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What Activities Of Sensory Branding Can Hotels Adopt Marketing Essay

What Activities Of Sensory Branding Can Hotels Adopt Marketing Essay

Published: 23rd March, 2015 Last Edited: 23rd March, 2015

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Marketers across the world have affianced marketing actions chiefly in visual and sound marketing, as the target addressees scientifically demonstrated are prejudiced by visual and auditory senses. As David (1997) quoted," the question is what you see and not what you look at". There is always a profound association between brands and customer rendezvous and that has been the grounds why 85% of marketing actions in hotel industry implement visual marketing. Daniel Sacks from neuroscience marketing (2010) argues that service industry has common complications that are nurtured by international brands. These include elevated expenditure of operations (franchisee or chains), inconsistent demand patterns, seasonality and diversification. But apart from these, a lot of the attention in hotel industry has been on forced sales rather than marketing activities.

Well like every coin has two sides, we noticed the hitches in operating global hotel brands, however the payback that global brands achieve is permanent operations in metro cities where weekday occupancy is commonly business travel related and weekends are by leisure time travellers. Cities like London, Manchester, Mumbai, and Delhi, Singapore are financially viable hubs of their respective countries that draw not only commercial travellers but also intellectual heritage that puts a lot of emphasis on development. The city of London, now known for London eye, Mumbai known for its busy markets, Delhi known for its street food and Singapore known for its shopping centres and spa's are all part of the travel experience. Danielle Sacks consequently argues that like ansoff's matrix on diversification shows a brand's capability to interrelate closer by poignant bonding, when hotel industry adopts sensory branding, it not only diversifies but also creates that communicative connection, these days highly important for international hotel brands. This can be done by considerate geographical behaviour, psychological activities with clients. A location plays vital role in generating revenue for franchises and owners; Hilton at Kensington Palace, London has an average growth in revenue by 14% every year and 79% corporate (Hilton Annual Report, 2009) because of its vicinity to tourist attractions (London eye, Madame tussauds) and business centres (earl court known for meetings, events and conferences)

To understand the development of sensory branding in hotel industry it is equally important to understand how each sense impacts the critical purchasing decision of a consumer. According to Krishna 2008, hotel brands are responsible for generating ancillary revenue (partners or associates in the destination travel), but with sensory branding activities in their operations they would be able to:-

Create an atmosphere of rejuvenation and pleasure (even for business travellers) to encourage social behaviour

Communicate innovation, in terms of architecture, concepts and space, use of textures and technology to build emotions

Strong exteriors. employee engagement with customers, to create a quick identification of the respective brand

Use of component music. customized to corporate and domestic travellers, creating an opportunity again for customer loyalty and satisfaction

With the above facts, it can be suggested that these factors lead to differentiation as all aspects of sensory branding target creating an experience and customer retention. However Lindstorm (2008) states that these factors of association practically relate to the diversification quadrant in service industry because there is a common element of seasonality which is witnessed by these international chains across all cities. Based on these arguments the researcher has found that diversification and differentiation are equally visible in hotel industry. When westin group adopted sensory branding (2005) in association with aroma logo (their sensory partners in development) they adopted differentiation only to retain their corporate customers. Uniqueness to a hotel brand via textures, music, scent, taste and concept creates a social environment developing emotional / psychological behaviour in the customers to re- visit the hotel (Buhalis, 2010). Similar attributes of sensual behaviour was witnessed when le meridian group, India adopted sensory branding, Hilton and Starwood's group followed simultaneously in 2009.

2.1.2 Definition of sensory branding in international marketing

According to Dr. Kotler (2010) sensory branding is:-

An effective tool that measures products or service performances and explains the customer emotions attached to international hotel brands (create brand experience)

It can generate and capitalise new opportunities in terms of diversification especially for hotel industry

Acts as a tool/ strategy that galvanizes all the five senses leading to impulse purchasing creating an opportunity to maximise profitability

Rieunier (2009) defines sensory branding as an action controlled environment created by using specific multi sensory elements, products or the mode of communication aimed to indulge the consumer's emotions and behaviour into purchasing decision (here it relates to the extending the staying experience) by impacting all the five senses. The researcher agrees to this definition by Rieunier as theoretically both cognitive and behavioural perceptions are influenced by creating an environment using all five senses. For international hotel brands to achieve synergy, using the right approach in sensory branding by combining emotional, cognitive, behavioural and sensory dimensions can lead to customer engagement opportunities and retentions.

