People often speculate as to what makes the top tier brands so strong. Well, that common thread is simple - they understand the delicate art of appealing to the consumer’s senses. In an effort to strengthen your business’s foothold on the branding battleground, it warrants a similar strategy. Most businesses make the mistake of attempting to associate their product with only one of the five senses, but as brands like Google, GE, and Coca-Cola reveal, we recall those with whom we connect on more than one level the fastest. Your brand should use all five senses to its advantage. If you do, your chances substantially increase of leaving a strong, positive influence on the mind of your target consumers.
Sight – We are creatures naturally drawn to attractive things, be it an autumn sunset, a fluttering butterfly, or a member of the opposite (or same) sex. Sight represents the simplest sense to understand for good reason; it has everything to do with appearance, a.k.a. “Rule #1” when marketing your brand. Pick strong designs to represent your brand from the logo down to your office layout. Remember, you want the consumer to remember your brand fondly, so consider these traits wisely.
Sound – Sounds are powerful. They tap into something primal within us. Audible brands push us in directions that we unconsciously follow. In one case, a wine shop conducted an experiment using music. The study found that customers were more prone to buy German wine when German music was played in the store and French wine when French music was played. The association of a sound with your brand represents one of the best ways to capture the attention of your target audience. Think commercial jingles like Intel’s simple and instantly repeatable, “Bum… ba, bum, ba, BUM!”
Smell – Unless you are in the food industry, smells are probably the last concern on your list. Rethink that position. Your brand can still use aromas to its benefit. Color your office with a unique, but enjoyable fragrance for meetings or even for your employees. You will be surprised just how quickly it creates an aura of positivity at the office. Just watch as a smile slowly strides across these faces when they think about your brand.
Taste – Just as taste and smell are connected scientifically, so too are they connected by the problems they pose here. Again, unless you are in the food industry, you probably are not concerned with marketing your brand’s “taste”. Why rule out a perfectly good category where your business can flourish? Get creative. Consider a unique co-branding strategy by aligning your brand with a popular food item or local restaurant – a giveaway perhaps.
Touch – Touching a brand is about more than being able to hold a product in the palm of your hand; it is about emotional connection. A recent study out of MIT found that when individuals came into physical contact with certain objects that varied by quality, texture, and material, they were left with feelings of deep emotional resonance. If your brand lacks a similar interactive element – something that the consumer can touch or feel - then you already stand to lose a great deal of business.
We leave you with this last bit of advice. Above all, do not neglect the most valuable sense of all, a sixth sense – common sense. Find a balance between the five senses above to maximize your brand’s exposure without causing unwanted damage to its name in the process.