Monday, April 23, 2012

Tactile Marketing - Using The Feelings of People When They Handle Products and Packaging in Marketing Decisions

In her book, Global Marketing and Advertising, Marieke de Mooij of the Netherlands gave the suggestion that,  given the ability of the proximity senses—touch, taste, and scent—to interpret the products some of them or could one of them—say, touch, can potentially serve as the lingua franca of global branding.

The idea is based on some logic.  The social anthropologist Ashley Montagu viewed touch as a language of its own—one that is learned well before writing and speech.It has a large vocabulary,. Touch is capable of conveying what cannot be transmitted through more formal language and it is completely  completely natural.

The Coca-Cola bottle was designed approximately 90 years ago to satisfy the request of an American bottler for a soft-drink container that could be identified by touch even in the dark. It is an interesting example of tactile marketing decision.  The Coke bottle was not encumbered with a lot of text, and the color scheme was made universal. Now people explain that the tactile encounter with the bottle conveyed a sense of pleasure across multiple cultures—though the associations the bottle evoked (e.g., hoop skirt, cocoa bean). Has the designer considered them in his design?

The Coke bottle’s experience notwithstanding, this tactile sensations have not been used further as a component of marketing strategies.

Even in 2005,  Richard Gerstman, chairman emeritus of Interbrand US and co-author of The Visionary Package (Palgrave, 2005), does not many examples of packages that provide tactile sensations that address consumers at a conscious level. Gerstman recommends that tactile marketing idea is good and should be recommended by designers, but few producers, with the exception of cosmetics, are willing to spend the money for creating unique structures for their products and packages to create favorable tactile sensations.

Tactile marketing is being promoted as a component sensory marketing that includes visual marketing, auditory marketing, olfactory marketing, gustative marketing and tactile marketing .

More references

Dollars and Sense: The Impact of Multi-sensory Marketing, 2009

The Senses and Sensibilities in Marketing
Q & A with Prof Aradhna Krishna


  1. Great post! I 'm here because of the A to Z challenge!

  2. Very interesting article. I learned quite a bit this approach.