Thinking About HUMAN SENSES.

Thinking About HUMAN SENSES.

Have you ever wondered why riders fall in love the sound of their bike

– What role does sound really play?

– Is sound even needed with EVs growing in popularity?

As a marketer, would you choose to remove sound altogether from the equation?

– ‘Maybe position the EV as a silent Ninja’

Well, thinking from a purely utilitarian perspective, we know that the sound of a bike acts as a feedback mechanism. It informs the rider and passers by, that the bike is running and adds to a feeling of safety and control.

However, for a rider, it’s not noise or sound that he/ she hears, it’s COMMUNICATION.

The sound tells them that their bike is feeling well and is healthy.

The sound makes them feel like the bike is speaking to them, communicating with them

Almost giving it a human form, (like a mate) – anthropomorphic.

And, the impact on senses is not limited to sound alone – touch, taste, smell, pain etc., each has a role to play and when tapped into, can positively drive growth for a brand.

We are well aware of the effect freshly baked bread outside a Subway has on our mood and purse. Or how brands have used aromas and textures to influence the very reality of the room one may be standing in (think wood, leather, dim lights and warm smells to signify wealth and status at a bank’s premium member lounge).

“The relationship with consumers has gone past being dialogues. Now they’re becoming multidimensional conversations, with products finding their own ways of speaking to a consumer and consumers responding viscerally and subconsciously to them”

The same is true for even touch, which is rooted in a primordial act of kindness. No wonder nonhuman primates spend a large portion of their waking hours grooming one another.

When we touch something, our mind immediately and almost automatically senses whether it is friend or foe, potential lover or letch, toxin or harmless element.

No wonder the first rule of retail sales is to, “Get the customer to hold the product.”

Because, Physically holding products can create a sense of ownership, triggering “must-have” purchase decisions.

Research has proven that a pleasant touching experience causes the brain to release the so-called “love hormone,” oxytocin, which leads to feelings of calmness and well-being.

“There is a whole lot of research on “embodied cognition”—the idea that without our conscious awareness, our bodily sensations help determine the decisions we make”

As a matter of fact, our skin contains various kinds of mechanoreceptors, which allow us to perceive things like touch, pressure and the stretching of our skin.

For example, the Pacinian corpuscle in our skin detects micro vibrations and allows us to interact with tools as if they were part of our own bodies.

When we hold a hammer and hit a nail, tiny vibrations travel up its handle and into our hand where they are encoded as electrical signals, and sent to our brain.

Some even believe these corpuscles likely evolved in humans to allow us to wield physical tools and add to the feeling of satisfaction, pleasure.

Think of how this would affect someone riding a bike, driving a car or even using a razor or toothbrush.

And smart marketers know this well, which is why sensation is built into even high end devices that have a vibrating feature as part of a touch screen.

Even though Steve Jobs may have hated buttons, the iPhone still had one and helped make it feel like an extension of ourselves. They just could not kill the home button as easily.

Importantly, if we think along these lines, we observe some fascinating aspects in various other industries.

As an example, for many years banks tried their best to do away with physical passbooks, only to realize that for consumers, touching the passpack and seeing their money updated was akin to counting. It was not only about knowing the balance, but also feeling their money and feeling it grow each month.

So, from the added sting in your preferred mouthwash, the warm sensation you may feel while applying face cream, the thoughtfully curated smell of a new car, the carefully crafted unboxing experience of the latest phone or the light humm of the EV, marketers across industries are consciously looking for ways to incorporate sensory feedback not only in product design, but across the consumer experience.

Making products not only successfully, but PLEASURABLE to use.

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