Introduction Sensory marketing plays a big impact on how we perceive certain brands. It communicates with us on our fundamental senses such as hearing, seeing, smelling, touching and tasting and most of the time we process such stimuli unconsciously. Companies try to communicate their brand identity through our feelings, emotions and believe what we also process in our hippocampus(brain) unconsciously, creating a strong bond with a brand. A multi-sensory branding experience gives no mercy and we certainly fall into a trap of buying their products.
We have done some research to discover how well and how much of sensory marketing is used by the furniture stores.Our points of the visit were IKEA and Domo furniture.IKEA Psychological and physiological factors of a human being As it was scientifically proven men and women have different incentives and motives towards purchasing. The Mediterranean Journal of Sciences (2017) has found that while shopping men and women tend to satisfy different needs.
Men go for utilitarian needs where women fulfill their hedonic needs. Men want a quick and easy way of fulfilling their request meaning they need something they come, buy and leave, women, on the other hand, enjoy the process itself, they tend to dive deeper into the whole process and experience of shopping.(Guided Selling, 2017)While we were in a shop by observational technique we were able to compare given theory with practice, men tend to walk around look and sit on the furniture that was in the center of the shop, not on the arranged displays, when on the other hand almost all women were walking around and looking at each and every corner, opening closed shelves and drawers, just out of their curiosity; finding out what could there be hiding inside.
The American Time Use Survey (ATUS)has done a research showing that on average men take 39 minutes to do the shopping while women take 47 minutes with the respect that race, ethnicity, and salary was resembling the general public.(Timeuseinstitute.org, 2017)IKEA has made a huge effort in order to grab as much attention as possible from both genders. They have arranged the store in order to satisfy needs of both men and women.
For women, they have set beautiful displays with fully furnished rooms, paying the tiniest attention to details, so that women would spend more time investigating each and every small detail in a display (refer to pic. #1).(Google.
be, 2017) #1Whereas for men they have created simpler looking displays where you can quickly and easily compare different options whatever is being searched for.(refer to pic.#2)(Google.be,2017)#2Another important aspect of marketing is not only to grab attention and create exposure but to be recognized and to make a customer come back to you. Why men and women come back for to one (particular) store is very different.Erasmus University has done a research discovered men tend to come back simply because of the brand, meaning if they bought it once and it worked out for them they would buy it over and over again.
While women return for a good service, meaning they would first check recommendations and possible information available. Understanding that, IKEA has achieved good quality products together with having a good reputation and great availability of information about the brand and its products.Vision Your further recognition of a brand could simply be based on the colors, shapes, and fonts they use in their logo. Colors have huge power in our decision making, they can create logical shortcuts to improve our comprehension, learning, and reading. When you use several semantic related concepts you increase the chances of a person linking certain colors with your brand.Colors and shapes form different cognitive links in our brain, without us fully realizing.Research shows that 80% of people said that color raises brand recognition, another 84,7 % said that color was the main influencer of choosing and purchasing the products.Colors have huge power in our decision making, they can create logical shortcuts to improve our comprehension, learning, and reading.
With that being said it was found that colors improved comprehension by 73 %, learning by 62% and reading by 40 %.(Oetting, 2017) IKEA uses blue and yellow color in their logo. The yellow color is very optimistic and bright color, even with other bright colors yellow would be the one standing out. The yellow color is associated with the sun – bringing out smiles and feelings of happiness and gold- excitement for treasures. Yellow could be also looked at a warning color sign.Therefore Ikea uses it to awake our emotions that something big, exciting and adventurous is waiting for us, to create that confidence that their brand will bring the desired happiness.
(The Logo Company, 2017) Alongside yellow IKEA uses deep blue color as their secondary color which serves as a background. It is said that blue color reminds us of a blue clear sky or calm ocean; which creates a feeling of peace, calmness, and stability. In our case blue is used to suggest the customers that their brand is reliable and consistent. Color studies by Eysenck in 1940’s and later reinforced by Birren in 1952, show that most favorite color for both men and women was blue. Where 57% of men and 35% of women picked blue as their favorite color throughout all age groups.(Joehallock.com, 2017) (joehallock,2017)Another factor that can be discussed is a subtle use of shapes in the construction of a company’s logo. Shapes that we see every day might subconsciously affect our perception of certain things, for example, squares, triangles and rectangles suggest that something is strong, stable and heavy, while on the other hand shapes like ovals and circles that have no edges suggest lightness and softness, this is exactly what brands use to create a certain association with their brand logo in our head.
IKEA uses listed features and shapes in its logo: ? Bold fonts convey power and stability, ? Angular letters suggest formality and durability,? Simple fonts suggest directness,? Uppercase suggests power and strength,? Spacing suggests relaxation providing a room to breathe. (Nick Kolenda, 2017) (Google.be, 2017)TouchPeople say that touch is a universal language, agree or not whether it’s true, but human beings very often evaluate things by touching them. Just like a newborn baby, without any experience or knowledge of the world around explores it with touch, so do we adults. Dr. Schanberg said that we use our ‘Primitive Survival Mechanism’ to evaluate object that surrounds us.
