5 Ways Brands Sell Through Your Senses

An abstract digital art piece featuring a vibrant silhouette of a human profile filled with overlapping colorful circles on a dark background, creating a sense of depth and complexity.

You’re constantly bombarded with subtle cues designed to lure you in. It’s no accident; brands are savvy in using your senses to sell. They’ve mastered the art of sensory appeal, from the colors that catch your eye to the jingles that stick in your head.


To begin with, in this exploration, we’ll uncover the top five sensory strategies that brands deploy to make their products irresistible. Subsequently, get ready to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch your way through their cleverest tactics.

Visual Allure: Sight’s Influence on Your Senses

To enhance their marketing efforts, brands use various visual cues that shape perception and impact buying decisions. These cues include carefully selected packaging colors and sleek smartphone designs, crafted specifically to catch attention and elicit a desired response.

You’re more likely to gravitate toward products that visually appeal to you, even if you don’t realize it. It’s not just about looking good; these visuals tell a story about the product, create a sense of quality, and can even imply a lifestyle you aspire to.

Next time you’re shopping, notice how the visuals influence your choices. It’s a silent conversation between you and the brand, and it’s happening with every glance.

Sonic Branding: Sound Strategies

Focus on sound for persuasive branding. Familiar jingles shape habits like logos and colors. Sonic branding creates memorable experiences through auditory senses.

“Moreover, think of McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ tune or the iconic chimes of Intel. These sounds not only trigger instant recognition, but also evoke a range of emotions, and sometimes even nostalgia, that are directly linked to the brand.”

When you hear these sounds, you’re not just processing a noise; you’re engaging with a brand’s identity. It’s an audible fingerprint, distinguishing a brand from its competitors and ensuring it stays top-of-mind.

Successful sonic branding can make you feel at home with a brand without you even realizing it.

Scent Marketing: Olfactory Appeals to Your Senses

Despite the fact that many people are unaware of it, scent marketing is actually a commonly used tactic by brands to appeal to customers’ olfactory senses and influence their purchasing decisions.

Imagine walking past a bakery; the warm aroma of fresh bread entices you inside. That’s scent marketing at work.

Retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch use signature fragrances to create a branded sensory experience, making their stores instantly recognizable.

High-end brands go further, crafting exclusive perfumes that evoke luxury and exclusivity, fostering customer loyalty.

Next time you’re shopping, take a moment to notice the scents around you. They’re not just there by chance; they’re carefully curated to guide your behavior, tap into your memories, and, ultimately, open your wallet.

Flavor Fusion: Taste Tactics


Just as scents can lead you into a bakery, taste tactics in marketing ensure that once you’ve sampled a product, you’ll crave more. Brands deliberately concoct these unique flavor profiles to captivate your palate and make their products unforgettable.

Imagine biting into a fusion-flavored snack, where sweet meets savory or spicy dances with sour. That initial surprise on your taste buds isn’t accidental. It’s all about creating a sensory experience so pleasurable that it forges a strong brand association in your mind.

You’re more likely to remember—and repurchase—a snack that challenged your taste expectations and won. So the next time you find yourself reaching for that distinctively flavored treat, know that it’s the result of a carefully crafted taste tactic designed just for you.

Tactile Engagement: Touch Techniques for Your Senses

Building on the fusion of flavors that tantalize your taste buds, tactile engagement involves the strategic use of textures and materials that you’ll want to touch and hold, further solidifying your connection with a brand.

Imagine the soft leather of a luxury handbag or the smooth finish of a high-end gadget; these aren’t just random choices. Brands meticulously design their products’ tactile elements to create a memorable experience for you.

The weight, the texture, and even the temperature of an item can influence your perception of its quality and value. They know that once you pick up their product, if it feels right in your hands, you’re more likely to make it yours.

That’s the power of touch in branding.


As you’ve discovered, brands cleverly engage your senses to shape your shopping experiences. They dazzle your eyes, serenade your ears, whisk you away with scents, tantalize your taste buds, and invite touch to forge a connection.

The next time you’re out shopping, you’ll undoubtedly notice these sensory strategies at play. In fact, they are so ubiquitous that you might not even be aware of them. But whether you’re aware of them or not, they are tirelessly crafting memories and swaying your choices. It’s important to remember that it’s not just about the product; it’s about how it makes you feel.

So, go on, indulge your senses—they’re the real shoppers here.

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Antonio Massey

Production Team: Folder

Antonio Massey recently joined NWCA in June of 2022. His role on the Production Team has greatly improved our processes and productivity. Antonio is always willing to lift heavy boxes or help his co-workers during busy times. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his dog and mastering video games.


Alicia Wada

Shipping Clerk

Alicia Wada is passionate about helping her co-workers at Northwest Custom Apparel in any way that she can. She works in our Shipping and Logistics department. Alicia, who goes by Ali, has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She lived in Japan for ten years and recently brought her family to America in 2019. She is interested in learning crafts and textile art from around the world.


Erik Mickelson


Erik Mickelson’s position as Manager is more than a job, it’s a passion. It’s always fun and exciting because he enjoys marketing, computers, and coming up with innovative ideas to help NWCA grow. He majored in accounting and finance at Washington State University, graduating in 1996, and returned to school to obtain his Master of Business from WGU, graduating in 2016. Erik continually strives to advance his education through podcasts, audiobooks, and industry tradeshows. He is married to a remarkable and caring wife named Wendy, a Registered Nurse, with whom he shares his many hobbies and a love for the outdoors.



