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From the day we were born we use our senses to learn about things.
We learn through experience, and that information is the starting point for every branding strategy that focuses on our senses. This way of branding is called sensory branding.
Sensory branding ...lies on the premise that if a brand provides all of our senses with certain stimulus, we will experience our brand more profoundly,and connect with it on a deeper emotional level... *Martin Lindstrom, “Brand Sense”
Brand ...therefore a strong brand-customer relationship will be built.
What nowyou might wonder? Let’s see the connection between senses and brands so far.
Look at that brand!Well, ever since advertising was born, it was oriented on our sight, mainly because that sense is most responsive to the environment.
92.6% of the population puts most importance on visual factors such as color and shape when buying products.*Marketing Research / Seoul International Colour Expo / 2004
Sense of touch was second most important with 5.6% while hearing and smell each drew 0.9%Marketing Research / Seoul International Colour Expo / 2004
We make our first impressionswithin 90 seconds of the initial viewing, and between 62-90% of that impression is based on color alone.
80% When talking about on-shelf visibility, this is how much color can increase brand recognition.
42% According to research, ads in color are read more than the same ads in black and white.
Market researchers have alsodetermined that color affects shopping habits.
Impulse shoppersrespond best to red-orange, black and royal blue
Impulse Traditional shoppers shoppersrespond best to red-orange, respond best to pastels; black and royal blue pink, rose and sky blue
Impulse Traditional shoppers shoppersrespond best to red-orange, respond best to pastels; black and royal blue pink, rose and sky blue Budgetsavy shoppers respond best to pink, teal, light blue and navy
With our sight we notice andrecognize shapes and colors really fast, but we can not experience a brand only by looking at it, at least not at its full potential.
That is why sensory branding involves all of our senses. You don’t want your brand just to be noticed, you want it tobe experienced and remembered.
So let’s forget about the first impressionof the looks and focus on full sensory experience.
The power of hearing Let’s start with our hearing, which washighly appreciated back in the days when TV and Radio jingles rocked the world.
Human-beings arenaturally sensitive to sounds and their meanings.
The first sound we could hear wasour mother’s heartbeat.
What is so great about soundis that it doesn’t need our fullattention to be noticed.
And also it has been proven that sound evokes certain memories and experiences.
Experiments conducted in restaurants showthat when music slower than rythm of a heartbeat is played, we can eat more.
-24%The revenue from the slot machines in Las Vegas fell by 24 percent when the whirring and tinkling sounds were removed.
Audio branding is a new branche that relates only to sensory branding through sounds.Sound designers are developing audio identities for your brand and that involves: audio logo brand theme soundscape brand voice
1 Drop of perfume is enough to be noticed in three room apartment75% Of our emotions is generated by what we smell.80% Of what we taste is actually due to our sense of smell.
Humans are able to distinguish over10,000 ...that are being transmitted to our olfactory different odor system in the molecules... brain... ....where it is closely tied to memory, mood, stress and concentration.
Our sense of smell has been proven as most impressionable and responsive of our five senses,while it invokes memories and appeals directly to feelings without being filtered and analysed by the brain (as our other senses work).
Smell was used a lot in real estate business, somehow houses sold better if they smelled like vanilla, fresh baked cookies or popcorn (evoking memories of early childhood).
+45% In a Las Vegas casino, the amount of money gambled in a slot machineincreased by over 45% when the site was odorised with a pleasant aroma.
mahagony motor and the wood oil smell of leather
...were used and combined to recreate the unique smell of the 1965 Silver Cloud Rolls Royce interior.Now every Rolls Royce leaving the factory is equipped with a diffuser in the underside of the car’s seat to convey this unique luxurius identity of the brand.
Starbucks is one of the companies that is well aware of the power of sensory branding. Through their characteristic cozy interiors, nice barristas and of course the smell and taste of fresh grinded coffee they occupy all of our senses.They even stopped serving breakfasts because the smell of the eggs interfered with the smell of the fresh grinded coffee.
bitter People can sense 5 basic tastes soursweet umami salty (savory, or meaty)
For all other flavour tastes we must thank to our sense of smell, for that is the one that gives flavor to our food.
We can say that taste is the sensethat fuses all different senses together to create a holistic brand experience, but is also linked to emotional states, so it can alter mood and brand perception.
Most famous campaign that included taste was the one made for the launch of Škoda Fabia in 2007 in London. It cost more than a real car ($800,000). Idea was to advertise it as tasty, so they decided to bake a life-sized cake that looked like Škoda. They hired the best chocolatiers, bakers and bricklayers to construct and bake the car, and filmed the whole process. According to Škoda, in the first week of the campaign, the visits to car dealerships went up by 160 percent .
Our skin has more than4,000,000 sensory receptors that can be easily manipulatedthrough materials, weight, softness and comfort of the product.