(GOLEMAN, 2017)We evaluate object by first looking at them but afterward, there is always a need to feel it. Touch creates a bond of trust. As soon as we put an object in our hands it starts to feel like it belongs to us, as if it was always yours, same goes for the bigger objects like furniture and home decor. As soon as you sit on it, lay on it or touch it you develop a slight attachment towards it, you could almost immediately imagine that couch in your living room or that comfortable mattress that you would later lay on. And IKEA is well familiar with that, walking around the store you would be able to touch everything and everywhere.When we visited the store we recorded some observations: men tend to sit or lay down on big, cozy looking sofas and beds, women tend to touch smaller things like towels, blankets, kitchenware, squishing pillows, gliding through the different surfaces and brushing their hands through carpet fibers and smelling everything that could potentially have smell.
Majority of the kids surprisingly were concentrated near children’s furniture, playing with silly looking toys, rolling around the floor on the soft and voluminous carpets, going up the ladder to check out the double level beds, diving into the big baskets filled with soft cushion toys. SoundAs a consumer, we don’t really pay attention to the background music we hear when we walk into a retail store. But on an unconscious level, music is working its magic and being used to either slow the customer down or speed him/her up. In IKEA the music was rather calm and quiet, a typical lounge music which you hardly notice. In this way, it creates the atmosphere in which the customer doesn’t hurry up and gives his/her all attention to the purchasing process.
When we were in IKEA, we’ve seen no one who was in a hurry or even whose pace was fast. Everyone enjoyed spending time in IKEA.”A sensorial sound strategy is used to reinforce the identity and image of a brand. Sound, and especially music, as sensory expressions, attach meaning to people and is a source of inspiration.” (Bertil Hulten, 2013). However, IKEA doesn’t have a signature sound and uses only so-called “commercial music”, the main goal is to create the atmosphere in which the customer will spend more time.Scent The sense of smell is an important sensory channel and a number of studies revealed the fact that olfactory channels have a significant impact on consumer behavior in the shop. “As a cue or stimulus, scent can produce an effect in an individual’s mind, impacting on the actual behavior, without the person being aware of the process”.
(Ward et al., 2003). The positive effects of scent are demonstrated by the increase in buying intentions.
It is clear that the presence of the pleasant scent affects the customer in the way that customer’s mood raises as the good perception of the store is sustained.In this way, pleasant scents have the impact on the total time spent in the store. Thus, when the customers experience the pleasant smell of a retail atmosphere it leads to spending more money. As it is a big store, the scent changes depending on where a customer is. When we have just entered the store, although the overall smell was rather amiable, it doesn’t seem to be very persistent.
The smell near cafeteria was really strong which promoted the urge to eat. We saw a lot of people who ate before going to purchase something, some of them even came to Ikea just for the cafeteria. In this way, IKEA canteen established a good image with affordable and tasty products.
On the zero floor, where most of the product are being chosen and bought, we encountered with a really strong scent of vanilla candles. From the very beginning of the whole process of buying, the customers’ emotional response on this scent would be a positive atmosphere which stimulates to spend more time in this place. However, vanilla considered to be a feminine scent, which implies the fact that the target group of IKEA is mostly women. “Congruity between scent and products improves product evaluations”. (Bone and Ellen, 1999).
This means that consumers evaluate products more positively when the smell is considered as typical for the product. IKEA is divided into several sections and each section has a theme. For instance, the section with textile and rugs has a firm scent of these new objects, which attracts customer’s attention.
In this way, shoppers react more favorably and are more likely to shop and purchase in an appealing, and thus tempting point-of-purchase atmosphere. One of the smell strategies is to allow ascent to become an element of a brand’s identity and image, however, IKEA doesn’t apply it. The studies show that if the object is perceived as more emotionally attractive, total sales of this object increases. This means that the more senses the customers use to perceive the object, the more probable the purchase will be. So, if we like what we see, we like how it smells, we will touch it and then more probably buy it.
Thus, the scent is vital to decision making and purchasing processes. TimeOne of the key goals for Ikea is to keep customers in store as long as possible, since the longer the clients stay in the store the higher the probability that they will make a purchase.Ikea is not just a shop, it is the whole event for a family, therefore Ikea has a playground for children and Swedish cuisine cafeteria to meet the customer’s hunger needs. In this way, IKEA urges you to spend the whole day in their store, since you can eat, rest and shop in one place. Moreover, IKEA doesn’t have windows to make you lose the track of time as well as removing any sources of natural lighting, which means that the whole store is lit using only artificial lighting, bright enough for the customer not to notice any differences in the daytime. The other important marketing strategy is the infrastructure of the store, as the shop is constructed in the way in which you have to go through all stands in order to exit. We noticed the outcome of this technique on ourselves that even though we didn’t need anything we still bought something.
Another trick is the location itself since IKEA is situated on the edge of the town, which means the customer has to spend a considerable amount of time to drive to the store and back, therefore IKEA is assumed as a trip for the whole day. So, when a person thinks to go to IKEA, he/she will automatically assume that it will take a lot of time.All in all, IKEA uses these techniques to make the customers spend more time in their store.