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Analyzing the Impact of Sensory Marketing on Consumers: A Case Study of KFC

  • Aberystwyth University (Mauritius Branch Campus)

Abstract and Figures

Sensory marketing is a useful marketing application which gives companies a real opportunity to maximize product profitability. Consumers’ eating habits keep changing everyday away from their regular meal, less time and more working hours have left people with the option to just pop in a restaurant or fast-food. The use of five senses in the marketing field helps to arouse customer’s emotions and nowadays it is fundamental for the company to differentiate itself from its competitors. The study will seek to analyze the impact of sensory marketing of consumers with a particular reference to KFC. This study outline has a deep impact on understanding the impact of senses on marketing with particular reference to the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Mauritius. The present research shows that the different senses have an impact on consumer buying behaviour especially for KFC consumers. Consumers find the senses such as music to be relaxing and smell as stimulating. However, it should be mentioned that this research is limited to the sample size and also to the context of the study.
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Journal of US-China Public Administration, April 2016, Vol. 13, No. 4, 278-292
doi: 10.17265/1548-6591/2016.04.007
Analyzing the Impact of Sensory Marketing on Consumers:
A Case Study of KFC
Roopchund Randhir
Aberyswyth University (Mauritius Branch Campus), Quartier Militaire, Mauritius
Khirodhur Latasha, Panyandee Tooraiven, Bappoo Monishan
Université des Mascareignes, Rose Hill, Mauritius
Sensory marketing is a useful marketing application which gives companies a real opportunity to maximize product
profitability. Consumers’ eating habits keep changing everyday away from their regular meal, less time and more
working hours have left people with the option to just pop in a restaurant or fast-food. The use of five senses in the
marketing field helps to arouse customer’s emotions and nowadays it is fundamental for the company to
differentiate itself from its competitors. The study will seek to analyze the impact of sensory marketing of
consumers with a particular reference to KFC. This study outline has a deep impact on understanding the impact of
senses on marketing with particular reference to the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Mauritius. The present research
shows that the different senses have an impact on consumer buying behaviour especially for KFC consumers.
Consumers find the senses such as music to be relaxing and smell as stimulating. However, it should be mentioned
that this research is limited to the sample size and also to the context of the study.
Keywords: sensory marketing, KFC, senses
Sensory marketing is widespread in marketing field and it may explain most of our purchasing decisions.
It has an influence on the buying perception at new food court or restaurants emerging at every corner. Sensory
marketing is used in different aspects: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustative, and tactile marketing. Sensory
branding is a type of marketing which appeals to all the senses in relation to the brand. It uses the senses to relate
with customers at an emotional level. Brands can falsify emotional associations in the customers’ minds by
appealing to their senses. A sensory experience is described as an individual’s perception of goods or services
or other essentials in a service process as an image that challenges the human mind and senses. Brakus, Schmitt,
and Zarantonello (2009) differentiated among product experiences, shopping, and service experiences, as well
as consumption experiences, concluding that all such experiences influence directly or indirectly on consumers.
Corresponding author: Roopchund Randhir, BSc, MBA, DipM ACIM, lecturer, Aberyswyth University (Mauritius Branch
Campus), Quartier Militaire, Mauritius; research fields: customer relationship management, higher education.
Khirodhur Latasha, BSc (Hons) Management, Université des Mascareignes, Rose Hill, Mauritius; research field: sensory
Panyandee Tooraiven, BSc (Hons) Management, Université des Mascareignes, Rose Hill, Mauritius; research field: marketing
Bappoo Monishan, BSc (Hons) Management, Université des Mascareignes, Rose Hill, Mauritius; research field: sensory
Schmitt (1999) proposed acting, feeling, relating, sensing, and thinking as customer experiences. Nowadays,
more marketing specialists are willing to adopt this strategy resulting into great success to their business and it
is difficult for a customer not to buy a product with this type of marketing. Sensory marketing is defined as a
way of measuring and explaining consumer emotions as well as spotting and capitalizing on new market
opportunities, and finally ensuring long-lasting product success.
Literature Review
Emergence of Five Senses in the Marketing World
Sensory marketing is based on the concept that we are most likely to form, memorise, and discover the
mind when all five senses are involved. By going outside the traditional marketing media of sight and sound,
brands can establish a stronger and longer-lasting emotional connection with consumers. Krishna (2010)
explained sensory marketing as “marketing that engages the consumers’ senses and affects their behaviours”.
Advertising is not what it used to be. Even though, we are adopting more and more marketing resources
communicating with consumers.
Consumers with an urge for advertisementfree entertainment are growing. Snappier graphics, faster editing,
more appealing confirmations or bigger and better discounts will no longer do it. Moreover, to be perfectly frank,
the most distinctive proposal is not likely to hold water, something new is required. In the search for something
new, we have to move right outside of today’s advertising prototype. We have to go back to the basics and
identify what actually charms human beings on an ordinary, everyday basis. If there is a sound, touch, taste, and
smell element, you would probably be right in assuming that this is merely a pleasant coincidence. One may
ask why these four senses have been neglected and left to their natural protective roles.
Almost our entire understanding of the world is experienced through our senses. Our senses are our
connection to memory and can tap right into emotion. Bringing on the five senses has worked very well in
emotionally connecting people to the rituals of faith.
Visual marketing (sight). Sight is the most used sense in marketing, as it is the most stimulated by the
environment. The choice of colours and forms in the conception of a product, the layout of a point of sale, the
realisation of promotion campaign are key factors of success (or failure), which are well understood by
marketers. Colours and shapes are the first way of identification and differentiation. Many brands are
associated to a specific colour, then it is memorised more easily by customers; Coca Cola is red, Kodak is
yellow, and KFC are red and white. The company can be identified even though the customer did not see the
name. According to memory retention studies, consumers are up to 78% more likely to remember a message
printed in colour than that in black and white. In the food and beverage industry, the impact of colours is
obvious and sharply defined.
