Can 'Feel' be a differentiator?

We are all considering traditional differentiators of product, price and service, but what about brand, design and (...) vibe?

My question comes from recent experiences in building an online store in a niche market where stereotypes are at the order of the day. We are of the opinion that our products are differentiated from the pack through brand, design and vibe and I think that a good all-encompasing word for these is ‘feel’. 

When I think of the word ‘feel’ in the context of my business and its products I imagine a golfer with a putter in his hands. Have you seen the latest grips, both the thick ones on the club itself and in the way the golfer holds it, that were employed at this year's majors? I guess each of these guys and their coaches believe that the application of a unique ‘feel’ can differentiate them from the field.

The million dollar (or R12 940 000 at current exchange rates) question is whether ‘feel’ is important to our target market… Only time will tell.