Approximately 80% of our decisions are not made consciously, they are the result of a reality that we perceive through the senses. The brain is responsible for interpreting information and transforming it into different emotions that will then influence our mood and the decisions we make. For this reason, it is important to consider the power of the senses to increase the full potential of brands.

Brands are emotional concepts rooted in human perception, emotion, beliefs, and attitudes. In general, we talk about sensory branding to describe the different techniques that appeal to the 5 senses to create unique sensory experiences that facilitate differentiation, remembrance, and preference for brands. The benefits it can bring are significant: reinforcement of the brand identity with new dimensions, increased engagement, greater differentiation, greater power of attraction… Which can be summed up in increased sales.

It has been proven that it is not only our brains that govern our behavior as people. Our nervous system and the stimuli we get through it directly influence our actions. Psychology Today offers a more detailed explanation: “The brain, while important, is not the only resource we have at our disposal to generate behavior. Instead, the shape of our behavior arises from the real-time interaction between a nervous system in a body with particular capabilities and an environment that offers behavioral opportunities and information about those opportunities.”.

What we perceive through our senses profoundly affects our attitude, mood, and memory. I like to remember the phrase of the writer Maya Angelou: “Either they will carry what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” And we can’t forget that brands operate in the world of emotions, which is so closely linked to the senses.

Historically, more than 90% of all brand activation has been focused on sight; Which means leaving a small percentage for sound, taste, touch, and smell. But things are changing, and the next sense on the rise is sound, although today we cannot think about building a strong brand without a global vision.

 

    1. View

90% of the information our brain perceives is visual, which shows the importance of the influence of sight on customer behavior. 85% of people think that the color of the product acts as the first filter on their purchase decision.

Sight has been the main sense that brands have played with over time. Concepts such as design, packaging, style, graphics, color, light, space… have been their main tools.

We only have to remember how McDonald’s has changed its corporate colors from red to green to consolidate a repositioning towards health and nature. Or what about the red sole of Louboutin’s shoes, on which he has even obtained a patent.

 

    1. Sound

71% of people believe that music can change the atmosphere and 90% of consumers select a venue with music first. It has also been shown that 62% of TV viewers pick up their mobile phones during advertisements. They may not see the ad, but they do hear it.

Sound is a basic sense for humans, also to achieve the connection between the brand and the customer. With the strategic use of sound, the brand experience is improved and the impact of the brand in people’s minds is reinforced. Currently, it is something that is gaining more interest from companies, it is the so-called Audio Branding in the search for the sound identity of brands. Who doesn’t remember the jingle of “Intel Inside” or the melody of a “Skype” call?

Brands like Harley Davidson decided to register their sound to prevent competitors from copying what is part of their identity. More recently, the examples of Mastercard or Netflix are magnificent.

 

    1. Tact

Our body has more than 130 touch receptor points spread throughout the body. In the absence of information, touch can communicate product attributes enhancing the shopping experience. Humans like to touch to amplify the information we receive through the rest of the senses. How many have not resisted touching a piece of clothing before trying it on? Or even less glamorous objects while visiting a bazaar

Ikea invites you to a magnificent shopping experience in its stores by offering visitors the possibility to touch all the products, sit on the chairs, and lie down on the beds. A great strategy to increase the direct relationship of the brand and its products with customers.

 

    1. Smell

Up to 75% of the emotions we generate are influenced by a smell. Our sense of smell distinguishes more than 10,000 scents and we breathe more than 23,000 times a day. Therefore, we have 23,000 opportunities a day to stimulate the consumer olfactory. The brain can remember a scent with 65% clarity even after a year. Of course, this has been a magnificent terrain for the creation of all those brands in the cosmetics and perfumery sector, but it is not an exclusive terrain for them. Regardless of the sector in which we operate, the scent is part of the brand’s identity and must be consistent with its attributes, values, personality…

In 2008, Bankinter decided to complete its corporate identity by generating its own olfactory identity. According to its creators, Bankinter’s perfume “tastes like orange with an aftertaste of jasmine. Scents that were chosen for their ability to reflect values such as originality, integrity, agility, and enthusiasm.”

 

    1. Taste

The sense of taste is the least developed, but it starts from the same base as the rest of the senses to guarantee our audience the best brand experience.

In its global brand line, Mastercard launched an exclusive edition of macarons (along with the presentation of its sound logo), created especially by Ladurée, to continue expanding the reach of its multi-sensory experience. Passion and Optimism are the two values he wants to express. Another example is the Basque restaurant Sagartoki, which decided to extend the brand experience with the use of edible business cards.

Sense and Sensibility

If people have 5 senses, why keep insisting only on sight? Sensory branding is a great opportunity to continue building a brand and enhancing the experience with people. If brands want to engage their customers on deeper levels, it’s time to start exploring the different sensory triggers at their fingertips.

 

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO of Branward®