The visual system is to modify light patterns into information, according to which people are capable of
perceiving forms, colours, dimensions, movements, and distances between objects. Recent years showed that
the way the product looks is not the only factor important for the consumers.
Furthermore, researchers have showed that sight is a dominant factor in creating brand awareness and in
generating customer experience.
Olfactory marketing (smell). Smells trigger certain parts of the brain responsible for creating emotions
and memories. The human nose can identify and remember as many as 10,000 scents and as much as 75
percent of our emotions are generated by what we smell. Out of all the senses, smell is the only one with a
direct link to the brain. As Dr. John Medina explains in his bestseller Brain Rules. The most famous technique
of olfactory marketing in the food industry is the use of artificial smells to appeal to customers in the street,
subway, or supermarkets.
The best example can be Starbucks coffee, the coffee shop. They have started roasting coffee beans within
the stores instead of outsourcing the process. This spreads the odour of beans in the environment thereby giving
richer sensory experience.
Paradoxically, there are only few studies in this field, in comparison with researches on visuals or
sonorous stimulus. Researches on the smells started these last 15 years, especially in the United States, so many
questions are still unanswered.
However, the impact of smells on customers’ behaviour has been definitely certified. First, researchers
proved the positive impact of a smell on the evaluation of a product (Laird, 1935; Cox, 1969). According to
Spangenberg, Crowley, and Henderson (1996b), a pleasant smell influences positively the evaluation of the
customer on a point of sale (and some of its products), the intent of walk-through, of buying, as well as on the
time spent inside (real and perceived). But the precise olfactory characteristics that could be at the origin of
these influences are not yet determined.
Hirsch and Gay (1991) had noticed that women are more sensitive to smell than men. However, each sex
does not have the reaction faced on the same smell: for instance, men stay longer than women in a shelf
perfumed with spicy scent (Wall Street Journal, 1990), when women are more sensitive to shampoo smelling
than men. The age of the customer modifies his perception, as according to Doty (1984; 1985), the sense of
smell breaks up as the person gets older.
In this way, there is also a difference between generations: People born before 1930 are more likely to call
up natural smells, while youngest report more food or artificial smell (Hirsh, 1992). So the use of olfactory
marketing can be interesting for a brand, provided that it knows how its target, to avoid a bad perception and
then a negative impact.
Auditory marketing (sound). Sound has the power to influence our mood and sway our buying habits.
To use sounds is known in advertising: To associate music to a message is a good way to make the consumer
remember it. However, music is also important for sensory marketing users, since researches underlined the
impact of music on behaviour, in a point of sale for instance. The effectiveness of a selling environment
depends on its capacity to manage the subjectivity of the potential customer (Célier, 2004). When sound is
directly linked to the product itself, consumers may interpret it as a sign of quality or familiarity. “Kellogg’s
TM takes full advantage of the sound element. Its Rice Krispies TM has the classic ‘snap, crackle, pop’, but did
you know the crunch of the Kellogg’s cornflake was carefully developed in sound labs?”.
The power of music is in its capacity to contextualize the different articles and support emotional states
and poses (Gumperz, 1977; DeNora, 1986). Music aims to put customer in a state of mind corresponding to the
articles that are sold: Playing rock music in a guitar shop and the person will imagine himself playing with what
could be his future purchase. Music can then, if connected to the product, be a way to act on the buying
behaviour of the customer. It is also proved that high volume music in a bar will increase the consumption of
the customers (North & Hargreaves, 1996).
Studies have been made to find what kind of music fits the best with the different kinds of places: For
instance, classical music will increase the quality sensation of a wine cellar (Areni & Kim, 1993) or a tea house
(North & Hargreaves, 1996). But music can also act on the “crowd management”, by influencing the time spent
inside by the customer. For example, according to two studies from Roballey et al. (1985) and Milliman (1986),
a fast-tempo music will push the customer to leave earlier. On the other hand, a slow music played at low
volume will increase the time and the money spent inside. Same studies revealed also that clients will eat faster
and consume less with a loud volume and fast-tempo music. Another research from Smith and Curnow (1966)
revealed that in a point of sales, customer adopts his walk speed according to the tempo of the music. Music
offers a wide range of possibility to the marketers to influence customers’ behaviour and complete the
atmosphere to create a coherent sales environment.
Tactile marketing (touch). Our skin has more than 4,000,000 sensory receptors that can be easily
influenced through materials, weight, smoothness, and ease of the product. Sense of touch also plays a great
part when it comes to packaging design, or even in some advertising campaigns. Packaging can give an enormous
power on our brand awareness. It is a flawless method for getting close to consumer’s unconsciousness, their
perceptions, feelings, and tastes. The solid wish to pick up, touch, and test things is massive, and retailers count
on that in their display strategies. Our hands are an important link between our brains and the world. The fact is
that we humans, have more tactile nerve system in our little fingers alone than we do on our entire back.
In a restaurant, the weight of the cutleries, the softness of the napkins, the comfort of a chair can affect the
perception the customers has of the atmosphere since, according to Rieunier (2002), the touch is one of the
major determinants of the well-being sensation.
Gustative marketing (taste). People can sense five basic tastes: bitter, sour, savory, salty, and sweet. For
all other aroma tastes, we must show gratitude to our sense of smell, for that is the one that gives flavor to our
food. We can say that taste is the sense that merges all different senses together to create a complete brand
experience, but is also related to emotional condition, so it can change mood and brand perception.
Thanks to scientific advancements, this sense is now highly mastered and exploited by producers in order
to adapt their products to regional preferences: e.g. German consumer likes the sweet-salty mix, softly sour for
the British one (Célier, 2004).
