Hospitality Trends

Sensorial Marketing Strategy

More than a Trend

Through sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing, we can engage with and understand the whole world. Senses strongly affect the deepest parts of our brains and evoke powerful emotions and memories. Travelers base their decisions, not only on facts, but also on their emotions. Based on the things hotels showcase, guests will be involved and store memories throughout their brains. Therefore, it is crucial to create an emotional connection between your hotel and your guests.

The power of the senses
Sensory marketing is a technique that appeals to all human senses and engages consumers by influencing their emotions and behaviors. A sensorial marketing strategy is crucial to provide an effective experience. Research has discovered that our senses reinforce one another when they are congruent in any way. Our five senses, affect not only our attitude, but also our mood and even our memory. Many companies have already started to build customer experience by using all the five senses. The following tips help you to hit all senses to connect your guests emotionally to your hotel:

Sight is the most important sense. Research proves that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and our brains process visual information faster than written text. Before staying at a property, travelers make automatic assumptions of the experience in the hotel based on the website and user generated content created as a resulting action. That is why the website design, brochures and photos should include clean and modern aesthetics. Although photos have an important impact on guests’ decision, the overall design which includes fonts, your logo and color palette should also should be top of mind. The choice of wall colors and lighting systems can have a huge impact on your guests’ perception of your hotel. Start thinking about signature colors that give your property a special identity. And make your hotel unique by using signature items, décors and images.

Although smell plays a crucial role in hospitality, it is an overlooked sense by hoteliers. Certain smells can bring up both negative and positive feelings and memories. Hotels need decent aromas to create a qualitative service environment and a feel good factor. People spend more time in a nice smelling environment. Some hotels use signature smells to entice brand loyalty and other brands even use an universal scent, which creates a consistent and common experience in every property worldwide. By way of a change, you could have different seasonal smells including a warming winter scent and a fresh summer one. Try to improve the aroma at your spa, the fragrance of towels, smells at washrooms and in hallways to impact the overall guest experience. Floral and fresh aromas for example will make your guests feel relaxed.

Taste and smell are closely related. A well-known saying states that one way to win someone’s heart is to appeal to their appetite. Taste has a great potential as it can maximize the experience as well as satisfactory levels. By creating a signature dish, which is only available in your hotel you can occupy the first place in your guests’ choices. Why not offering a warm cookie to every guest that checks in. Your guests will appreciate your warm and caring behavior. If there is some food that relates with your destination, instead of a cookie you could offer sample sizes of a local delicacy. You could also offer a glass of champagne upon arrival or a complimentary wine and snacks during a happy hour.

The sense of touch is important when trying to create memorable experiences in hotels. The incorporation of textures, fabrics and materials in the language of the hotels’ marketing materials can convey the feeling of luxury or sumptuous comfort. Furthermore, it can excite your guests’ sense of touch before they have stepped into your property. Comfy pillows and soft sheets will add meaningful value to your guests’ experience.

Sound is powerful and music can evoke many emotions. People release endorphins when listening to the music they like. Most hoteliers do not pay much attention to the background music in their lobbies. Music, however, has the ability to grab the attention of people. Some hotels even have signature music that is composed especially for them. If you want your own signature songs keep in mind that they need to be consistent with the overall brand experience. Background music should also accord to time (morning, afternoon, evening and night time). Soothing and relaxing music will influence your guests’ behavior in terms of spending time in your property. Exchange the existing music of your telephone holding loop with more pleasant songs, which already give potential guests a feeling of what a stay in your hotel will be like.

Combine all senses
More and more companies will invest in sensorial marketing, but remember that customers might react differently as sensory perception differs. Nevertheless, sensorial marketing strategies, by offering multi-sensual experiences, are one of the most effective ways for hotels to be remembered. This holistic approach will help you to penetrate consumers’ memories. You might not only generate new customers but also loyal repeat guests. So start designing your strategy in a holistic way, start marketing to your guests’ five senses.

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