Sight, sound, scent, touch, and taste is the best recipe for a delicious and successful brand!
Using various senses, a brand creates an exciting experience and also forms a connection on a deeper level with its consumers. Sensory stimuli generates a unique product involvement that goes beyond the product itself. A brand armed with multiple senses is always going to be more memorable, significant and have an army of loyal users behind it.
We may be familiar with different brand colors and logos, but values and identity can be transmitted in a more sophisticated way other than just a pretty visual appearance. Needless to say, this is still a powerful tool for consumers to recognize a specific brand. We can all identify a blue and white Facebook logo, a silver Apple or the bright red Coca-cola. However, recently marketeers are claiming that things are changing, and as long as the brand is well positioned and related with other stimuli, visuals are not that important. To argue for this point, we can consider the ongoing success of various tobacco and liquor companies after the advertising ban in most places.
McDonald's, 20th Century Fox, Skype...can you recall what these brands sound like?
Sound is one of the most common tools for brand recognition and is often effectively overused in product experience. Often find yourself humming a certain melody you heard on TV? Well this is not by accident.
Smell is one of the most powerful methods for creating intense feelings and memory. In fact, scientists claim that 75% of our emotions are produced by smell. Think back in time, the smell of your home, your bubblegum, your school, a special someone? Do you realize how our emotions can process a smell? Now think of the scent of a new book, a new car or a leather bag. A product itself may not have a distinctive aroma, but you may discover it if you walk into that brands store. Nike conducted a study where the sales improved by 80% after they added scents to their stores.
When thinking of this particular sense, we are not only implying the soft fuzzy fabrics satisfying to touch. We must include various products that are part of our everyday lives, our phones, touch screens, books, leather shoes, plastic bottles in various shapes and sizes: products we can recognize with our eyes closed. It is part of a human instinct to touch and feel the surroundings...our way of involvement with the world, and successful brands are very well aware of that.
Not all senses can apply to all brands, especially not one that involves gustatory experience. Nevertheless, successful brands have amplified their sensory experience by placing emphasis on the “Secret recipe” or “formula” that is so well kept by the creators. Think of the secret Big Mac sauce or the whole mystery developed around our favorite beverage: Coca-cola. The involvement of taste in branding is slowly evolving to other industries, such as body creams and baby toys.
So next time you think of a brand or a specific product, pay attention to the various senses, try and distinguish how present and creative the brand is. What does it sound, taste or smell like? How harmonized are those senses and how do they make you feel? Think of the most widely known brands such as Apple, Coca-Cola, Disney, Mercedes and try to distinguish the sensory experience they offer.
Enjoy your sensory journey! Bon Appetit!
For more reading on this topic, you can look up:
Brand Sense: Build Powerful Brands Through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight and Sound by Martin Linstorm.