Recent studies aimed to understand better the mechanism of taste and explore the existing relations
between, for instance, taste and colours. Thus, scientists now know that the four basic gustative sensations,
sweet, sour, bitter, and salty, are respectively linked by consumers to the red, green, blue, and yellow colours
(Célier, 2004). This might be important in the packaging design process of a product for instance.
In a promotional way, companies often use gustative marketing to convince customers, by making
blind-tests (through comparatives advertisements for instance) or directly with sampling or free-tasting
promotional operations. According to Rieunier (2002), such operations can be determinant in the food industry,
as customers are more disposed to purchase a product that they already tasted and liked.
Impact of Senses on Consumers
It has been stated that consumers search for and buy emotional experiences around what has been bought
and no longer buy products and services alone (Brembeck & Ekström, 2004; Ratneshwar & Mick, 2005). In
this research, the sensory experience is related to the five human senses, despite their importance in generating
customer value, sensory experiences, and the brand as an image. As such, there are six main elements: sight,
sound, scent, touch, atmosphere, and taste associated with sensory marketing as discussed below.
Sight and its marketing impact. Empirical studies relating to sight impressions have been discussed by,
for instance, Orth and Malkewitz (2008). The sense of sight is the most powerful one for detecting changes and
differences in the environment and is the most used sense in perceiving goods or services. In studying sensory,
emotional, and thinking capacity of the human brain, studies show that vision, for example, can interact with
such senses as hearing, touch, and olfaction (Calvert & Thesen, 2004). Another study has demonstrated that
various techniques identify the five senses merging in the human brain, indicating that one sense can be
affected by relations with other senses (Driver & Noesselt, 2008). According to Henderson, Cote, Leong, and
Schmitt (2003), quoted that the use of graphic information can make it easier for a product to stand out in the
large amount of marketing messages, having a positive impact on the customers’ consideration of a possible
purchase (Kahn & Deng, 2010). Further, visual sense has been shown to be of great significance when verbal
material is absent, creating a perception of quality which has a direct impact on the building of a strong brand
(Henderson et al., 2003). Furthermore, researchs have also deduced the visualised brands and other visual cues.
It has been suggested that an unappealing product design might result in people searching for, expecting, and
detecting problems, as well as observing details instead of ignoring small issues. A visually attractive product
design may improve creativity in problem solving, as well as having an impact on mood (Norman, 2004). It can
affect consumers in both a positive and a negative way without processing any other information (Norman,
2004). This is also emphasized by Messaris (1997) who argued that the sense of sight, beside the purpose of
receiving attention, can elicit an emotional response towards a product and other things. A sight strategy
stresses the meaning of such sensory expressions as colour, light, and theme, as well as graphics, exterior, and
interior. All are underlined in picturing a brand’s identity and values. The Finnish producer of mobile phones,
Nokia, illustrates just this:
Nokia has chosen to design its phones with soft values in mind in order to appeal to human senses. The main rationale
has been to move away from the hard values that technology conventionally stands for. This has been a way to make the
mobile phones more user-friendly by giving each product an identity and soul. Nokia’s big screen and soft buttons have been
designed for this purpose and the ability to change the colour of phone suggests increased individualization.
Sound in marketing perception. Sound can be parted into two ways: wanted and unwanted sound, and
Rossing, Moore, and Wheeler (2002) explained that there are more to the world of sound in the environment
than music—namely noise. The authors elaborate this reasoning, and state that noise has been said to have an
impact on communication as well as produce different psychological as well as physiological impact (Rossing
et al., 2002). Sound has been since long in the field of marketing (Hultén, Broweus, van Dijk, & Waxberg,
2008) and has been identified as a vital component that triggers and influences the consumer’s mood, behaviour,
and preferences (Bruner, 1990; M. I. Alpert, J. I. Alpert, & Maltz, 2005). According to Kellaris and Kent (1992),
music has the reputation to be the “shorthand of emotions” and has been used to provoke emotional responses
in the consumer. With this in mind, music has been identified to play an important role in the lives of the consumers.
Moreover, it is stated by Hul, Dube, and Chebat (1997) who explained that the individuals preference in music
will affect if the advertising has a positive influence on the consumer or not, where Kellaris and Kent (1993)
underlined that the chosen music will have an impact on how the message is perceived or processed by the
consumer. Companies need to be aware of what type of music they are playing, using liked music with the aim to
affect customer’s general assessment of the store environment and the experience of it (Cameron & Caza, 2004).
The American retailer Abercrombie & Fitch demonstrates a sound strategy:
The sound at Abercrombie & Fitch is expressed through famous songs which have been mixed to create the right
atmosphere in the service landscape. A heavy bass represented in every song characterizes the firm’s music. The music
played is very loud and gives the impression of a night club. The songs are mixed to build up expectation that something
more is under way. There are no gaps between the tracks and therefore the tempo level and sound pressure are constants in
the store. Customers like the music and many dance in time to it. Employees also dance, which gives the relaxed feeling of
party and of smell living it up.
Smell as a marketing element. Smell is an important element of our experience. We sniff the milk in the
refrigerator before drinking it; we sniff if there is the single warning of smoke, and then behave accordingly.
Our sense of smell guards us safe by serving us to choose fresh food and avoid rotten food. Each piece of fruit
and cut of meat that finds its way into our shopping trolley has passed the sniff and feel test. Impulsively, we
inspect for doubtful tears in the packaging and we wait, subconsciously for the clicking of the seal when we
open a soda or a can of peanuts.
In this literature, as a cue or stimulus, scent can produce an effect in an individual’s mind, affecting on the
actual behaviour, without the person being aware of the process (Ward, Davies, & Kooijman, 2003). In this
concern, three different aspects of using scents have been emphasized in the research, the presence of a scent, its
pleasantness, and its fit with environmental and service elements (Bone & Ellen, 1999). In fact, a number of
studies have demonstrated the positive effects of scents on buying intentions and store image (Parsons, 2009).
