How to Use the Five Senses to Market Your Business

So, you own a business and you’re super pumped about all of the awesome content you are putting out and marketing to potential clients. You are active on social media, you have a newsletter that you send out every month, you have a great website and you’re doing ALL the things to reach your ideal client... BUT, have you ever sat back and thought about how the words or images you are using make people feel? Which of the five senses you are tapping into? How do you want someone to feel when they encounter your brand?

As an online business owner and more specifically a brand & website designer, I think this is a really important discussion for us to have. We’ll get into what the five senses are (extra brownie points if you can raddle them off the top of your head!), why it’s important to focus on connecting with your audience’s five senses, how to do this, some examples for you to use as reference and a special bonus at the end.

Let’s jump in!

What are the 5 senses?

By definition, the five senses refer to the traditionally recognized methods of perception or as we all know them: hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste. Without getting too technical or scientific, these senses are basically how we, as humans, experience different things on a daily basis.

Who doesn’t love a good stat, right? Here are some interesting facts about our senses.

  • Our eyes are capable of processing 36,000 pieces of information per hour (Resource 1)
  • Our sense of smell is closely linked to our memory (Resource 1)
  • 80% of what we experience as taste is actually smell (Resource 1)
  • We use our senses as learning portals and each of our senses has a different processing capacity (Resource 2) 
  • The more meaningful and structured methods our senses are introduced to, the easier learning can occur (Resource 2) 
  • The amount of information each of our senses can process at the same time as compared to our other senses is as follows: 83% - sight, 11% - hearing, 3.5% - smell, 1.5% - touch, 1% - taste (Resource 2)

Why is it important to connect with your audience’s five senses?

Based on the facts above, it’s hard to deny that the five senses are an important part of our everyday life, even if we don’t consciously think about it. When it comes to including the five senses in a business, a product-based business has it a little easier because they are providing a physical, tangible product to their customers. They can use the product itself and the packaging that holds the product along with their online marketing efforts to really hit all of their customer’s senses. As a strictly online or service-based business, it’s a bit more challenging because you have to rely solely on captivating your audience through a screen or intangibles like conversation, services, and descriptive language/imagery.

When readers and potential clients engage with your business, sight and hearing are the top two senses that are used. But are you tapping into their other senses? Are you using language and imagery to capture their attention and use the other three senses: smell, taste and touch? How does your content stand out from the rest of your industry? The more you connect with all five of your reader’s senses, the more likely they will be able to visualize your brand and get to know you on a deeper level.

If you’re not really sure how to answer these questions or you’ve never put a lot of thought behind this - don’t fret! I have examples, references, and an exercise to help you incorporate this concept into your business.

How do you get your audience to “feel” your brand?

To give you an example of how to do this, I’m going to share 2 passages with you. The first is just a normal sentence describing a scene and the second passage is discussing the same scene but using descriptive language that taps into the reader’s five senses.

Passage #1: When creating a fire, you use an ax to split the wood, pick up a couple of pieces and place them into the fire pit.

Passage #2: The crafting of fire is tactile: the crack of an ax into aged wood, the sound of past decades splitting open, the rough grit of firewood scuffing skin, and arms (big and small) heavily laden with anticipation and joy. - The Magnolia Journal 2016, Issue 1, Hospitality

After reading these two passages, which one do you feel more connected to and which one helps you visualize the scene better? If this were a business selling a product, which one would you prefer to buy from? Personally, I voted for the second one! If you’re starting to have a breakthrough on how this could be beneficial for your business, grow your audience, and allow you to connect with them on a deeper level, that’s great! That’s exactly what I want to hear.

How do you incorporate this technique into your business?

So now, I want to give you a few examples of how I incorporate this technique into my own business. Before I write a piece of copy or style an image, I ask myself the questions I’ve posed above. This helps me create content that truly connects with my readers, ideal customer, and potential clients. Below are some images and a copy excerpt I use in my business that directly correlates with my brand and evokes the feeling I want to everyone to experience when they interact with me and my business.

BRAND IMAGES

Stephanie-Williamson_Blog_Five-Senses_Hearing.png
 
 

BRAND COPY

“It’s Saturday morning and you’ve had a LONG week to say the least. You finally have a second to move a little slower, sip on your coffee, relax in bed or on the couch, and do some light reading. Do you have a sacred place that is super comfy or allows you to try and escape the world for a little bit? Kind of like a reading nook, a bubble bath on a Friday night or your yoga mat?”


See where I’m going with this? Now, it’s your turn!

To help you incorporate this technique into your online, service-based and even your product-based business, I’ve created the Five Senses of Your Business Worksheet for you to complete. This is a great resource to use when writing content, creating imagery, or making videos for your business so you can make sure that everything you are putting out there always comes back to engaging your audience’s five senses! Download your copy of the Five Senses of Your Business Worksheet below.

What are some ways you think you can incorporate the five senses into your business?

Download The Five Senses of Your Business Worksheet Now!