Case Study: Becoming a Love Brand
Brand and customer personality as key for multisensory in-store marketing for premium clothing brands
The traditional retail industry is facing huge challenges in the digital age. Online commerce is expanding at a breakneck pace, putting brick-and-mortar stores at a disadvantage. A trend known as showrooming has emerged, in which customers browse in physical stores but make their purchases online.
To address these challenges, brick-and-mortar retailers must provide tailored brand experiences that capture attention, create incentives for in-store purchases, and foster long-term customer relationships. Multisensory in-store marketing is one potential solution.
Multisensory in-store marketing is a type of marketing that uses multiple senses to create a more immersive and engaging experience for customers. This can include using sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch to create a sensory experience that will stay with customers long after they leave the store.
There are many benefits to using multisensory in-store marketing. It can help to:
- Increase customer engagement
- Create a more memorable shopping experience
- Drive sales
- Build brand loyalty
An empirical study was conducted to investigate how multisensory in-store marketing could be combined with artificial intelligence to enhance the customer experience in the store through better personalization. Specifically, it explored how a brand personality identified using AI could positively influence the purchasing process by playing a suitable scent.
The collaboration between Mnemonic AI and The Digital Psychology degree program of Fresenius University of Applied Sciences used a two-tier approach to investigate how multisensory in-store marketing could be combined with artificial intelligence to enhance the customer experience in the store through better personalization.
Specifically, it explored how a brand personality identified using Mnemonic AI could positively influence the purchasing process by playing a suitable scent.
Mnemonic AI uses artificial intelligence to analyze the personality of individuals according to the Big Five Factor / OCEAN model and the Brand Personality model based on Aaker (1997).
Mnemonic AI needs as few as 128 characters of spoken or written language to determine the personality of brands or customers with an accuracy of 97.3% compared to administered IPIP-NEO personality tests.
In a two-stage research approach, the first step involved Mnemonic AI determining the brand personality of a chosen premium clothing brand. The result showed that the brand has strong indications in the “Arousal/Excitement” factors according to the brand personality construct of Aaker (1997). After a literature review and subsequent clustering, these characteristics were linked to oriental fragrance notes.
For the randomized field experiment performed in the second step, a mix of oriental fragrance notes was accordingly used. On observation days, this experiment created an in-store concept with the selected brand in a separate store area. As soon as customers entered the area, the fragrance was released using remote-controlled aroma diffusers, and their dwell time and (purchase) behavior were recorded. No fragrance was released on control days, and only the behavior in the selected retail store area was observed. After the visit, participants from both the control and experimental groups were asked to complete an online questionnaire about their perception of the fragrance and aspects of their customer personality.
The study’s findings demonstrate that the experimental group spent almost twice as long in the brand’s in-store area as the control group. The majority of respondents found the scent in the area to be pleasant or neutral (Pleasant: 74%, Neutral: 22%).
Furthermore, the results revealed that buyers of the brand have the highest level of extraversion, which can be equated with the highest level of the brand’s arousal/excitement personality characteristic. This may suggest that people are more likely to purchase items if the sensory experience of the brand reflects their personality.
The findings of this study show that AI-powered multisensory in-store marketing can positively affect consumer behavior. Companies should harness the potential of AI and multisensory marketing to capture customer attention and enhance dwell time and purchase intent. This is a significant first step toward building long-term relationships and improved customer loyalty.
The study provides practical implications for businesses. First, companies should determine the brand personality of their products or services. This can be done using AI tools. After that, the brand personality can be linked to the appropriate sensory stimuli. In this case, oriental fragrance notes were linked to the brand personality “Arousal/Excitement.”
Businesses can use these findings to create a comprehensive in-store experience that appeals to customers’ senses and leads to a positive purchasing experience.