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Sensory Branding: What is it and why did The Leela get into it?

Before anything, let’s do a deep dive into what sensory branding actually means. As the name suggests, sensory branding is used to impact and resonate with your consumers by targeting at least one of their senses. It’s meant to evoke a cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and memorable response from consumers.


Sensory branding has the potential to improve customer loyalty, strengthen brand advocacy, and make for a memorable experience for customers that keeps them coming back. It can help build a sense of trust and familiarity between the customer and the brand. The unique feature is that it offers a feeling of comfort within the consumer.


The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts is one of India’s leading hospitality brands. They recently announced its foray into the sensory world with ‘Tishya by The Leela’, a range of exclusively crafted bath amenities with the brand’s newly created signature fragrance.



In the words of Anjali Mehra, Senior vice-president of marketing: “Luxury is all about crafting thoughtful experiences that resonate with the guests and sensory branding helps build immersive experiences that help deepen the emotional connect with the brand”.


The unique smell of the fragrance is inspired by India’s national flower, the lotus, and the wonder flower known as Nilgiri or Neelakurinji that blossoms just once every 12 years. What’s even better is their amenity program has been created as 100% vegan, is paraben and SLS-free, and has been developed with natural extracts, floral fragrances and in recyclable packaging.


Does sensory branding make good sense for a hotel?


Even though sensory branding has been tried by some airline and hotel brands globally, The Leela is the first Indian luxury hotel brand to have introduced a signature fragrance. Sensory branding for a hotel is a great idea because it works to elevate the guest experience with a sensory immersion into the brand and to create brand differentiation. This form of marketing builds an emotional connection between the brand and the guest and the connection stays with the guest before, during and after they stay at the hotel.


Although it is now obvious that sensory branding for hospitality brands is a perfect combination, logistically it can be a very complex process. Getting the right balance between the product and the experience is never an easy task. It needs to be something that is representative of the brand, is luxurious in its touch and feel, has a subtle fragrance that isn’t overpowering but makes you feel good and has the right formulation which is completely natural.


Moreover, the packaging had to be sustainable, and it is another task to find the bridge between recyclable packaging that is also practical from an operational point of view for the guest.


What are your thoughts on sensory branding for hotels? Tell us in the comments below, and to stay updated on all things in the ad world, follow us on Instagram!


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