And then the senses on top of that…

Twenty years ago there was a tea and coffee store in the block where I was living, and what always struck me when visiting it was that there was no particular smell of coffee in the shop. Today this would of course be impossible; a well dosed smell of coffee is expected in a coffee store.

In the old industrial world, most expressions of products or places were a direct consequence of the technology and the physical construction. The sound of the engine of a car was a mere consequence of how its’ construction. Engineers tried to minimise the noise. Today the sound is designed.

To work with senses is not new, since all our impressions finally end up in our head as one concept, the experience has always been a consequence, and dealt with in various degree intuitively. And ideologists have talked about the need to take all senses into account for many years.

But now these aspects are becoming operational. People are starting specialised consultancies, assuring that all senses are stimulated, not the least in stores and showrooms. Tomorrow, there will not just be a smell of perfume in a perfume store, or a smell of fresh bread in the convenience store. But things that did not even have a smell before will given a smell which is designed.

All elements of experience will be shaped, coordinated and balanced so that they contribute to the story or concept, because that’s the way you can create a gestalt, an experience that is more than its parts.

In the Swedish daily paper DN there was an article about a company, Music Partner, which specialises in providing the best background music for every store. (read articel here Swedishmechanical Google English) The choise fo music is directly related to the experience and sales.

And this morning, Stockholm Business Region Development arranged a breakfast conference  around different aspects of experiences in retail, ”sense marketing”. Meta Troell of The Swedish Trade Federation, talked about future trends in retail and Karolin Forsling, AMF Fastigheter, talked about a new commercial centre project. Marcus van Dijk from Sense Concept, co-author of the book ”Sensory Marketing” talked about how retail environments should attract all our senses.

So the multi-sensory experience perspective is no more an optional extra, it is a perspective where various competencies, and investors, can find a common ground for new projects. Based on actual user value and user experience.

Welcome to the new, sensory world!

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