Moreover, research discloses that the existence of scent affects customer performance in terms of intentions
to visit and return to a store (Bone & Ellen, 1999) and also establishes a positive perception of a particular
commercial environment (Chebat & Michon, 2003). Various readings have considered the appeal of scents
arising from an object, or a service associated with it being perceived as pleasant or unpleasant (Bone & Ellen,
1999; Chebat & Michon, 2003).
It is obvious from research that pleasant scents have positive properties on time spent in a store, the number
of times products are inspected, in addition to, the total time devoted to product assessment (Morrin &
Ratneswhar, 2003; Schifferstein & Verlegh, 1996; Spangenberg et al., 1996a). It is also assumed that, pleasant
scents result in pleasant (unpleasant) affective consumer responses, in turn resulting in approach (avoidance)
behaviour educated through the emotional response (Morrin, Krishna, & Lwin, 2010).
Furthermore, research directs that arousing a pleasant scent is a cheap and effective way of improving
customer shopping behaviour and creating increased cash outflow (Spangenberg et al., 1996a). On the whole,
these effects may influence on consumer behaviour, leading them to spend more money, when they experience
the pleasant smell of a retail atmosphere.
Agreement between scent and products improves product evaluations, for example, housecleaning solutions
scented with lemon (Bone & Ellen, 1999). It is apparent that consumers evaluate products more positively when
the smell is considered typical for the product. On the other hand, it is also useful considering appropriateness
between smell and the total service environment (Ward et al., 2003). The smell of Crayone color pens that make
people recall the childhood life has in fact become a vital element in the company’s brand strategy. Early in 2000,
Crayone needed to shield their brand from the many unofficial competitors in Asia. This was challenging to the
great extent. It was not easy to protect a color pen which draws generic colors. It is more difficult to do when the
logo is barely familiar and the pens are parted from their packaging. All you can do is smell.
We examine the aroma of the original pen, Crayone artificially manufactured the smell and patented it.
Today, the very characteristic smell that we so strongly associate with Crayone, is chemically coded and a crucial
factor of the Crayone product. It is there to arouse the memory of generations of kids of the upcoming years, and
above all, it is not possible to copy.
A smell strategy is applied to permit a scent to become a component of a brand’s identity and image. Scents
add in creating memory pictures, a positive atmosphere, and well-being among both customers and employees.
Eliminating unpleasant smells inside a car to make it more pleasing to get into and use was described in an
interview with the Volvo marketing department in Gothenburg, Sweden:
We put a lot of effort into making the car smell good when one enters it. The new S80 and all of our cars are adapted
for allergenic environments. The S80 is recommended by the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association. When the car is
opened with the hand control, the air is sucked out, as there is otherwise always an accumulation of the smell of plastic.
This indicates the development work in this area, which is quite enormous.
Smell in relation to gender. According to Spangenberg et al. (1996a), they also noted that when
“feminine scents” were used, sales of women clothes doubled; as did men’s clothes when masculine scents
were diffused. This underscores the importance of matching genderpreferred scents to the product. Both men
and women browsed for longer and spent more money when a fragrance specific to their gender was used to
scent the store atmosphere. Aroma preferences tend to be cultural and they can be generationspecific too, so
the target market at each location will need to be pinpointed precisely.
Touch as a marketing concept. The tactile sense (or the sense of touch) is the first of our human senses to
develop and the largest sensory organ (Gallace, Zeeden, Röder, & Spence, 2010). Additionally, the tactile sense
is considered as one of our most intimate senses, involving physical interaction with the skin, with the hands
playing a vital part as our “principal source of input to the touch perceptual system” (Peck & Childers, 2003a).
Research has established that consumers like to assess products and collect information about them through
touch (McCabe & Nowlis, 2003). It has also been proposed that it should be beneficial for retailers to let
consumers touch and interact with products in retail settings (Grohmann, Spangenberg, & Sprott, 2007).
Researches have also shown that consumers desire store atmosphere that allow them to examine products
tangibly (Krishna & Morris, 2008) and to pick up, touch, and choose between products that are exposed (McCabe
& Nowlis, 2003).
Touching products has been shown to exert a positive impact on shopper attitudes and behaviour, as well as
on purchase intentions (Citrin et al., 2003; Peck & Wiggins, 2006) and is associated with effective product
placement in stores. Moreover, research has demonstrated that for some people, the effects of touch are stronger
than for others (Peck & Childers, 2003a). By using touch, a positive affective response might result in more
positive attitudes toward a product (Peck & Wiggins, 2006). In this context, touch means gaining information
about the product and its characteristics, such as form, hardness, texture, or weight.
Peck and Wiggins (2006) drew attention to the touch that has possibly noteworthy consequences for store
atmospherics, in the form of instore and pointofpurchase displays. Researchers claim that displays can
encourage touch and result in an interaction with products that customers would otherwise have ignored. This
could increase instinct and unforeseen purchases (Peck & Childers, 2008). Peck and Childers (2003b) showed
how information gain through touching influences emotion and consumer. Haptic information, or by the hands,
is important for the assessment of products that differ in terms of material properties related to texture, hardness,
temperature, and weight. The authors develop and propose a conceptual framework to illustrate that salience of
haptic information varies significantly across products, consumers, and situations. The authors conduct two
tests to assess how these factors interact to impair or improve the achievement and practice of touching
information or touch by hands.
A touch strategy targets at consolidating the identity and image of a brand through a physical and
psychological interaction with customers. Touching products makes it easier to recall them merely by looking at
them. IKEA in Norway illuminates a touch strategy:
During the summer of 2007, the company let its customers stay the night. The aim was to create a touch experience of
IKEA’s beds, at the same time as the actual features of the bed were experienced during a night’s sleep. The night stay was
free, and the customers could choose between a basic dormitory, a family room, or a marriage chamber.
