“Perception is the process by which sensations are selected, organised and interpreted” (Solomon, Russell-Bennett and Previt, 2019, p 303).
Perception of brands, symbols and signs is an important aspect of marketing. Having an understanding of how customers perceive your brand product is incredibly valuable and can help direct more successful campaigns. There are different approaches and the way companies attempt to position themselves to particular audiences can vary depending on the industry it is competing within.
There are several elements within perception and by using sensory marketing (elements including: touch, taste, vision, smell and sound), it can help customers respond more positively to a brand. Focusing on one or two senses can appeal on a more personal level, evoking memories and creating sentimental attachments in the process. It is can be considered a very efficient way to build a relationship with customers.
Dove, a personal care brand owned by Unilever, has utilised sensory marketing within their campaigns quite well. They focus strongly on ‘touch’ through ad campaigns whilst also utilising ‘smell’ and ‘vision’ within their physical products.
TOUCH: Their ad campaigns will often use sensory words and imagery focusing on touch such as ‘soft’, ‘smooth’ and ‘silky’, paired with the women touching their arms and legs to match the skin references. The alliteration is also another way Dove ingrained the slogans and ‘touch’ words for customers, to make it easier to remember and attach those words with the brand. These images and words help the customer imagine themselves with smoother skin and feeling happier after using the product. This perception of the brand being more than just a body wash and helping moisture can create a much ‘warmer’ sensation for the customer.
The ad above using quotes such as “You want to feel? It feels really good” and “’Really silky smooth, it’s awesome. I love it”, this would generally cause the consumer to feel their own skin and create a longing for smoother skin, regardless of whether they had thought about it before. This imagery and perception places Dove in a positive light of a product that will help their skin immensely.
SMELL/ VISION: Being a personal care brand it is important for products to smell nice and invite customers to want to buy the products consistently. Solomon et al (2019) suggests when consumers are shown the image of the fragrance (chocolate squares or roses) that connect on a deeper level and have instant memory recall attached to the scent, which can help within positive situations. Galvon (2017), has Dove Cucumber listed as one of the top 3 best-smelling body washes. “It smells great…It’s smells great and is so refreshing. I’m sure in the summer months, it’ll be ideal”, there is a summery feel attached to the cucumber and it has helped imagery and perception of the brand being a valued option for summer.
Vision and sight help attribute to symbols and signs are interpreted. Dove have predominately white packaging which is strategic as ‘white’ is seen as a pure and clean colour, and for a body-wash company places them in a positive light.
Solomon, Michael., Russell-Bennett, R. and Previte, J. (2019) Consumer Behaviour, Australian Edition, 4th Ed., Pearson