Music compositions power the emotions that consumer's interpret with quality and familiarity. 79% of individuals surveyed by Buzz market research centre (2009) state that pace of the background music affects customer perceptions; time spent in hotels, restaurants and even lobby areas. Global hotel brands like westin group, InterContinental, and Marriott use music compatible and unique to their respective brands. Marketing director Le Meridian (2010) Dave Mathew states," we want the customer to think of us not of a hotel that provides a room after a tiring day, but mesmerise his/her stay". The light in the lobby apart the colour concept is not enough. Playing the right music at the right time often brings synergy to hoteliers (Buhalis, 2010). Sensory branding agencies like six degrees, brand sense agency provide these services to InterContinental, Starwoods, Marriott and Westin group in UK, India and Europe (Brand sense agency, 2011). Auditory marketing is one for of sensorial strategy used to create brand awareness and establish an emotional relationship that often reflects customer's lifestyle and personality. (Please refer to audio 2 for music composed by muzak and brand sense agency)

Tactile Marketing

Tactile marketing via touch is an extension of both brand marketing and brand diversification (Middleton, 2010). When you look at cotton what does it remind you off? Softness, similarly for Hotel brands, tactile marketing with innovation has a potential to intensify the emotional bonding with customers. Impulse buying (last minute bookings, travel tickets, etc) can be attracted by using this approach. More than 65% of consumers prefer to feel their products before buying and this is behaviour is also evident in Hotel industry (Middleton, 2010). Hoteliers are using concepts like targeting en-suite rooms, meetings and conference rooms to express the sensory element. Use of soft feathered cushions, Tissue material used for lamps and tables, use of minimum wood are focussed to create the sensory experience.

Gustative Marketing

Taste is one of the inexpressive senses, one can only feel or observe it. Even with this fact, taste is responsible to create the visual impressions. InterContinental, Marriott, Star woods and Westin Group have customised scent that are sprayed or diffused in the restaurant and outside the restaurants to seek attention. Fragrances of strawberry, vanilla, camomile, citrus fragrances are commonly used mild scents to target audiences (Aroma Logo, 2010). With these fragrances infused in the atmosphere, an individual's emotions are mesmerised to closely associate these fragrances with hotel brands and their restaurants.

The above figure shows each sense and the 3 dimensional approaches westin group followed until 2005. Aspects of marketing activities or the brand experience that were modulated by associate partner's aroma logo (sensory partners) 2006 were:-

Westin group had world's finest hotels and resorts each representing standard, luxury and inspiration. Even though the group had its presence in famous cities and destinations, it lacked customer engagement (Aroma Logo, 2009). Despite experiential expertise, creative directors, and award winning architects, the hotel management analysed lack of brand interaction and customer engagement.

Using innovation to influence architecture, concepts, space, music, scent, and taste involves a lot of testing because hotel experiences are intense and sophisticated (Institute of scent marketing, 2008). Westin group's management team analysed these opportunities and collaborated a fusion of consultants (sound, colour, concept, designers, music and scent consultants). Changes adopted by westin group were:-

For global hotel brands to experience feasible production and consumption, two aspects / approaches in market entry mode imply in the service industry (Hard and soft services) (Journal of contemporary service marketing, 2010). According to Delios (1997), services are experience based and often demand immediate production and consumption. Soft service approach involves restaurant facilities, lounge, pub, spa and gym facilities, whereas hard service approach in hotels involve architectural services, software and IT. To rationalise the presence of either is complex as practically every hotel has adopted a mixed approach philosophy (Nayyar, 2007). Table 2.4.1 shows the features of service industry occupants entering foreign markets.

Davidson (2008) argues that for service firms to adopt behavioural Internationalisation theory which is evident from the above features, they are open to uncertainty and risk. Global hotel brands may be inexperience about the foreign market and their evaluation can be highly risky. Daniel (2009) supports this argument and states that for hoteliers to go abroad marketing communication concepts like location, culture, foreign language, economic variability are factors that determine their success, which if evaluated incorrectly can lead to closures and restructuring processes. Johanson (2007) states that for service firms to establish internationally, one key element is the control of the firm. It is irrational if the firm decide to base a foreign control rather than adopting domestic control which gives access to domestic staff, economic risks evaluations, and higher interaction. So it can be suggested that global hotel brands can adopt behavioural internationalisation theory considering factors like high control, culture and experiential knowledge to evaluate future prospects.

2.5 Conclusion

The challenge in adopting sensory branding in hotel industry from the arguments and observations mentioned in earlier topics suggests that using this form of marketing activity involves experiential knowledge, is time consuming (as the process generally takes 2 -3 years to accustom to the paradigm shift seen in the example of westin group) and very expensive. The question here is even though international brands are adopting this technique, will they be able to sustain sensory philosophy in the long run with the fixed cost of operations that is their current challenge.