Atmosphere from marketing perception. In 1970’s, Kotler claimed that the atmosphere of a place can
be more dominant than the product itself, highlighting that the atmospherics can be regarded as the prime
product. Store atmospherics are said to affect customers behaviour through its interaction with their perception
(Puccinelli et al., 2009) and the thought of atmospherics is to create a positive experience that impacts the
customer’s perception, permitting them to imagine positive things, including the likelihood to try new things
(Wagner & Rudolph, 2010). Store atmospherics is defined as “an effort to design buying environments to
produce specific emotional effects in the buyer that enhance his purchase probability” (Kotler, 1974) and
concerns environmental cues that can have a possible effect on human behaviour as well their perception (Smith
& Burns, 1996). In connection to the above stated definition by Kotler (1974), Sharma and Stafford (2000)
stated that design, ambiance, and social factors together make out atmospheric cues. The retail environment is,
therefore, never unbiased, instead it is full of cues and various messages communicating with customers
(Greenland & McGoldrick, 1994). These cues, referred to as sensory cues are consequently of great
significance in attracting the customer, creating an emotional relationship (Hultén, 2011). Since the store
surroundings is becoming more and more fundamental with increased attention from both customers and store
managers, the stores must be designed with different styling elements in a conscious way with the goal to
appeal customers, affecting the buyers in different means (Turley & Milliman, 2000; Solomon, Pierrehumbert,
Matthews, Daniel, & Friedlingstein, 2010).
This thinking is further developed by Summers and Hebert (2001) who argued that atmospherics express
precise sensory qualities of a store environment that can be used to induce clear consumer responses. The
atmospherics are directly linked with our senses, excluding taste, through which we will experience different
sensory channels like colour, shape, scent, volume, or temperature (Kotler, 1974).
Store atmospherics are connected to amount of stimuli and different cues, where colour, scent, and music
are included (Spangenberg et al., 1996b; Wagner & Rudolph, 2010; Solomon et al., 2010), with an aim of impacting
customers in a positive way through emotional responses at an unconscious stage (Donovan & Rossiter, 1982).
Taste and sensory marketing. Taste is much more multifaceted than the experience of basic flavours on
the tongue, it also encompasses our other senses to a larger degree than most people realise according to
Professor Charles Spence. The taste sense is the most important and most developed of all senses. Very few of
our taste preferences are biologically preset. Much rather they are linked with some sort of experience. Once a
flavor or food is accepted, this can also influence the preference for and acceptance of new flavors or foods. If
the sensory properties of a food are linked with negative sensations or reactions (nausea, vomiting during or
after consumption), an aversion against this food develops that may remain for the rest of one’s life.
Nonetheless, positive sensations may also shape the preference for a food.
Taste is particularly significant when talking about food products—the actual taste of the product—sweet,
sour, spicy, salty, fruity, and colorless—and our more general taste in food. In the case of manufactured foods,
the major will depend very much on the next, which is, in turn, full of cultural tones—lifestyle, aspirations,
childhood influences, and perceptions of the body. Understanding how our taste for food develops and what it
says about us is, therefore, a feature of the growing discipline of cultural studies which worth examining by the
marketing expert. It is about discovering the deeper layers of our disposition to food in general and cultural
differences that might prepare food manufacturers to both marketing and research issues.
According to Creswell (2003), methodology refers to the methods followed in collecting data and
researching it on the lines of a developed discipline. The study is based mainly on surveys conducted through
questionnaires submitted to approximately 100 random respondents who are in regular or frequent consumption
at KFC and other restaurants. The questionnaire is designed to gain maximum perceptions of customers of
how sensory marketing affects the consumption level of rational individuals and as such gain maximum
information that can be useful for the management level of KFC restaurant. Moreover, preliminary content
analysis of the open-ended questions was conducted using the software IBM SPSS Text Analytics for Surveys.
Descriptive statistics and the chi-square test for uniform distribution were also used to analyze and compare
H0: There is no relationship between atmosphere and music and consumer buying behavior at KFC.
H1: There is a relationship between atmosphere and music and consumer buying behavior at KFC.
H0: There is no relationship between gender and scent in relation to consumer buying behavior at KFC.
H1: There is a relationship between gender and scent in relation to consumer buying behavior at KFC.
Analysis and Findings
Cross Tabulation
Table 1
How Do You Feel When You Experience Music at KFC Restaurant? (Age Cross Tabulation)
Age Total
18-20 21-23 24-27 28-30
How do you feel when you
experience music at KFC restaurant?
Relaxing 8 44 10 1 63
Exciting 2 7 4 0 13
Enjoying 12 9 17 5 43
Nothing 1 11 2 0 14
Total 23 71 33 6 133
According to Table 1 above, most of the youngsters found music to be relaxing, exciting, and enjoying
compared to the ones who are slightly older that is 28-30. Music has a profound effect on youngsters; it can
improve their moods and self-esteem or give them inspiration from role models. Music is something that every
person has his or her own specific opinion. Different people have different taste. Similarly various types of
music have many ways of leaving an impact on someone. It can be relaxing, exciting, soothing, enjoying, and
many more. Associating music to a message is a good way to make the consumer remember it. However, music
is also significant for sensory marketing users as researchers emphasized the impact of music on behaviour.
Correlation and Hypothesis Testing
From Table 2, we can deduce that there is a weak correlation between smell (scent) and the motivation to
choose the KFC restaurant. It is difficult in the way that perception of smells is different from a person to
another, and there are plenty individual variants that marketers have to take into account. The first one is the
sex of the person: Hirsch and Gay (1991) had noticed that women are more sensitive to smell than men.
However, each sex does not have the reaction faced on the same smell: For instance, men stay longer than
women in a shelf perfumed with spicy scent (Wall Street Journal, 1990), while women are more sensitive to
shampoo smelling than men. The age of the customer modifies his perception, as according to Doty (1984;
1985), the sense of smell breaks up as the person gets older.
