The Five Senses and Branding

Yes, you read it right, the five senses do play a big part with customer interaction with brands. If you are not familiar with the senses, they are see, touch, smell, taste, and hear. Different brands target different senses in order to get to their customers on different levels. With specific sounds, smells, or sights, marketers hope to intensify perceptions of brands. A blog post by Evan Brown describes how these marketers are using sensory branding to really target their customers. Here is the blog post:

Firstly, I am going to talk about smell. 75% of the emotions we generate on a daily basis are affected by smell. Brands like Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister are popular for their branding through smell. For example, when you walk through the mall and you decide to step into one of these stores, you instantly smell their brand. Its not their brand your smelling, but the distinct odor that comes from all of their stores. These certain smells is what brings customers to the store because they are familiar with them. Smells can affect consumer behavior because they help bring positive opinions, and perhaps gives you more patience to stand in that long line.

When you talk about hearing a brand, you might think about that catchy commercial jingle that you can sing along too every time it comes on. These practices are used a lot in order to capture customers, because they are so catchy and intriguing. Also, the music that is played in these stores. Research shows that restaurants that play soft and slow music are able to make patrons spend considerably more time and money than restaurants that play high paced music. So, yes sounds do play a factor in consumer behavior.

Sight, is the most important sense when it comes to marketing to customers. This is the first thing that the customer sees, from the brand logo, to the type of merchandise that is being advertised. 83% of the information people retain is received visually. When you think of brands, you thin of the colors that go with them. For example, when you see Coca-Cola you can put red and white with that logo. A simple and clean image of the brand is most helpful when gaining customer attention.

Its hard to pair every brand with the sense of taste. Most of these brands that involve taste are food companies. Some successful brands have used sampling in order to get their tastes to customers who have never tried it. Also, when you think of your favorite cheese burger from Burger King, your mouth begins to water because of that specific taste you are used too. Taste is very important, because if someone is unhappy with the taste, then they might not be a returning customer.

Last but not least, is touch or feel. Physical proximity to a product has a significant bearing on shaping purchase decisions. Some successful companies to incorporate feel, use detailed and vivid packaging when shipping their products. For example, Tiffany Company uses elegant colors and detailed packaging with their products.

When looking at Wesleyan, there are some things that we can improve on based on sensory branding. First off, when I think of Wesleyan sports, I think of the crowd that comes out. If we had a better crowd come out to the game, I feel like our sports would be more successful. You can link that to the sense, hearing. Also, our brand identity with sight could be improved also. When you think of big time schools like Clemson and when you see their logo, you know who it is. I feel like if we worked on our brand identity more, we could get more recruits and be more successful in athletics.








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