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The Sensory Order

The Sensory Order
  • It is important not to identify the distinction between the phenomenal and the physical order with the distinction between either of these and what in ordinary language is described as the ‘real’ world. The contrast with which we are concerned is not between ‘appearance’ and ‘reality’ but between the differences of events in their effects upon each other and the differences in their effects on us. It is indeed doubtful whether on the plane on which we must examine these problems the term ‘real’ still has any clear meaning.
    • 1.11
  • The relation between the physical and the phenomenal order raises two distinct but related problems. The first of these problems presents the task of the physical sciences while the second creates the central problem of theoretical psychology. The task of the physical sciences is to replace that classification of events which our senses perform but which proves inadequate to describe the regularities in these events, by a classification which will put us in a better position to do so. The task of theoretical psychology is the converse one of explaining why these events, which on the basis of their relations to each other can be arranged in a certain (physical) order, manifest a different order in their effect on our senses.
    • 1.13

Quotes about The Sensory Order Edit

  • Half the time I read [Hayek's The Sensory Order] with amazement at the extent of his reading and comprehension … he is right … most of the time.
    • Edwin Boring. "Elementist Going Up", The Scientific Monthly (March 1953), p. 183.
  • I feel sure that no one has done this particular kind of job [i.e. a physicalistic system of psychology, mind, and consciousness] nearly so well.
    • Edwin Boring. "Elementist Going Up", The Scientific Monthly (March 1953), p. 183.
  • I do not for a moment believe it is the last word on this matter [i.e. a physicalistic system of psychology, mind and consciousness], but it is. the best word I have ever heard spoken from this platform.
    • Edwin Boring. "Elementist Going Up", The Scientific Monthly (March 1953), p. 183.
  • Hayek’s early work as a student in psychology (mostly before Wittgenstein’s Tractatus was published) led him to ask himself the questions:“What is mind?” and “What is the place of mind in the realm of nature?” Hayek essentially adopted a Kantian view of the nature of the world. He saw mind as implanting order on the world rather than the world necessarily having any properties of, as it were, itself.
    In The Sensory Order. Hayek wrote that if the “account of the determination of mental qualities which we have given is correct, it would mean that the apparatus by means of which we learn about the external world is itself the product of a kind of experience.” Hayek did not ultimately ascribe much significance to the brain as an accurate (whatever, in this circumstance, accuracy would be) receptacle of reality. Reality, such as it is, is what brain makes of it.
    This Kantian ontological (theory of being) perspective had, in Hayek’s view, significant philosophical consequences or repercussions for epistemology. Since there is no ultimate reality apart from what brain makes of it, knowledge is not of ultimate essences but merely of mental states that themselves are liable to change during the lifetime of an organism or over the evolution of a species. Hayek’s ontology ultimately reduces the role of absolute knowledge absolutely.
    • Alan Ebenstein. Hayek's Journey: The Mind of Friedrich Hayek (2003), Ch. 10. Epistemology, Psychology, and Methodology
  • I must say that I have been deeply gratified by reading a book [Hayek's "The Sensory Order"] of which I had not been aware when I wrote my little essay on group selection theory … I was deeply impressed … I recommend this book to your attention [i.e. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences], as an exercise in profound thinking by a man who simply considers knowledge for its own sake. What impressed me most is his understanding that the key to the problem of perception is to comprehend the nature of classification. Taxonomists have struggled with this problem many times, but I think von Hayek considered this problem in a broader sense.
    • Gerald Edelman. in "Through a Computer Darkly. Group Selection and Higher Brain Function", in Bulletin — The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Vol. XXXVI, No. 1, (October 1982), p. 24.
  • [Hayek] made a quite fruitful suggestion, made contemporaneously by the psychologist Donald Hebb. that whatever kind of encounter the sensory system has with the world, a corresponding event between a particular cell in the brain and some other cell carrying the information from the outside word must result in reinforcement of the connection between those cells. These day, this is known as a Hebbian synapse, but von Hayek quite independently came upon the idea. I think the essence of his analysis still remains with us.
    • Gerald Edelman. in "Through a Computer Darkly. Group Selection and Higher Brain Function", in Bulletin — The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Vol. XXXVI, No. 1, (October 1982), p. 25.
  • [w:Donald O. Hebb ] placed the Law of Effect at the synaptic level by proposing a correlation model of synaptic modification similar to that of Hayek (1952). This work was seminal in providing a basis for many subsequent theoretical studies.
    • Gerald Edelman. Neural Darwinism (1987), p. 12.
  • The first proponent of cortical memory networks on a major scale was neither a neuroscientist nor a computer scientist but … a Viennes economist: Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1992). A man of exceptionally broad knowledge and profound insight into the operation of complex systems, Hayek applied such insight with remarkable success to economics (Nobel Prize, 1974), sociology, political science, jurisprudence, evolutionary theory, psychology, and brain science (Hayek, 1952)."
    • Joaquin Fuster, Memory in the Cerebral Cortex. An Empirical Approach to Neural Networks in the Human and Nonhuman Primate (1995), p. 87
  • The main reasons for dwelling … on Hayek's model is simply that it has certain properties, absent from most others, that conform exceptionally well to recent neurobiological evidence on memory and that make it particularly suited to the current discourse."
    • Joaquin Fuster, Memory in the Cerebral Cortex. An Empirical Approach to Neural Networks in the Human and Nonhuman Primate (1995), p. 89
  • It is truly amazing that, with much less neuroscientific knowledge available, Hayek's model comes closer, in some respects, to being neurophysiologically verifiable than those models developed 50 to 60 years after his."
    • Joaquin Fuster, Memory in the Cerebral Cortex. An Empirical Approach to Neural Networks in the Human and Nonhuman Primate (1995), p. 89
  • Friedrich Hayek … seems to have been the first to postulate what is the core of this paper, namely, the idea of memory and perception represented in widely distributed networks of interconnected cortical cells. Subsequently this idea has received theoretical support, however tangential, from the fields of cognitive psychology. connectionism and artificial intelligence. Empirically, it is well supported by the physiological study and neuroimaging of working memory.
    • Joaquin Fuster, "Network Memory", Trends in Neuroscience. Vol. 20, No. 10 (October 1997), 451