Table 2
The Relationship Among Gender and Scent and Buying Behaviour Correlations
Does the smell (scent) of the restaurant motivate
you to choose the KFC restaurant without plan?
Pearson correlation 1 0.050
Sig. (2-tailed) 0.567
N 133 133
Does the smell (scent) of the
restaurant motivate you to
choose the KFC restaurant
without plan?
Pearson correlation 0.050 1
Sig. (2-tailed) 0.567
N 133 133
Table 3
How Do You Feel When You Experience Music at KFC Restaurant?
Frequency Percent (%) Valid percent (%) Cumulative percent (%)
Relaxing 63 47.0 47.4 47.4
Exciting 13 9.7 9.8 57.1
Enjoying 43 32.1 32.3 89.5
Nothing 14 10.4 10.5 100.0
Total 133 99.3 100.0
Missing System 1 0.7
Total 134 100.0
Experience music. From Table 3, it can be deducted that 47.0% found the atmosphere to be relaxing,
9.7% found it exciting, 32.1% found it enjoying, and the last 10.4% found it as nothing. Figure 1 below shows
that most of the participants strongly agreed that music is highly stimulating and exciting while buying at KFC,
only a few explained that they felt nothing while listening to music.
Park and Young (1986) argued that music acted as a persuading signal. Music is used to arouse emotions
corresponding with the symbolic meaning of the product; the likelihood of purchase is increased. When
consumers enjoy the background music, they feel they have spent less time relative to the actual amount of time
they have spent in the restaurant; if they dislike it, despite the short amount of time they have actually spent in
the restaurant, they claim to have been there for much longer (Yalch & Spangenberg, 2000; but see also
Kellaris & Kent, 1992).
Experience scent. From the below Table 4 and Figure 2, it can be said that 9.0% found it relaxing, 46.3%
found it exciting, 31.3% found it enjoying, and 12.7% found it as nothing.
Seventy-five percent of emotions are generated by smell (S. Bell & C. P. Bell, 2007). Consequently, smell
symbolizes a direct line to feelings of happiness and hunger and is a sensory signal that cannot be turned off
(Wilkie, 1995; Vlahos, 2007). Feldman (2009) demonstrated that people have strong abilities to easily
remember odors associated with long forgotten events. Thus if an individual customer is not contented with an
experience in a retail store, he or she may intensely remember it each time he or she sniffs a smell resembling
which already occurred in his or her memory. The sense of smell is linked to pleasure and wellbeing and is
closely associated to emotions and memories. As a scent can be administered and create an effect in a person’s
mind without him or her even paying attention to it, smell is “something that the customer cannot ignore”.
Table 4
How Do You Feel When You Experience Scent at KFC Restaurant?
Frequency Percent (%) Valid percent (%) Cumulative percent (%)
Relaxing 12 9.0 9.0 9.0
Exciting 62 46.3 46.6 55.6
Enjoying 42 31.3 31.6 87.2
Nothing 17 12.7 12.8 100.0
Total 133 99.3 100.0
Missing System 1 0.7
Total 134 100.0
Figure 1. Experiencing music at KFC.
Figure 2. Experiencing scent at KFC.
Sensory Marketing, written by Dr. Bertil Hultén, Niklas Broweus, and Marcus van Dijk, delivers a new
track for accepting how human senses construct an individual’s experience; equally, it advises strategies on
how a firm distinguishes and develops its own identity and unique product and branding through the
involvement of human senses. Unlike typical marketing study, their work put the five senses in the front and
center, emphasizing the importance of appealing each sense when marketing to customers. The five senses,
smell, touch, taste, sight, and sound have a tremendous impact on how consumers purchase and experience
products, services, and brands; nevertheless, academics and practitioners have long ignored their importance in
marketing. Creatively, Sensory Marketing validates how the five human senses contribute to a firm’s strategic
marketing. Likewise, it suggests that a firm should consider the five human senses as a starting point in practice,
consequently offering customers an absolute and unique experience.
A sensory manual covering the five human senses should be settled, in which sensorial strategies expressed
through sensors, sensations, and sensory expressions as means, could be recognized in providing a brand’s
personal stamp to the customers. This can lead managers to build and establish successful multisensory
brandexperience relationships, in disparity to more conservative and limited brand relationships.
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... According to the perspective of Signalling theory, CI is an associations perception that is held by clients in their psyche, as it empowers the clients to see and assess the entire tasks of the association (Kim and Lee, 2010). Moreover, Randhir et al. (2016) showed that CI is straightforwardly connected with various authoritative characteristics, for example, brand name, items, administration classification, nature of the item and administrations which are spoken with every client. Moreover, they presumed that CI decidedly affects dependability as they gain proof from various administrations areas such as telecom, training and retailing. ...
... As per memory retention studies, buyers are up to 78% bound to recall a message imprinted in shading that clearly. In the food and drink industry, the effect of shadings is self-evident and pointedly characterized to draw in clients (Randhir et al., 2016). ...