Ruth Nhoung

Production Manager

Ruth Nhoung is our Production Manager and Northwest Custom Apparel is lucky to have her. Thanks to her vast knowledge of machine embroidery and dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive work environment, the production plant runs smoothly and customers are pleased with our work. She is a loving mother and grandmother and enjoys spending quality time with her siblings. She says, “I love everything about Northwest Custom Apparel: the people, the atmosphere, the work, and the customers. I love what I do and I embrace all of NWCA’s core values”.


Steve Deland

Art Director

Steve Deland has been our amazing Artist since 2017. He loves working at Northwest Custom Apparel because he appreciates the goal-oriented, progressive-thinking management style. He is most passionate about his art, which includes scroll saw woodwork, and his five grandchildren.



Taylar Hanson


Taylar Hanson is a highly acclaimed Saleswoman at Northwest Custom Apparel. She has a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles from Washington State University. “Go Cougs!” The best part of Taylar’s job is getting to work with longtime customers who trust us to do the best work and take care of their needs. She is passionate about appreciating nature, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Nika Lao


Nika Lao is very knowledgeable in how the business is ran because she began as an Embroidery Machine Operator and has worked hard to become the excellent and personable saleswoman she is today. She enjoys the stress-free environment and the many chances to connect with her co-workers over potlucks, BBQs, and bowling parties. Nika is a proud sister of two highly successful brothers and can boast mastering three languages herself: Khmer, Thai, and English. She is an avid camper, enjoys going to farmer markets, and loves cooking.


Bradley Wright


Bradley Wright has been a vital team member of NWCA since 2017. As our accountant and knower-of-all-things, Bradley is proud to work closely with his wonderful colleagues. He studied at the University of Washington. These days he dedicates his free time to his new house.


Dominic Nguyen

DTG Operator

Dominic Nguyen recently joined our Direct-To-Garment department. He says he loves the family work environment at Northwest Custom Apparel. In his free time, Dom likes to listen to music, hangout with friends, and play video games. He comes from a very big family which can be very chaotic at times, but is always exciting.


Sothea Tann

Production Team: Trimmer

Sothea Tann recently joined the Production Team in 2022. She finds Northwest Custom Apparel to be a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff. In her free time, Sothea spends quality time with her family and, overall, focuses on a peaceful and happy lifestyle.


Brian Beardsley

DTG Supervisor

Brian Beardsley has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. He is our DTG Supervisor. Brian loves that he gets to work with high-tech machines in a fun atmosphere. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. He said, “I always wanted to create visually interesting assets in a variety of mediums”. In his free time, he enjoys building and painting models, playing video games, designing, and playing his guitar.


UT Tri Tran

Embroidery Machine Operator

UT Tri Tran loves Northwest Custom Apparel so much that, although she has already retired after a long career in machine embroidery operations, she is happy to return part time. She says, “I love the family style work environment and how everyone shares food, laughter, and fun on a regular basis.” In her free time she is dedicated to living a healthy and peaceful lifestyle with her friends and family.



Embroidery Machine Operator

BunsereytheavyHoeu, who goes by Theavy, won our Operator of the Year in 2021. She takes on many roles in the production team. She says, “These are not my co-workers, these are my family! I cherish all the memories we make together”. When she goes home to be with her family, she makes the most of her time with them by holding family get-togethers and even karaoke competitions.


Sreynai Meang

Embroidery Machine Operator

SreynaiMeang is a hard-working Machine Operator. She is most passionate about helping people. Sreynai, who goes by Nai, likes to exercise in her free time and talk with her family in Cambodia.


Kanha Chhorn

Embroidery Machine Operator

Kanha Chhorn has been an Embroidery Operator with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. She is delightful and always makes everyone smile and laugh. Kanha takes on additional tasks that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. In her free time, she can be found at her local temple or spending quality time with her family and friends.


Savy Som

Embroidery Machine Operator

SavySom is one of our Machine Operators who is passionate about embroidery and sewing. She enjoys working at NWCA because of its flexibility. She has two teenage sons and loves spending time with her family on the weekends.



Embroidery Machine Operator

SorphornSorm has been a Machine Operator since 2011. One of her four sisters works here as well. Her other relatives are in Cambodia. In her free time, Sorphorn studies English, listens to music, and enjoys exercising.


Jim Mickelson


Jim Mickelson, after a successful career with a major oil company, founded Northwest Embroidery in 1977. This was the first commercial embroidery in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Jim has become the guru of embroidery never refusing to answer a question or offer advice to his fellow embroiders. Jim and his wife Leeanna raised four wonderful children who went on to successful business careers.

Northwest Custom Apparel
Northwest Custom Apparel
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This small business is excellent! Great turnaround times and pricing. We've completely switched over to them for our uniform needs. The embroidery looks amazing and very professional. We have gotten jackets, vests, safety vests, hats and uniform polo shirts with them. The screen prints are very resistant to numerous washes. They have been super flexible and patient with us and going through getting PO set up with our company.
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Words can't describe how much I appreciate the outstanding customer service I received from Northwest Custom Apparel! I placed an order for two coats that I needed in one week for a Valentines' day gift and Nika made it happen! She was proactive, quickly responsive, and understanding of me needing to see different looks of our company logo. She was incredibly sweet, accommodating, and made every effort to make my order the way I wanted it. A part of me felt bad asking to see the different looks, but she reassured me it was not a problem and was on top of her game! Every staff member I interacted with when I came to their shop was very pleasant, welcoming, and attentive as well. All around great work! Will absolutely use them again and highly recommend!!! Thank you Northwest Custom Apparel!!!