Standing Out From the Crowd: Identifying Sensory Stimuli and Cues That Resonate With the Target Audience

by | Jun 15, 2015 | Uncategorized

Here at Six Degrees, we recently resurrected an agency-old tradition – brewing our own beer – and that got me thinking about how much the beer industry has been evolving.

The steady decline in macrobrewed beers can be attributed to many reasons, such as the desire for consuming beer of a higher quality rather than for quantity, as well as the plethora of microbrewed choices the market has to offer. Microbrews offer seemingly limitless possibilities to satisfy every palate with the likes of pale ales, porters, stouts and hefeweizens, to name a few. These days, store shelves are practically overflowing with options, and with so many choices, a lot of purchasing decisions are made on the spot. The next time you’re in the store, take a look down the beer aisle and see how many people are painstakingly contemplating their selection.

So how does a beer brand stand out from the crowd on the shelf during this point of sale assessment?

Six Degrees Psycho-Sensory Branding Fact:

Behavioral tendency tells us that people tend to notice, process and remember visual information over verbal information.

Visual attraction: How your product looks on the shelf compared to all the others may be a simple deciding factor as to whether it’s purchased or not. You need to appeal to your target’s senses. Give them a reason to choose yours over the competition. But how do you know what will appeal to them? You need to do your homework.

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Just as each brewery has its own process and ingredients for making a successful beer, marketers have their own process and ingredients for creating a successful brand. Most start with a solid marketing plan. Processes include market research, strategy and, of course, creative.

Each process has its own set of ingredients and may include some of the following:

Market research – Executive interviews, insights on target market (qualitative, quantitative), competitive audit and intelligence, SensoryQ, and then testing messages, names, positioning and package concepts

Strategy – Messaging blueprint and brand strategy: positioning, brand promise and brand pillars

Creative – Messaging, naming, mood boards and package concept design, refinement and execution

But first, you’ll want to start with a creative brief that will serve as a guide to inform on the who, what, where, when and why. This should cover the overall scope of the project.

I want to focus on one secret ingredient and no, it’s not a Washington state varietal hop. It’s SensoryQ.

According to optometrist Thomas Politzer, “Research estimates that 80% to 85% of our perception, learning, cognition and activities are mediated through vision.”

In simpler terms, vision is our most important sense for processing information, which takes us back to the beer aisle in the store.

SensoryQ is a research tool that identifies sensory stimuli and sensory cues that trigger the desired perceptions with the target audience. SensoryQ can help marketers gain insights into questions such as:

  1. How well does our product packaging communicate our desired brand attributes?
  2. Is any of our competitors’ packaging communicating the same brand attributes?
  3. How can we improve our packaging creatively to better communicate our desired brand attributes?

Through the use of SensoryQ, we can identify and test sensory cues such as color, composition, form, shape, lighting, personality, tone, texture, finish, etc. With the ideal sensory cues identified through this research, the creative team can then use them as a visual road map to design a package that will increase your chances of being selected during the in-store decision made at the shelf.

Contact Six Degrees to find out more about SensoryQ and how it can help your product better resonate with your target audience.

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Jim Harris
Jim joined Six Degrees in 2002 and has more than 18 years of advertising and marketing experience in both consumer and B2B industries. Jim excels at managing multiple projects and working closely with clients to meet their objectives. Additionally, he has extensive experience in developing effective marketing strategies, planning and executing campaigns, and analyzing and reporting on campaign performance for clients such as Abbott Vascular, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Hunter Douglas, Phoenix Art Museum and Shane Co.

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