5 Ways to Add Brand Experience to Your Marketing

by Kimberly Bordonaro November 19th, 2013 

BAUDUCCO-TOAST-HEROES

Want to know a secret?

It's a secret that can improve the vitality of your marketing and its pretty simple to do.

A secret that companies like Starbucks, Victoria Secrets, Kellogg's, and many others use to inject their brand into everything they do.

A secret that's so easy any marketer can (and should) do to increase the loyalty and popularity of their company's brand — large or small.

Spill it, you say?

The key to creating a marketing strategy that emotionally connects to your audience, causing them to fall in love with your company time and time again, is to incorporate the five senses into your brand experience.

Don't think sensory branding would work for you?

Keep reading. Ill show you how

How to Use The Five Senses in Your Brand Marketing

Before you set off to create a sensory-based marketing campaign, its important to keep focused your brand strategy so you can maintain consistency for your company. You will want to consider your marketing messages, the personality of your brand, and what feelings you want to invoke in your target audience.

Sight

This one will seem a bit obvious, especially if you've ever found yourself meticulously scouring through proposals for your brand identity, website design, and advertising campaigns.

The visual elements of your brand include color, materials, shape, typography, images, and composition. These components are typically the first aspects of a brand noticed by your customers. When combined with powerful marketing messages, they can influence your target audiences emotional perception of your brand.

Sound

Another tactic used in popular marketing campaigns is audio branding because its ability to help consumers recall memories and feelings. For instance:

  • Intel's sound logo has become just as synonymous with their brand identity as their visual logo.
  • Other companies have used jingles, music, soundscapes, and other sounds like Harleys V-twin engine sound or Rice Krispies Snap. Crackle. Pop. audio to differentiate and help consumers easily recognize their brands.
  • The screeching sound of a car crash in VWs Safe Happens Campaign is another application of impact of sound in branding.

Taste

Whether are creating secret ingredients for their signature recipes or creating adding kid-friendly flavours to their products like medicine or toothpaste, many brands use this sense to differentiate themselves.

Obviously the food and beverage industry uses taste in their strategic marketing:

  • Pepsi tactically gained market share and won over a few sceptics by conducting taste tests with their traveling Pepsi Challenge in the 80s.
  • Costco and Wholefoods use samples to promote various products they offer in their stores.
  • Bacardi has a Mix Master app that provides easy tutorials for their customers to discover and mix BACARDI cocktails. The app also features a shopping list and calculates quantities of ingredients needed for those throwing parties.

But even if you're not in a flavor-related industry, you can still utilize the sense of taste in your brand experience and marketing campaigns. For example:

  • High-end retailers create a shopping experience by providing Campaign and water bottles while their customers shop.
  • Many service professionals also utilize this tactic by providing water and/or small treats for their clients in their waiting area.

Smell

Your sense of smell is closely tied to your memory, emotions, and pleasure, which is why many brands like to use olfactory marketing in their campaigns.

  • Brands like Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret, create signature fragrances that they spray in their stores to attract shoppers, creating a scent logo that becomes highly associated with their brand.
  • The beauty industry is known to give away free samples of their products in retail stores and also create scented advertising campaigns in magazines. This isn't just limited to perfume. Shampoo, nail polish, lotions, creams, and many other items are branded with fragrance.
  • Real estate agents will use the smell of freshly baked cookies to help stage a home for sale.

Touch

Tactile branding uses texture, shape, weight, temperature, and malleability of a product or packaging to influence your customers perception of your brand.

  • Snuggle Fabric Softener uses a teddy bear in their advertising campaigns to demonstrate the softness you can expect when using their product. Other companies will use similar tactics by using texture based images in their advertising.
  • High-end restaurants will often use heavier silverware to encourage a sense of quality and luxury when dining in their establishments.
  • Coca-Cola uses the shape of its glass bottles that effortlessly fit in your hand, which also nostalgically connects with their customers.

The simple secret of using sensory branding to amplify the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns is something that everyone can do — even if you're in an industry that doesn't offer a physical product. By using strategic website copy, images, and videos, online marketers can also benefit from using the five senses in their brand marketing.

Your Turn. How will you use multi-sensory branding in your next marketing campaign? Leave a comment to share your stories and insights.

Kimberly Bordonaro

Kimberly Bordonaro is a brand strategist and the founder of Brandspiration, a blog that uses ridiculously fun lyrical references to explain how everyday entrepreneurs can create their distinctive brands.

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