Stimulate the senses for a better visitor experience

21 June 2017

Taking guests on a sensory journey can help to create the ideal visitor experience. In this article you'll read more about the five senses and some remarkable ways to affect them. Hmm, is that the smell of success?


Although colour perception is largely subjective, marketeers can have great influence over us. Orange stands for energy and creativity, blue for calm and red for passion and danger. Green is the colour of change and renewal, while purple stimulates inquisitiveness. Children associate the primary colours, yellow, red and blue with toys, while adults associate the same colours with cheap products. Just think of the logos of brands such as Wibra, Zeeman, IKEA, Lidl and McDonalds.



The human nose can differentiate over 10,000 different smells. Our brain’s response to these can affect our emotions, and companies take full advantage of this to enhance visitor experience. The hotel chain Holiday Inn, for example, uses scents in a large number of its locations. In the lobby and the hotel bar guests pick up on a rose scent reminiscent of weddings, while the conference rooms are scented with leather, which is associated with warmth and luxury.



Anyone fancy some green or blue ketchup? Probably not. In 2004, bottles of blue and green Heinz ketchup didn’t hold shelf space for long: it turns out people taste not only with their tongue, but with all their senses. A surprising 80 percent of our perception of taste is said to be attributable to our sense of smell.



Many people find that a drink served in a good-quality cup or glass tastes better than the same drink served in a plastic cup. Similarly, sitting on a comfortable, sturdy seat creates a different visitor experience to waiting on a flimsy plastic chair. The experience of touch, taste and smell is processed by the emotional, right side of the brain. Companies who take the senses into account are more likely to enter into long-term business relationships with clients.



Sound is an important factor in visitor experience. Here it’s important to consider that the sound visitors experience must match up with their expectations. Loud music is not appropriate in a chic restaurant, for example. The importance of sound is made painfully clear in this video in which architects are implored to use their ears.