Before the Internet – in a galaxy far, far away (thank you, Star Wars) – marketing was done much differently. The seller got the attention of the buyer through a variety of means. Seeing a person, face-to-face, as was vital for the insurance sales person. Hearing an advertisement about a product or service. Touching a product to feel the texture, quality, etc. Tasting a fine meal while negotiating an important business deal. Smelling a cup of coffee over a weekly breakfast meeting.
What it really comes down to is how a business works with our 5 senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Let me tell you about a business I visit that speaks to all these senses.
The Heal Center in Atlanta
In the suburbs of north Atlanta is where heaven on earth resides. It’s called, ‘The Heal Center“: a place for both services and education related to healing arts such as massage, reflexology, acupuncture, aromatherapy, etc. The practitioner who birthed this wonderful place is Roz Zollinger – a woman I am blessed to have as a close friend and is truly an angel on earth. Here’s how the 5 senses work with this business.
From the moment you enter the Heal Center, your eyes can finally rest. There are no bold colors or obtrusive art objects. It’s just a calming experience that allows your visual sense to simply be and take it only what it needs. Wonderful.
Unfortunately, the Internet is 100% based upon sight. Yet, that doesn’t mean we have to push it to the limits of the galaxy. For every 10 web sites I visit, 70% are visually awful, awkward, and antagonistic. I recently had to explain to my friend, Carolina – who’s from South America, the definition of the slang term “in your face.” That’s what the Internet seems to have become: it’s all up in your face. But, that’s the way it has to be because it has none of the other senses (except sound) to garner your attention. That doesn’t mean, however, that web design needs to fall by the roadside: it need to only understand its visitor. What visual greeting can you present to your visitors that allows their eyes to rest?
Whether it be wonderful music, the gentle flow of water in a fountain, or the sheer quiet, The Heal Center brings you to a place of peace: a place that most of us have long forgotten. There is talking when education is being given – but it’s always words of joy or expressions of feelings shared from the heart.
A web page can offer sound when a visitor arrives. Yet, the use of sound is somewhat haphazard. For those sites with sound, the music starts the minute the page opens. Sometimes there is no option to shut off the sound on the screen. And perhaps the music playing has no relevance to the product/service. What sounds can you play that evokes the feeling you want your visitors to experience?
There are still businesses were touch is used – such as massage or even the shaking of hands when you meet someone. Nothing can heal the human spirit more than kinds words and a touch. And it is possible to give the sense of touch to someone – without ever touching them. You can find this at the Heal Center just by walking in the door.
Granted, your web site cannot physically touch a visitor, yet it can connect with them. There are many times you read something online or view a video that touches you to the point of laughter or tears, correct? So, touching is possible. How can you touch your visitors with only images, words, and sounds?
If you’ve every wanted to taste food like never before, The Heal Center is the place to do it. Whether organic or unique, your taste buds are always surprised and awakened at what is offered here. In fact, I have discovered more new foods that are actually healthy for me in this one place alone.
In business, there is a phrase we sometimes use: “give me a taste for what it’s like.” The word “taste” does not mean to literally give a taste. Instead, it ties together words to form a mental image – e.g., “It’s as crisp as an apple just picked from the tree.” If your web product sells candle, you would equate the smell of the candle with the taste associated when eating the apple. Are you offering words to your visitors that show your product/service in a ‘tasteful’ way?
With aromatherapy as a main service and education offering at the Heal Center, you can only imagine the smells you experience. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to explain. And, if you’re wanting to feel something other than what you carry in, you can easily find a scent to put on your wrist, or spritz in the air that will change your current mood.
We do not have smell-a-vision (from Willy Wonka, I believe) nor do we have smell-a-web. Never going to happen. So you’re left to your own ideas. How can you give your visitor a smell for your business?
Your business should appeal to as many of the senses as possible. Start small, choosing one, and see what happens. You might discover a whole new world of opportunities.
How can I help you be successful today?