When Defining Your Experiential Marketing Plan Consider All Five Senses

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For Christmas, I was given a gift card to a local Denver spa.  Normally, I do not frequent spas or consider myself the type of person to indulge in such services, but it was an unusually stressful holiday season, so I made the appointment and went this past weekend.

It turned out to be an excellent experience both to nourish my psyche and stimulate my marketing sensibilities. As a leader at Webolutions, a Denver Strategic Marketing Agency, I am constantly preaching to clients about the need to develop a complete experiential marketing plan—not just telling customers what your brand stands for, but rather demonstrating it in every touch point. My trip to the spa was the ideal reinforcement of this practice as they had put extreme care and effort into how to engage all five senses to achieve the perfect branded experience. Let’s review how this worked and then consider applications to less sensory businesses than a spa:

Sight: The whole décor of this particular spa was created to calm and relax. Muted colors are used throughout, dim lighting puts visitors in a state of semi-sleep, rock fountains and grasses recall secluded nature scenes.

Sound: Not surprisingly, New Age music played throughout and was coupled with the tinkling of fountains. Even the employees speak in muted tones so as not to break the tranquility.

Touch: Visitors are given robes and slippers to change into for their treatments. Despite this not being an overly high-end spa, the robes were of the highest quality terry cloth which was exceptionally soft and cozy. They are stored in a dry warm place and feel delightfully soothing on the skin.

Taste: While this might not seem obvious in a spa where eating isn’t usually on the menu, I was offered a variety of warm or cold decaffeinated teas before and after my treatment to add to the soothing effect.

Smell: The smell was so divine; I had to buy some to try to recreate it in my own home. A slightly minty floral aroma relaxes the sinuses and delights in its subtlety. They smartly offer this to-go in candle, spray and incense forms.

So you might be saying, that’s fine for a spa, but I run a dry cleaner, auto repair shop, or accounting firm. What does this have to do with me? I’ll admit that for some businesses, it may be a stretch to touch all five senses, but every business can create a unique branded experience that engages at least a few. Let’s take Webolutions for instance—we do indeed practice the experiential marketing that we preach. Our offices are decorated in a thoughtful way with bright secondary colors and imaginative furnishings that energize the spirit and inspire creative thinking. This is good for us employees, but also for our guests. Upon arrival, our guests are asked to relax in the waiting area that has two highly effective massage chairs. We keep a profile of guest drink preferences plus offer new snack menus every two weeks, and while relaxing, they are offered the beverage of their choice by our Experience Coordinator, Elizabeth. Depending on the day, the smells range from fresh baking from our kitchen to holiday candles in the entry, and Spotify keeps an ongoing upbeat musical vibe running throughout the space.  We are a knowledge- based service business, but because we believe in the importance of experiential marketing, we are able to engage our guest’s senses on every visit. Why bother? Because it’s this attention to detail that differentiates your business from others in your category, keeps customers coming back, and inspires them to refer you to their friends.

How to Use This Information
Think about the experience customers have when they visit your business. Is it ordinary or extraordinary? What big or small things could you do to make it more memorable?  Webolutions believes that to create a great customer experience, you first need to define what your brand stands for, then define what actions you can take to bring that brand positioning to life across the end-to-end customer experience.  We help customers develop memorable brand experiences every day. To learn more, call us today at 303-300-2640 or contact us online.


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