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Step Outside the Box with Alternative Marketing

Alternative Marketing – When people think of marketing they think of advertisements on TV or maybe an ad that pops up on your Instagram feed. Many times, this is because this form of marketing is meant to be interpreted as marketing from the business. The marketing that affects your subconscious is something that you normally don’t even realize is taking place. I want to go into detail on different forms of marketing that draw in brand awareness that your customers don’t even notice. I will also go into detail into why this is important for your company and how to perfect it.

Have you ever walked into a casino and smelled something that just felt familiar? Or does anyone remember walking into Abercrombie & Fitch, and you can hear that modern techno music while being hit in the face with “FIERCE” cologne? These are forms of marketing that, as a customer, you don’t absorb as marketing. Yet, when I smell that fragrance to this day the first thing that comes out of my mouth is “ohhhh I see your bringing back to 2003 with that FIERCE”. I’m not really into cologne, but Abercrombie & Fitch didn’t stuff their store with that fragrance just to sell more cologne. They did it to increase brand recognition. From here I will go into more detail on other forms of alternative marketing and how they can impact your business.

I will break down these alternative marketing techniques by human senses. Touch, sound, smell, and visual. Breaking it down in the way allows you to understand different patterns that can lead to the goal of brand recognition.


Auto manufacturers have been using this technique for years. Imagine when you go to a auto show and there is a booth for each manufacturer where you can wait in line to get into a stationary vehicle that you can sit down and press all the different buttons to see what the vehicle can actually do from a functionality standpoint. When showing up to the car show you see so many different signs advertising all the manufacturers and your brain interprets them as marketing. Yet the most important form of marketing is getting the ability to touch the vehicle. Studies have shown touching the product gives the consumer a sense of ownership.

In the circumstance that you are selling a product that you can not physically touch you need to create campaigns that allow the customer to feeling something that is derived from the end goal. A quick example of this is a software that helps generate leads. You can mimic to your customers the feeling of introducing yourself in person to the customers derived from this tool. Putting into their imagination that with just a few clicks you could be shaking the hand of a customer that lands you that next big deal.

A great example of this is the company that everyone knows Play-Doh. If I blind folded, you and asked you to pick up a piece of play-doh without telling you what it was. It is highly likely you would instantly say “is this play-doh”? That is because the touch of play-doh is so ingrained into your subconscious that it’s almost impossible to think anything else.

Sound as Alternative Marketing 

The most popular example of sound marketing is creating a song that represents a company slogan. Ever heard “Nationwide is on your side”? If you hear that song one time it’s stuck in your head for a week, and within that week if you need insurance you are likely to think of progressive. Whether or not you move on that thought it is a perfect example of brand awareness using sound. Going back to the casino, you can just hear the excitement in the air! They want to feed the sound of excitement in the air. I doubt you have ever heard a casino manager go up to a gambler and ask to keep their excitement down in volume. This is a form of subconscious marketing that leads to brand awareness and an increase in spending.

There is music that leads to customers spending more money, but this music is different between niches. You aren’t going to walk into Louis Vuitton and hear an old county song playing. That is because it doesn’t relate to the demographic of consumers that the Louis Vuitton store. You need to customize your soundtrack to attract consumers to your brand but also make them feel comfortable while shopping or even browsing. At BizeeBay, we have even helped add the sound of nature to businesses that sell gardening materials to help increase the customer feeling comfortable in that setting. You need to get a professional’s opinion and have data that backs up your decision on what sounds need to represent your company.


We call this scent marketing. This is a popular form of alternative marketing that has proven to be extremely effective. Smell is directly linked to memory in a way that no other sense is. Many people can directly correlate a smell with a memory from their childhood which is exactly what marketers are trying to pull from when utilizing scent marketing. Studies have shown that customers will stay 44 percent longer if they smell something attractive at your business. The biggest use cases of scent marketing are at movie theatres. Everywhere you go in a movie theatre the smell of popcorn overpowers you. This isn’t because popcorn is surrounding you. Large movie theatre companies like Cineplex are using machines that push the smell of popcorn throughout the building because it is proven to increase concession sales. Cinnabon even puts their ovens in front of their stores so the smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls hits the customer like a ton of bricks.

This isn’t deceiving the customer. You want your scent marketing to match with your company’s identity. It needs to tell a story that a customer can think back to when smelling it any where else. The issue comes when you do not do enough research to pick the correct smell. It can have the opposite reaction to what is discussed above. Just because you are the business owner and love that smell it might not be productive from a marketing standpoint.

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Visual of Alternative Marketing

When I say visual, I do not mean a banner or a flyer that tells about your company. I am talking about alternative forms of visual marketing that create an atmosphere that is truly memorable. The goal here to is create something that mix and matches with all the other forms of marketing that all integrate them seamlessly. Taking a room and simply dimming the lights is a form of alternative visual marketing or the use of lights that mimic the bass in the music playing can create an environment that is desired by your customers.

Start thinking outside the box and go the extra mile for your company. For you to stand out you need to stand up and get active in some creativity. Realizing that every sense your customer has can act as a marketing tactic can put you many steps ahead of your competition. Feel free to contact us at BizeeBay, if you have any questions. We are here to help in any way we can!

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