound patterns, the different desires people bring to the need for touching, the connections among smells, emotions and recollections, and the fashioning of food design to taste buds. When the author digs deeper—into the mechanics of the senses, the innate and learned views of smell perception, how taste is “an amalgamation of all of our senses that combine with…those receptors on the tongue to form a perception of an object on our mouth”—she still treads lightly, at least for the most part. Nor is she immune to the pleasures of the more whimsical ploys: scratch and sniff, the crunch of Rice Krispies, the role of heft in food products.
Despite some dry prose, Krishna presents a sophisticated, easy-handed elucidation of the practice of marketing to our senses.