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Sensory marketing: the multi‐sensory brand‐experience concept

Bertil Hultén (Kalmar University, Kalmar, Sweden)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 17 May 2011




The purpose of this paper is to present the multi‐sensory brand‐experience concept in relation to the human mind and senses. It also seeks to propose a sensory marketing (SM) model of the multi‐sensory brand‐experience hypothesis.


This paper applies exploratory and explanatory approaches to investigating the multi‐sensory brand‐experience concept within the context of discovery. The qualitative study is built on primary and secondary data sources, including personal interviews with experts and managers.


The multi‐sensory brand‐experience hypothesis suggests that firms should apply sensorial strategies and three explanatory levels within an SM model. It allows firms through means as sensors, sensations, and sensory expressions to differentiate and position a brand in the human mind as image.

Research limitations/implications

A theoretical implication is that the multi‐sensory brand‐experience hypothesis emphasizes the significance of the human mind and senses in value‐generating processes. Another theoretical implication is that the hypothesis illustrates the shortcomings of the transaction and relationship marketing models in considering the multi‐sensory brand‐experience concept. It is worth conducting additional research on the multi‐sensory interplay between the human senses in value‐generating processes.

Practical implications

The findings offer additional insights to managers on the multi‐sensory brand‐experience concept. This research opens up opportunities for managers to identify emotional/psychological linkages in differentiating, distinguishing and positioning a brand as an image in the human mind.


The main contribution of this research lies in developing the multi‐sensory brand‐experience hypothesis within a SM model. It fills a major gap in the marketing literature and research in stressing the need to rethink conventional marketing models.



Hultén, B. (2011), "Sensory marketing: the multi‐sensory brand‐experience concept", European Business Review, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 256-273.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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