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Physical, sensorial customer experiences

Experience marketing is physical

Branding of your product, service or company is all about the physical experience, sensorial dimension and consumer behaviour.

Experiential marketing

All experiences involve your body in some way. Your senses transport information about physical conditions through your nervous system to end up as an experience. Movement of your body reflects and enhances the understanding of something. A large, heavy book makes you read in a different way than a short book that may be held in one hand only. Using physical objects when you practise maths makes you learn and understand it in a different way. Using an abacus requires coordination of the body and enhances your learning. People cannot NOT move and use their bodies. All bodily experiences connect to sensorial and cognitive experiences.

“Body experience…is the centre of creation” – Barbara Hepworth

Moving your body while experiencing with your senses and thought will enhance the intensity, and allow you to have a stronger cognitive resonance. Physical experiences are when your body interacts with the physical world. When there is a change in your physical environment or an object that you are in contact with, the difference is registered as a physical experience.

Sensory experiences

Sensory experiences relates to a customer in a more intimate and personal way than mass marketing can. It’s less dependent on rational thought and more engaged with the feelings that users get through emotional and behavioural dimensions. When interacting with a product or service, several senses deliver the experience. The more senses are engaged in an experience, the stronger the impact. It’s easier to influence feelings when involving as many senses as possible. For example, smell is an important aspect of the customer experience of a new car.

“Driving a motorcycle…all your senses are alive” – Hugh Laurie

The experience of a service or product always involves several senses, and providers need to hone the most important to the user. The relation between what senses are focused on in a service and what gives the strongest experience is not always balanced. For example, sound and hearing is the second most important sense for people in a customer experience, but it’s sometimes not even considered by marketers. Experiences are all perceived through our senses, which are our capability to transform perception into data. Humans have five traditional recognised senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. We also have sensory modalities like the kinaesthetic sense and the ability to sense temperature, pain and balance.

Consumer behaviour

A customer’s perception of an interaction with a company or service is influenced by painful and pleasurable experiences. Customer interactions should adhere to the user’s needs and wants and be a sequence of as positive experiences as possible. When designing an interaction experience, entrepreneurs should consider the pleasurable, as well as the painful parts of the service. Give users a choice, give them control and let them do what they are used to doing. For example, many people listen to the radio when they drive, and they may listen to a specific channel, but they need to have the possibility to choose different channels.

“When you focus on the consumer, the consumer responds“ – Alexander Wang

Customers often want to meet representatives of a company before committing to something, even if they’ve done all their research online. If they are considering physical goods, customers want to experience before the purchase. Behavioural Science has two parts: information processing of stimuli from the environment and relational interaction among people. If consumer behaviour is reciprocated with a positive consequence, it will be repeated. When brand managers shape a transaction or interaction according to behavioural principles, companies achieve higher customer satisfaction.
Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg is a visual communicator and branding consultant. He specialises in building brand strategies and brand identities. Christian has worked with several specializations within visual communication as well as teaching and being an author. Christian now works on his third stint as an entrepreneur.