Inspiring the senses: How innovation in the sensory business can benefit from a new angle on research and how future qualitative research can learn from sensory!

Massimo Cealti, Gabriele Niemann and Oliver Schieleit
Symrise, France, Symrise, Germany and H,T,P, Concept, Germany


‘If a revolt is to come, it will have to come from the five senses.’ (Michel Serres: Angels – a Modern Myth)

It’s hard to imagine a new blockbuster movie today not being released in 3D. Chewing gums and ice-creams promise to stimulate all the senses (‘5 Gum – Stimulate your senses’, ‘Magnum 5 Senses’). Shower gels want you to become as irresistible as chocolate (Axe Dark Temptation) (Krishna 2010).

Looking into the world around us, it appears as if the senses and the multisensory experience have become a central theme in consumer cultures and in societies and markets at large. This might come as no surprise if we take for granted that ‘[c]ontemporary consumers seek new consumption experiences in their everyday life and the consumption process has been affected by the constant need for novelty, imagery, emotion and fun’ (Rodrigues/Hultén/Brito 2011).