The multi-sensorial purchasing path

When it comes to buying, 5% of our decision is conscious, the rest (95%!) is subconscious.

So what are these 95% about? They could be described as an automated reaction of previously stored memories (behaviour response).

For example; anything/anyone smelling like my mother's perfume, may automatically make me feel secure and soothed. The response is immediate (automatic) and linked to comforting childhood memories (emotions, behaviour). I may not even be aware of these, as these are stored in my unconscious emotional mind.


So, how does that apply to our purchasing behaviour?

  • A product rarely stands alone; it is an interplay of many different sensory elements (fragrance, colour, packaging, name, texture,...).
  • Each sensory element stimulates an emotion (love, happiness, fear, disgust …) and thus automated reactions (attraction, rejection,...).
  • Consumers perceive products through all their senses and decide by the means of all emotional and automated reactions subconsciously perceived.
There are two main 'sensorial gates' influencing our purchasing or repurchasing decision:
  1. Expectation (look) => processing visual cues (packaging, name, colour, product promise);
    stimulates the consumer's emotional mind and creates a very clear picture of the (imaginative) product sensory and (imaginative) product performance [first emotional response, first automated reaction/decision]
  2. Perception (sense) => processing real perception of the sensory cues (fragrance, texture, foaming, stickiness,...);
    stimulates an emotional response AND an immediate coherence check towards (1) Expectations and thus creates an emotional state of belief (coherent synergy) or disappointment (sensorial dissonance) [second emotional response, first automated reaction/decision]


  • Each purchase decision is supported and initiated by our sensory perception (imaginative or real) at all times (all sensory touch points).
  • The more senses are activated, the stronger the product emotionality (consumer seduction).
  • Purchase intent is enhanced when all sensory cues build a coherent emotional synergy (successful multi-sensory experience). 
  • Choose the multi-sensorial purchasing path and check your products' sensorial synergy right from beginning of your development.

MULTISENSING+, Agnès Wiegand, Sensory Branding Consultancy | Research