Extra Sensory Perception Essay

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Extra-Sensory Perception
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Extra Sensory Perception Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve been in an establishment before you’ve actually gone inside? Did you ever feel like you’ve known that something was about to happen before there were any signs that it was about to occur? If you’re not a skeptic about the powers of the mind, then there might just be an explanation for your seemingly coincidental premonitions. It’s a phenomenon called extra sensory perception, better known

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as ESP. The textbook definition of this classification of parapsychology is "sensing" anything beyond the normal.(www.paranormalatoz.com) Most scientists do not believe that this phenomenon exists. Nevertheless, controversial evidence can be used to sway the incredulous. By viewing and researching evidence of ESP and/or having a personal experience, the truth lies within the eye of the beholder. The man who said it best was C.G. Jung during a lecture given to the Society for Psychical

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Research in 1919. He quotes, "I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud." (http://moebius.psy) ESP includes telepathy, precognition or premonition, and clairvoyance or "remote viewing".(www.paranormalatoz.com) Telepathy is the direct response to another individual’s thoughts.(Schmeidler,805) Premonition is a direct response to a future event.(Schmeidler,805) Clairvoyance is the direct response to a future event.(Schmeidler,805) These types of ESP and other forms of parapsychology were not even studied until

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1882.(Schmeidler,806) In 1882, the Society for Psychical Research was established in London. England by a extraordinary group of Cambridge scholars. Its purpose was to examine allegedly paranormal phenomena in a scientific and unbiased way. It was the first society of its kind in the world. (http://moebius.psy) This society is still in full operation today, 117 years later. The actual term extra sensory perception wasn’t used until the early 1930’s. During this time an

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American scientist, Joseph Banks Rhine first began his ground breaking experiments testing ESP’s validity.(Encarta) His research was conducted at the Parapsychology Laboratory of North Carolina’s, Duke University.(Encarta) Rhine’s most well-known experiment involved a deck of twenty-five cards. On the cards, written in heavy black ink, each card had a different design on them. The designs included a star, a cross, a square, or wavy lines.(Encarta) The concealed deck of twenty-five cards was shuffled.

Psyc 2
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One random card was drawn from the deck at a time and the test subject was asked to identify the hidden marking on the flip-side of the card. If the test subject correctly identified five out of twenty five cards correctly, it was considered pure chance.(Encarta) Rhine and his associates concluded that if the individual named six out of ten of the cards correctly, then indeed the test subject possessed extra sensory perception.(Encarta) From his

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experimentally proved evidence, it can easily be seen which stand Rhine took on the controversial existence of ESP. However, not all scientists had acknowledged the authenticity of his trials and the legitimacy of this branch of pseudo-science called parapsychology. Certain scientists do not believe in the reality of extrasensory perception due to their lack of faith in the experiments that test it’s existence. These scientists claim that the ESP experiments are hard to if not impossible

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to repeat.(Encarta) In researching, scientists also observed that test results differ according to the subject’s attitude. Individual’s that had biased opinions of the ESP testing did not score nearly as high as those who were open-minded toward the experiment. (Schmeidler 805) Psychologists analyzing the testing methods concluded that the subjects who doubted the credibility of extrasensory perception were consciously trying to succeed in the testing, but could have been unconsciously wanting to fail.(Schmeidler 805) This is

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an example of what scientists call the "file drawer" effect. This is better explained by stating that the "…results that the experimenter likes are published, but other results stay buried in the files." This makes it hard to know if information given is accurate or falsely misinterpreted.(Schmeidler 806) This main recognition of possible false data is why the majority of conventional scientists disregard the findings made in

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