The Sensory Cues to Perceived Efficacy, Emotional Benefits and Situational Appropriateness


In many personal care product categories, understanding consumer liking, although important, is insufficient to fully predict consumers’ purchase and usage behavior. In categories such as anti-aging product, where repeated exposure to the product is needed to ensure efficacy, initial impressions are key to ensuring compliance with the regimen for an extended period of time. Sensory cues that connote efficacy need to be integrated in the product aesthetics to ensure credibility in long-term benefits.


A manufacturer of anti-aging eye care products had demonstrated the long-term efficacy of their product through clinical research. However, consumer research suggested that although consumer trial was high, long-term compliance to the regimen and repeated purchase was relatively low. Upon further investigation, it was found that efficacy perception after first use could be improved.

“Sensory cues drive efficacy benefits as well as emotional satisfaction. ”


A large competitive assessment was conducted using a combination of expert descriptive panel and targeted consumer quantitative evaluation. The panel provided objective insights about the sensory cues perceived before, during and immediately after first application. Consumer results provided information about perception of product efficacy overall and for specific concerns, as well as emotional benefits and appropriateness for use in various situations. Sensory cues that drive immediate perception of efficacy and other benefits were uncovered.


Through a better understanding of the impact of sensory cues on consumer perception in the category, our client was provided with specific guidance and strategy for building further signals of efficacy into the aesthetics of the product in alignment with product intended use and while remaining true to expected benefits and imagery associated with the brand.

Sensory Spectrum, Inc. protects the confidentiality of its clients. Information from many of the following case studies were adapted from past conference presentations.

We host numerous courses and workshops to help you and your company achieve the best possible product quality for your customers.

Learn more about how Sensory Spectrum can assist your business with its sensory evaluation needs.

Translate »