Tag Archives: branding

Marketing to the senses

Part 1 of 3 in a series of posts related to marketing to the senses.

As humans, we have five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. Marketers have basically been playing to those senses since the need for promotion began. Let’s take a look at some examples:

LIFE - The Right Stuff, 1959
Source: LIFE - The Right Stuff, 1959

Sight. LIFE magazine sold millions and millions of copies by focusing on stunning photojournalism. Without that focus, some of the most iconic photos of all time would never have been seen.

Sound. Bose is so obsessed with producing and delivering great sound that it doesn’t publish its scientific research on the electrical or acoustic performance of its products. Instead, Bose considers the human experience the best measure of performance. Audiophiles will always debate who delivers the best audio quality, but we can all agree that Bose is thinking about the consumer first.

Taste. Most food and beverage brands try to dominate this sense, but few have done it like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s French fries, or KFC. The story goes that only two of Coke’s chemists know the secret formula of their syrup and that only eight people total have ever known it. Whether myth or reality, the story allows Coke to own “taste” among the soda brands.

Folgers Ad
Folgers "Wakin' up" ad

Smell. One of the first brands that comes to mind for smell is Folgers and its well-known tagline: “The best part of wakin’ up is Folgers in your cup.” [Retro commercial here] Advertising told us that Folgers “crystals” smelled delightful in the morning, and I think we believed it.

Mr Whipple
Mr Whipple for Charmin

Touch. Iconic advertising like “Don’t squeeze the Charmin” helped this brand capitalize on the sense of touch. [View commerical here] No one could take “touch” away from Charmin after these spots aired. Today, touch is just as important. Whether you love it or hate it, Apple also has mastered the art of “touch” with its iPod, iPhone, and iPad products.

Marketing to these senses isn’t just for adults. Youth marketers should also take a hard look at which sense their brand can claim.

Which youth brands do you think are doing a good job at owning one of the five senses? Comment below.

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2010 College Enrollment Fast Facts

college marketing

If you need more proof that the college market is a force to be reckoned with, just look at some of these numbers from the National Center for Education Statistics.

  • In fall 2010, a record 19.1 million students are expected to attend the Nation’s 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities, an increase of about 3.8 million since fall 2000 (source).
  • Females are expected to comprise the majority of college students: 10.9 million females will attend in fall 2010, compared with 8.3 million males. Although the majority of students will attend full time (an estimated 11.9 million for fall 2010), about 7.2 million are expected to attend part time (source).
  • About 7.5 million students are expected to attend public 4-year institutions (source), 6.7 million will attend public 2-year institutions (source), about 4.6 million will attend private 4-year institutions (source), and 0.3 million will attend private 2-year colleges (source).
  • Between 2000 and 2009, the 18- to 24-year-old population rose from approximately 27.3 million to approximately 30.1 million (source) and the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college also was higher in 2009 (41.3 percent) than in 2000 (35.5 percent) (source)
  • During the 2010-11 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award 798,000 associate’s degrees (source); 1,669,000 bachelor’s degrees (source); 659,000 master’s degrees (source); 96,500 first-professional degrees (source); and 69,600 doctor’s degrees (source).

With an estimated $37.7 billion in annual discretionary spending among 18-24 year old college, the average student has about $360 per month to spend on your brand. They have a lot of options on what to spend their money on. If you aren’t advertising on campus, are you even in their consideration set?

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