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The Tactile Effect


What is it?

The Tactile Effect is the name given to a psychological tactic used by marketing strategists to influence consumer behavior.

Physically holding products can create a sense of psychological ownership, driving must-have purchase decisions. This idea may underlie the push to move inventory from display cases into customers’ hands, a trend seen in many electronics outlets such as the Apple Store and Best Buy. Additionally, interpersonal touch, such as a handshake or light pat on the shoulder, can lead people to feel safer and subsequently spend and consume more.

https://hbr.org/2011/12/please-touch-the-merchandise

Take Action:


In the era of Covid-19 it is difficult to use this effect in its original form, you can however add “sensing” words to your marketing material.

Examples include:

  • Imagine the feeling of this leather steering wheel
  • When was the last time you woke up to the smell of a perfect cup of coffee, or the sound of waves crashing on the beach?
  • Do you remember what …. tastes like? It’s kind of like that …
  • Do you remember what a worry free morning feels like? Let’s make that happen more often.

If you work in a niche where interpersonal touch (a light pat on the shoulder) is still possible, practice adding this to your repertoire during your in person engagements.


Read more on this topic:

  1. https://hbr.org/2011/12/please-touch-the-merchandise



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