Case Study: Starbucks – A Sensory Experience

Starbucks is the world largest chain of coffee shops, with around 40 million visitors per day. A visit to Starbucks is much more than a cup of coffee. By using a sensory marketing framework the company creates a deeper and more personal relationship with its customers. This is achieved by involving all five human senses to offer the customer total sensory experience.

As early as the 1980s Starbucks developed a strategy for creating and delivering a sensory experience to consumers as a way to strengthen the brand. Giving the brand further aesthetic and emotional values and dimensions was seen as essential to creating a view of the chain as a third place outside of home and work. A visit to starbucks should be an experience for the mind and the heart.

The inspiring environment makes it comfortable to read a book or talk with friends. The green and yellow of the interior, together with pleasant lighting, offer a soothing and restful visual experience. The relaxing music is selected with precision and care by the Starbucks content team to create the “sound of starbucks”. Add to this the smell and taste of the freshly grounded coffee, as well as the comfortable texture, solidity, and shape of the armchairs, and you have the characteristics of the sensory experience of the brand.

Starbucks uses a sensory marketing framework in creating an atmosphere where experiences can be shaped, emotions can be expressed and memories can be created .

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