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Trường Đại học Ngoại thương, 91 Chùa Láng, Đống Đa, Hà Nội, Việt Nam * Tác giả liên hệ: Nguyễn Hồng Quân <> (Ngày nhận bài: 8-2-2022; Ngày chấp nhận đăng: 16-3-2022) Tóm tắt. Bài báo nghiên cứu ảnh hưởng của ngũ quan lên chất lượng cảm nhận của khách hàng khi trải nghiệm trực tiếp dịch vụ tại các cửa hàng F&B, từ đó đóng góp vào lý thuyết về hành vi khách hàng và chất lượng cảm nhận. Dữ liệu được thu trên 446 mẫu ngẫu nhiên từ hơn 30 cửa hàng F&B tại Việt Nam, từ đó, nhóm tác giả thực hiện thống kê, xử lý bằng phần mềm SPSS, phân tích hệ số tin cậy Cronbach's alpha, phân tích nhân tố khám phá EFA, phân tích nhân tố khẳng định CFA và mô hình hồi quy tuyến tính. Kết quả kiểm định cho thấy cả năm yếu tố thị giác, thính giác, khứu giác, vị giác và xúc giác đều tác động lên chất lượng cảm nhận của khách hàng. Bên cạnh đó, hai yếu tố nhân khẩu học là tuổi tác và giới tính cũng góp phần tạo nên sự khác biệt trọng chất lượng dịch vụ cảm nhận khi khách hàng trải nghiệm tại các cửa hàng F&B. Từ khóa: chất lượng cảm nhận, trải nghiệm đa giác quan, marketing đa giác quan, dịch vụ F&B Abstract. This article investigated the impact of the five senses on perceived quality, satisfaction, and loyalty of customers when directly experiencing services at F&B stores. Data used on this research was collected from a survey on 446 random clients from more than 30 F&B stores in Vietnam. Then authors made statistinnk, processed using SPSS, analyzed Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficient, exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and linear regression models. The findings reveal that a consumer's
... Consumers eating habits keep changing everyday away from their regular meal, less time and more working hours have left people with the option to just pop in a restaurant or fast-food. The use of five senses in the marketing field helps to arouse customer's emotions and nowadays it is fundamental for the company to differentiate itself from its competitors (Roopchund Randhir et al., 2016). ...
... How many of these elements score 0-4.99; 5-9.99; 10-14.99; [15][16][17][18][19].99, 20 and higher. ...
... Although Randhir et al. (2016) determined that playing music inside stores provides a sense of comfort for customers and has a positive effect on customers' feelings, the present study does not find a significant impact of auditory cues on revisit intention. In many cases the music as background sound can affect the mood of consumers arousing positive or negative feelings, but it might not be as powerful in affecting their coffee store visits. ...
Purpose- Along with the changes in consumers’ expectations, marketers have started to trigger the senses in their marketing activities after realizing the effects of senses on consumer decisions. Sensory marketing activities have become a key tool for retailers to keep and gain consumers. Retailers can create store environments where their customers feel comfortable through the use of sensory cues. In this study, the influence of sensory marketing cues on revisit intention of customers is analyzed. Methodology- Restaurant and coffee shop businesses are among the most appropriate examples to offer attractive store atmosphere to persuade consumers for the next visit The research is conducted with respect to third-generation coffee stores to be able to include sensory cues designed to appeal to all five senses. The data collected via online survey questionnaires are analyzed using SPSS 23 statistical package program. Findings- Multiple sensory cues are found to be effective on revisit intention. It is revealed that the smelling, tasting and touching cues have an effect on customers’ revisit intention, while sensory cues of sight and hearing have no effect. Conclusion- This study offers implications to third generation coffee stores by emphasizing tactile, taste and olfactory cues. Retail companies can use sensory cues to increase consumers’ shopping duration in the store with an enjoyable experience and make them revisit the same store. Developing a clear positioning strategy can help them to create an emotional connection with their customers and improve customer engagement to the store. Therefore, companies can benefit from the sensory marketing concept as a strategic tool to differentiate them from their competitors. Keywords: Retailing, sensory marketing, sensory cues, store atmosphere, revisit intention JEL Codes: M30, M31, M39
... Hence this study suggests the sensory marketing technique of tactile marketing strategy as a way out of the challenge mentioned above. Although several studies have tried investigating the impact of sensory marketing on customer behavior (Randhir et al., 2016;Manenti, 2013;Hassan & Iqbal, 2016), there tend to exist scarce empirical research work within the context of Rivers State which dwells on our subject matter as it relates to visually impaired persons. Hence our point of departure and this creates a gap which this study tried to empirically fill. ...
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This study empirically investigated the extent to which tactile marketing strategy relates to customers' engagement. The problem which necessitated this study was the failure of fast food restaurants in Rivers State to engage their customers via the use of tactile cues like in the case of visually impaired persons where they failed to use braille messaging menu as practiced in the developed countries which have made them feel left out. One marketing strategy that addresses the sense of touch is the tactile marketing strategy. Hence, this study proffered tactile marketing strategy as a way out of these challenges. The population of the study comprised of all the customers of registered and operational fast food restaurants in Rivers State which is an infinite population. Using Godden formula for sampling infinite population, we arrived at a sample size of 384 customers which serves as our data base. Three hundred fifty five (355) copies of questionnaire out of the distributed 384 were valid and used for the study. The data collection instruments were validated through expert checking while Cronbach Alpha Test was used to check for its reliability. We adopted a quantitative research design method, and Pearson moment correlation coefficient constituted the inferential tools for the analysis. The study found that tactile marketing strategy has significant positive relationships with the measures of customer engagement (customer patronage, repeat purchase, and referral). We concluded that Tactile Marketing Strategies significantly influences customers' engagement in fast food restaurants. Therefore, this study recommends that management of fast food restaurants should utilize cool ambient temperature of the business premises with the use of air conditioners, adopt the use of braille messaging menu for the blind and visually impaired persons and lastly adopt the use of good texture of meals served and cool temperature of drinks offered to the customers since these strategies will enhance customers engagement with their businesses.
As the COVID-19 epidemic has been basically controlled, provinces and cities in Vietnam are actively planning to accelerate tourism recovery, ensure safety, and adapt to the new normal. The study analyzes the influence of sensory marketing on customer retention at tourist places in Hanoi. Through data obtained from 410 tourists who have experienced tourism in Hanoi, the analysis results show that marketing activities through the senses including sight, taste and touch have a positive influence on tourist satisfaction and promotion of tourist retention. Thereby, the authors also propose some solutions for managers to deploy towards maintaining satisfaction and increasing the return rate of tourists in the near future.
