The Five Senses


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Every one must have read about the five senses which are seeing, taste, feeling, smelling and hearing and we are using all of these senses in our daily life. How difficult is for someone to live with out any one of these senses. A blind person cannot walk properly, a mute person cannot explain himself to others or even people try to cut off from a deaf person.

Similarly as the real life five senses, there are five things that are a must for a successful business and without any of these it is an indolent and handicapped business.

The five senses are

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Service
  • Contact Center
  • Analytics

Let us see, in the first place we can compare seeing sense with marketing. The marketing manager see’s that there is the place where the product will perform well. A vision is created, so we can say that the seeing sense is quite similar to marketing.

Similarly, the Sales Manager can smell the fragrance that the following person is a customer. For example a Sales person selling the car can smell how to deal with this customer. The Sales person smells instantly that he is really here to buy a car of which type (luxury or muscle car); what are his price range and other criteria’s without personally asking him.

Similarly, Service representative should know how the customer tasted the product. For example if I bought an Apple iPod, did I like the product am I interested in the accessories or I am having a problem in the sound quality or how can I convert a video file into iPod format for best performance. So the Service Manager should know that how many customers are happy with their product.

Similarly, the Contact Center agent hears and listens to the customer needs whether he is having some problem, wants to buy a product or what ever. The CC agent helps him in all the ways he can to keep the customer happy.

Finally, Analytics which is “the” important sense of business, I will like to compare it with the sense of touching because through reports you can physically feel the business, the CEO of the company can think of new strategies by experiencing the business.

I am not criticizing on those who are not awarded by any of the real life senses or have lost these senses in an accident or what ever. I just want to prove that if we don’t give attention to our business or if we are not using any of our senses of business we are running a handicapped business.

If you have any idea of comparing any of the real life 5 senses with any of the 5 business senses please step forward any keep discussing this blog .

Suhaib F. Khilji

Suhaib Khilji
Saudi Arabian General Investment Authourity
Suhaib F. Khilji is a CRM consultant in Blue Service. He has also worked in SAGIA, on SAP CRM 5.. He is also the coauthor of a CRM-related book that will be in the market soon.


  1. Suhaib

    Your five senses analogy is an useful one. It would be interesting to construct a business homunculus showing the relative size of the five senses compared to each other. I suspect that marketing would be huge, followed by sales, and with the other three senses relatively stunted.

    And of course, your five senses are not much good if they don’t turn into value delivery for customers. Perhaps it would be good to incorporate the five senses into the sense part of Bernd Schmitt’s Sense, Feel, Think, Act, Relate sequence described in his excellent Experiential Marketing book.

    Graham Hill
    Independent CRM Consultant
    Interim CRM Manager

  2. An interesting discovery was recently made regarding how people perceive odours. It turns out that our noses work better when we are standing up than when we are lying down according to scientists at the McGill Institute.
    Although this insight resulted from tests using medical scanning machines, one article I read suggested subsequent marketing implications.
    That’s no surprise. Marketers are always looking for new and compelling ways to engage with their target audiences. Getting consumers to notice products requires breaking through the clutter of thousands of other messages they receive on a daily basis.
    What might be surprising is how extensively companies use sensory stimuli to increase customer involvement with their products. They understand the power of the five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.
    Although colour is only one aspect of sight, it can be very effectively used to break through the clutter.
    With RRSP season in full swing, there are lots of companies vying for attention. One direct mail flyer I recently received stood out from the rest. It was printed in the most vivid shade of orange and I didn’t even have to open it to know immediately that it was from branchless bank, ING Direct.
    Some colour combinations are powerfully tied to a company’s image. For example, Kodak’s product packaging has such a unique look with its gold, black and red colours, the company has been granted trade dress, a form of trademark granting exclusive use.
    But don’t make the mistake of thinking that sight is the most important element of the five senses. Even dairy farmers have long recognized the importance of music as a factor in increasing milk production.
    For consumers, sound can be every bit as key.
    Harley-Davidson has created a unique culture among motorcycle owners, who are fanatically loyal to the company. Harley enthusiasts claim the rumble of their bikes is instantly recognizable, different from any other motorcycle on the road.
    This led company executives to take the unconventional route of securing trademark protection for the distinctive sound of Harley-Davidson’s revving engine.
    Smell is argued by some marketers to be even more important than sight or sound. There are certain smells that consumers find particularly gratifying.
    Take the “new car” smell, for example. Turns out, it’s fake. Same goes for the leather smell in your car.
    Research by automakers determined that consumer preferences have changed over the years and we now prefer the smell of artificial leather to genuine tanned leather.
    The result is that both the new car smell and the leather smell are sprayed into cars before they leave the assembly line. Smell is such a powerful cue to buyers that many used car dealers freshen up cars they sell with the new car scent.
    Scent isn’t just for expensive products though.
    Most children in North America grew up with Crayola crayons. Their distinctive smell still evokes feelings of nostalgia for adults who have long since given up their colouring books. As a result, Binney & Smith patented the smell of its Crayola crayons to prevent others from replicating it.
    Dr. Alan Hirsch, neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago has been studying how odours affect people for decades.
    In a Las Vegas casino, he discovered that when a floral scent was pumped into an area where slot machines were located, the amount of money people spent went up 45 per cent.
    Of course, taste also plays a key role in how we perceive products. And they don’t always have to taste good.
    Take Buckley’s Mixture cough syrup. Their slogan, “It tastes awful. And it works.” has successfully attracted both attention and users.
    One of the most popular energy drinks on the market, Red Bull, commands a premium price. So you’d think it would taste really good. Yet one review on calls it “truly painful to drink.” Perhaps Red Bull took lessons from Buckley’s.
    When Crest introduced new flavours of toothpaste – lemon ice, cinnamon and citrus – it supported the launch with a tactile campaign. Full colour ads ran in magazines that included a scratch-and-sniff area to allow consumers to experience the new flavours.
    Later scratch-and-sniff panels were added to toothpaste packaging to help sway consumers at the point of purchase.
    You may want to think through how you can get consumers more involved with your product by triggering the five senses. Products that deliver a sensory experience stand out from the crowd.

  3. Hello
    Dear Alamgir Hossain Shanto
    I´m a student from CatÓlica- Portugal,on Msc in Service Management and i am starting some literature review on the topic: Engage all 5 senses in consumer service experience. Can you recommend me any book, or articles to read on these topics?
    ([email protected])
    Thank you very much,
    Best regards,

    Gustavo Lima


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