The smell of a fresh croissant. The feel of lush velvet. The strum of the guitar in a familiar song. Each day, the five senses transport our ideas, impact our thoughts and make emotional connections.
Driving our emotions and our adventures, these perceptions have stopping power and lasting influence — and are an incredibly valuable advertising tool.
However, for the most part, retailers are forgoing the sensory and focusing solely on the huge information from shopping patterns. Senses and feelings are so ingrained in our psyches and so vastly ignored in retail.
How can manufacturers conquer the senses and bridge the touch-feel gap? Through creative and sensationally tactile pop-ups.
The constraints of the Internet world
The five senses have intrigued researchers and retailers for decades, and there have been innumerable studies on the impacts of the perceptions on consumer habits.
A comprehensive 13-country study entitled”Broad Sensory Branding“by Martin Lindstrom highlighted how manufacturers that conveyed with crowds from a multisensory platform had the”greatest likelihood of forming emotional connections between customers and their merchandise.”
This places e-commerce at a huge disadvantage. Separated by a display, the only way to experience products online is through sound and sight. It is an experience driven not by emotion, but by speed and convenience. Its impact is fleeting.
Using a pop-up, you have the chance to tap each of the five senses. To do anything less is like playing basketball with three players on the court and the remaining two on the seat — you have the tools at your fingertips; you are simply not using them.
Developing a bridge into the senses
Pop-ups are breeding grounds for imagination — pushing the boundaries of in-store shopper minutes ® by providing the customer an experience packed with sensory appeal: sight, sound, touch, smell and flavor.
If e-commerce is all about convenience and mortar and brick is all about the joy of purchasing, pop-ups are all about the delight of life. They are about the experience in the moment.
Think about every time you’ve gone into a high-end hotel. How frequently have you brought home those mini shampoos, conditioners and body washes? Every time you use them, you are momentarily transported back to this blissful holiday.
This mind association works out great for both the resort and toiletry brands. Envision a joint body maintenance and luxury resort pop-up. Tuck prospective clients into a comfy bed for a nap and wake them up to a pampering spa, complete with tranquil sounds, tasty snacks and relaxing massages. Next time they go to buy or use one of their body care products, they will think of the resort (and vice versa). We predict that experiential coshopperation!
Rooting your brand in their memories
Memories instilled by sensations are powerful things and make emotional connections. So give the customer more to recall.
Consider for a second the psychology of purchasing a car. Cars are extremely experiential purchases — customers want to give them a spin , making certain they can see themselves behind the wheel.
Now think of what you could do in lieu of a test drive around the block: sit in a simulation car chair, fire up the motor, ramp up the smell of leather and show the customer the realm of possibilities in the vehicle with the magic of virtual reality. They will quickly be reminded of a wonderful road trip experience, the feeling of learning to drive and the exhilaration of speed. — all psychological connections.
When it is a beach-themed pop-up, invite shoppers to take their shoes off, feel sand between their feet, sip piña coladas, hear a steel drum, odor sea and coconut salt-infused atmosphere, and bask in the warmth of summer.
To get a neighborhood pop-up, ensure you get a regional group on the speakers (or in person) and provide the shoppers a taste of the city’s famous ice cream. If you are promoting a line of super-soft linens, reinforce the subject of comfort with cushioned flooring, plush toys and cushions, cloud décor and cotton candy cones — all to reinforce the sense of relaxation and calm.
Indulging in the completely immersive sensory experience helps cement the pleasurable sensations in the long-term memory. When your customer returns to the brick-and-mortar store down the street — even when the sensory stimulation is long gone — these happiness pheromones will kick .
At the end of the day, customers are humans. As much as technology could be cool, all of us thrive within the heat of actual human experiences.