The 21st century is a period of great changes in terms of both consumers and brands. In the baseline of the age of emotion, where the main purpose of brands is to keep the product alive rather than selling the product; where the stories created by brands are spoken rather than the product’s features; where the consumer psychology is prioritized rather than the benefits consumers obtain from the product, lies multi (five-dimensional) sensory experience. The multi-sensory experience, which appeals to consumers’ senses such as seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, and touching, holds an important place for brands’ marketing communication and advertisement strategies. Especially, the digitalization process, which accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, led the brands that wanted to offer different experiences to their young consumers to multi-sensory marketing. This study descriptively analyzes the effects of sensory marketing elements created in both traditional store and online web atmosphere on the consumer shopping experience. For the analysis three main categories were determined and 14 people aged 18-24 were interviewed using the semi-structured in-depth interview technique. Findings reveal that during both traditional and digital shopping, young consumers want to undergo the multi-sensory experience in which their five senses are actively stimulated. Visual and auditory experiences come to the fore in digital shopping; but they think brands give importance to visual elements while being insufficient in audio studies. Although young consumers desire to experience the “Internet of the Senses” and the shopping experience that appeals to the five senses, they think that there will be no internet that can access the senses of taste and smell in 10 years. Research shows that young target audiences for brands need not only find/buy a product or service, but also an sensory and unique experience.
In this era of competition, distinction between the brands of the companies that strive in the marketto develop alink between the consumer and the product brand at the emotional and sensual ground, marketers must aim at developinga stronger, deeper and long-lasting brand connection for the consumers. Emotion is a crucial variable which influences the selection process ofthe customer, followed by his satisfaction level and therefore hisloyalty toward a particular service brand. Satisfying the customer has become an old concept. Customers must be attracted by influencing their five senses and therefore creating a loyal customer base.Where lot of research is conducted to guide and improve the marketers of tangible products for branding their products, in-depth studies on branding is lacking in the area of services. This makes it necessary to fill the gap by undertaking more research in this area in order to develop the global economy. This paper attempts to provide an insight on incorporating innovative branding strategies in a services sector. This paper makes an attempt to analyze and study theemotional branding of servicesand its importance in the present scenario of the service industry. Also discusses the function of senses and its relation with the marketing to pull more customers and retain the existing customers. This paper also makes an attempt to study the emotional branding strategies in the service sector. In conclusion, it is found that enough researches have been conducted on the area of sensory marketing and branding strategies of the tangible products but there is much more to be investigated in the area of service sector.
The popular press has recently reported that managers of retail and service outlets are diffusing scents into their stores to create more positive environments and develop a competitive advantage. These efforts are occurring despite there being no scholarly research supporting the use of scent in store environments. The authors present a review of theoretically relevant work from environmental psychology and olfaction research and a study examining the effects of ambient scent in a simulated retail environment. In the reported study, the authors find a difference between evaluations of and behaviors in a scented store environment and those in an unscented store environment. Their findings provide guidelines for managers of retail and service outlets concerning the benefits of scenting store environments.
Purpose – Effective retail environments are crucial for customer acquisition and retention. However, the environment behaviour relationship is complex and producing the ideal design is difficult. Whilst substantial research reports the affects of specific design components, studies investigating the impact of multiple store environment stimuli upon consumer perceptions, attitudes and behaviour are limited. Design/methodology/approach – The environment response model provides a conceptual framework for examining the impact of retail settings upon cognitive, affective and cognitive consumer responses. Its applicability is tested in retail banking environments. Research empirically links survey data to a design audit and reveals that more modern branch styles and features are statistically more likely to induce favourable customer reaction. Findings – Research empirically links survey data to a design audit and reveals that more modern branch styles and features are statistically more likely to induce favourable customer reaction. This finding in some ways helps justify expenditure on refurbishment. However, features having a positive impact in one respect may also be negative in another, highlighting the complexity of the environment behaviour relationship and the difficulties facing retail designers. Research limitations/implications – The limitations of this research is the relatively small branch sample size. Originality/value – Contributes to the literature on the impact of retail settings on consumer responses.
The focus of this article is the ability of smell to assist in the development and communication of retail brand image. We therefore present a number of propositions regarding ambient smell and the retail environment, including the potential for novel ambient aromas to act as a distinctive element in a retailer's marketing mix. To assist in creating a developmental discussion, we draw on aspects of olfaction research in disciplines other than marketing. However, the core of the piece is derived from the model developed by Gulas and Bloch (1995), as well as work focused on the study of other environmental stimuli within retail settings. Our aim is to provide testable extensions to this framework: creating specific points of departure for further research.
L'objectif de cet article est de mettre en parallèle les connaissances acquises dans le milieu académique sur l'influence des différents facteurs d'ambiance sur les réactions des clients en magasin avec les pratiques des distributeurs, afin de présenter un marketing spécifique et émergent: le marketing sensoriel du point de vente.
La presse populaire a récemment rapporté que les dirigeants des points de vente diffusent des parfums dans leurs magasins pour créer des environnements plus positifs et développer un avantage concurrentiel. Ces efforts ont lieu bien qu'il n'y ait pas de recherche académique supportant l'utilisation de parfum dans les environnements de magasin. Les auteurs présentent d'une part une revue des travaux théoriques importants issus de la psychologie environnementale et de la recherche en olfaction et d'autre part une étude examinant les effets du parfum ambiant dans un environnement de vente simulé. Dans leur étude, les auteurs trouvent une différence entre les évaluations et comportements dans un environnement de magasin parfumé et ceux dans un environnement de magasin non parfumé. Leurs résultats fournissent des directives pour les dirigeants des points de vente au sujet des avantages que procure l'utilisation du parfum dans l'environnement du magasin.
This paper critically reviews the literature available and presents an empirical study that examines the effects of background music on in-store shopping behavior. It finds that music tempo variations can significantly affect the pace of in-store traffic flow and dollar sales volume.