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Brand experience ideas based on sensory branding insights

From the moment we’re born, our senses make up the fabric of our experiences. They’re entwined with our emotions, anchored in our memories, and according to new research that’s challenging the tenets of Western philosophy, our experience in the physical world has an unconscious effect on how we think, feel and behave.

It’s no surprise then our senses have the power to shape our perception of brands, affecting how intuitively we connect with them, and how credible we perceive their messages to be, whether it’s at a single touchpoint or across the entire customer journey. What is surprising is that many brands quite literally take leave of their senses – and the resulting disconnect between what a brand says and how it feels can leave a bad taste in our mouths.

This eclectic, illuminating and interactive talk weaves together key strands of scientific research, from synesthesia to sensory metaphors, to reveal the three critical drivers of multisensory brand experience – and how you can harness them to create a more impactful, holistic experience that will ultimately change the way people feel – and behave – in relation to brands.

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Brand experience ideas based on sensory branding insights

  1. Hello Lewis Robbins Senior Associate Strategist
  2. of Millennials crave experiences that stimulate the senses. 76% This stat makes sense at first. But what about the other 24%? Do they loathe sunsets? Do they despise chocolate pudding?
  3. There’s a gap between the rich sensory experience of our personal lives and the alien way we approach the senses in the marketing world.
  4. We are all already experts in the senses. And if we could tap into our own expertise, what powerful, brilliant experiences we could create.
  5. Four common sense techniques you can use to elevate your brand.
  6. A coffee brand gave away its product after this billboard created a yawning epidemic.
  7. Yawns are contagious because of ‘mirror neurons’. We understand experiences we see, hear or read by simulating that experience in our brains.
  8. KICK “Green tastes like lemon ice cream, and smells like grass that’s just been cut.” Mirror neurons can be activated in a number of different ways. The Black Book of Colours helps blind people to feel colour through raised images, and evocative text.
  9. KICKReading ‘sensory’ words (‘mustard’, ‘feathers’) activates the sensory cortex. The brain treats depictions of movement, scent, and texture as the real thing. We all have a beautiful sensory palette waiting to be activated at any time. “Yellow tastes like mustard, but is as soft as a baby chick’s feathers”
  10. Glorious Soup created a context for its product, likening it to ‘strolling under a colourful tree canopy’.
  11. This Nike ad, shot entirely in the first-person perspective, creates a vicarious experience that allows the viewer to project themselves into the ad.
  12. Use mirror neurons to create extra crunch! Don’t stop with clarity and logic. Activate mirror neurons through sound, sight, and words to make something happen in another person’s mind.
  13. Synesthesia means ‘joined sensation’. It’s a neurological phenomenon where one sensory stimulus triggers another.
  14. We are all synesthetes. But this kind of cross-wiring isn’t the exception. It’s the norm.
  15. Which shape is Kiki, which is Bouba? 95% of people named the sharp, spiky shape on the left Kiki—and the soft, rounded shape on the right Bouba. We ‘map’ the sound to the shape.
  16. Aligning the senses – Cadburys changed the shape of their chocolate (you could call it Cadburys Bouba) to enhance its smooth, creamy flavour.
  17. Our surroundings also influence our perception of a product. Aligning the senses is called cross-modal design. It can make a whiskey taste sweeter, a car engine sound more powerful.
  18. Jack Morton created an experience for Nespresso Cubania that mapped the characteristics of the coffee to the rhythm of the dancers and the music.
  19. Let Kiki and Bouba be your guide! We are all synesthetes. Align the senses to make brand experiences more engaging, memorable and enjoyable.
  20. Tradeshows like Mobile World Congress can seem like anti-hospitality experiences. It’s about sales and leads, driven by who can shout the loudest.
  21. Create a warm welcome by bringing people to their senses. Don’t facilitate transactions—build relationships.
  22. Sensory cues have a powerful effect on mood. This Philips lighting system uses different wavelengths and intensities of light to complement the rhythm of activity inside the classroom.
  23. Every sensory cue affects how people feel. Birdsong isn’t just nice to listen to—it’s been used hospitals, airports, classrooms and banks to create a calming atmosphere.
  24. Selfridges created The Silence Room – a temporary space where shoppers can de-stress and recharge.
  25. Bring people to their senses Empathise with your audience to build deeper, longer-lasting relationships.
  26. Physical sensations can prime our perceptions. People use warmer language to describe an encounter if they are holding a warm cup of coffee. People who have just been socially excluded feel colder than those who haven’t.
  27. Puzzle pieces covered in sandpaper primed people to perceive an interaction as being more adversarial and difficult. (It went ‘roughly’, as opposed to everything going ‘smoothly’.)
  28. An experiment showed that two groups of people, both assessing identical CVs, will give more ‘weight’ to the CV presented on a weighted clipboard.
  29. Microsoft embodied the user experience of Windows 8, ‘fast and fluid’, by building a slide in a shopping centre.
  30. We understand abstract concepts largely through metaphor. Apple’s glass staircases embody the values of the brand.
  31. Forget sterile cosmetics environments. Aesop’s use of materials reflects a kinder attitude to personal care.
  32. The Jewish Museum is an architectural metaphor for something that words alone couldn’t convey.
  33. Grasp sensory metaphors Express your brand values through sensory metaphors to communicate with people on a deep, intuitive level.
  34. Use mirror neurons to create extra crunch Let Kiki and Bouba be your guide Bring people to their senses Grasp sensory metaphors
  35. As children, we explore and learn about the world through play and through the senses. But somewhere along the line we lose our way. So let’s remember our own expertise—and use the senses to create impactful, beautiful experiences that change how people feel—and which live long in the memory.
  36. Talk to us – Contact Peter Sun VP, Brand Marketing Peter_Sun@jackmorton.com +1.212.401.7015 Read our blog at jackmorton.com/blog Follow us on twitter @jackmorton Visit us online at jackmorton.com About Jack Morton We’re a global brand experience agency. We generate breakthrough ideas, connecting brands and people through experiences that transform business. Our portfolio of award-winning work spans 75 years across event marketing, sponsorship marketing, promotion and activation, experience strategy, employee engagement, digital, social, and mobile. Ranked at the top of our field, Jack Morton is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE: IPG). © Jack Morton Worldwide 2015

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