Haptics refers to the sense of touch (comes from the Greek word haptikos that means “I fasten onto, I touch”).Today haptics is mostly considered as a tactile feedback technology which takes advantage of the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user (we can see examples in user-inteface design and product design)Haptics also plays a great role when it comes to packaging design, or even in some advertising campaigns.
Imagine your Orangina in a square like bottle? Somehow it doesn’t seem right.Packaging - and by that I mean form, material, size, weight - can give a huge impact on our brand awareness.
It is a perfect way for getting close to consumer’s unconsciousness, their perceptions,feelings and tastes.
Some great examples can be found is the work ofconceptual designers, architects and enthusiasts.Here are some great examples of juice packaging, and plate coasters.
In the end I bring you some great examples of successful brands that used sensory branding to it’s fullest
First example is Singapore Airlines.Back in the days they wanted to brand themselves as an entertainment company...
...so they implemented a completely new set of branding tools:only the finest silk and colors were chosen for the staff uniform, as well as the make up for the fly attendants that consisted of brand color scheme.
Today widely known as Singapore girls, their flight attendants arerepresentatives of the “Asian beauty archetype”, and are obliged to take courses in order to learn about the way they should speak to passengers and serve food in the cabin.The Singapore Girl became so iconic that she (one of the flight attendants served as a model) was implemented in Madame Tussaud’s Museum in London back in 1994 as the first commercial figure ever.
The company is also known for its signature scent, called Stefan Floridian waters. It is being used by the crew and it is also blended into the hot towels that are being served to passengers. Described as smooth, exotic and feminine, today it is a unique and distinctivetrademark of Singapore Airlines, capable of conveying a set of memories all linked to comfort, sophistication and sensuality.
Other great example is Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Here I will mention three very special ones; Westin, W hotels and Le Meridien, each with highly implemented sensory branding.
Westin hotels are widely known for their carefully decorated interiors, lightning, sounds and even specific plants.
They have a special fragrance of white tea that spreads through the hotel’s lobby, rooms, towels and linen.For their smoking-free hotels & resorts they even hired famous jewellery designer to create a talisman necklace to give a tangible experience to customers that quit smoking.
W Hotel is known as design hotel. Interior colors, lightning and music differfrom room to room, from hotel to hotel, depending on the city where the hotelis situated. They also have a specific brand language that uses special terms to describe seemingly ordinary things (pool - wet, restrooms -wc, elevator - lift).
Apart from great design, W also promotes high quality music, dj-s and organizes events, aiming towards younger population. Staying at W’s is a lifestyle of its own.
Le Meridien hotel branded itself as a hotel that promotes culture of the country or the city it is situated in.For example the first thing you smell when you enter the lobby of Le Meridien in India is a peculiar scent of old books and parchment in a library. As the customer steps into the lift, specially designed music starts to play (24-hour soundtrack composed in a colaboration with 20 musicians around the globe).
Every room has a specific interior and the room key cards are customised - each card contains different work of art specific for that country or town. They also introduced LM100, a group of cultural innovators of mixedgenerations and interdisciplinary artistic fields, chosen from the fields of art, architecture, cuisine, and design by Le Méridien’s Cultural Curator.The aim is to develop original and interactive programs for Le Méridien hotels worldwide that will transform the guest experience.
Helm Bank, situated in Colombia, is the first multisensory bank that went through complete sensory branding process, including interior decorations.
Color and imagery were combined to create an “ownable visual signature”, while texture and form were used to create an appropriate sense of tactile quality, comfort and warmth. Soundscapes were developed to subconsciously affect customerbehaviour. Low density, low tempo, natural and synthesized sound was utilised to create comfort and encourage browsing.Higher tempo sound was used to encourage speed and movement in transient branch zones. Signature fragrances were created and deployed in key branch locations through the air conditioning system. In addition, branded confectionary (candies of tropical taste, water) was developed to encourage staff engagement with customers.
The future branch concept utilised multi-sensory design as a toolto support the segmentation of space, creating two distinct zones. For existing Helm customers, designers created a comfortable lounge environment where clients are able to browse products, with an emphasis on encouraging consultation.Private seated teller positions are used to encourage relationship building and cross-selling. For the non-customer zone, the designers created a faster space with a direct style of communication to encourage the notion of speed and efficiency.
By delivering all these great examples I wanted to show a wide range of sensory branding possibilities.
Beside these successful sensory branding, there is a downside to it of course. You might not like the perfume some brand launched, same goes with music and taste, but imagine the effect if you do like it? Sure, there are pros and cons to sensory branding, but that is the beauty of branding business overall, you never know if your brand will stand out in the market, or simply drown in the mass.
Important thing is to be aware that our senses are the ones that are deciding for us when it comes to choosing your favourite brand. So next time you start working on your brand simply ask yourself: