Most successful brands today are those that deliver feelings and emotions
One of the most effective ways to trigger human emotion is through our senses. Sensory branding is a powerful marketing tool that many of the most successful companies we know use to the fullest. It is the simple concept of taking more than one of our senses into consideration throughout advertising. This is known as multi-sensory marketing which has been shown to amplify consumer engagement through a more enhanced experience. Creating a positive experience is the main aim of branding overall. Despite the common usage of sensory branding within those who are more experienced, many startups do not really consider it.
Although it is a really simple and fun way to advertise, most brands are so focused on visual branding which makes it easy to overlook all of our other senses. Visual branding is vital to a beauty brand’s success, but in this piece, we are going to have a listen, touch, smell, and even taste of your brand so we can define your message in a way that you might have not thought about before.
Touch or tactile stimuli in branding takes place when the consumer’s physical interaction with a product creates a psychological response encouraging them to buy it. When this is done well, it can really contribute to the consumer’s choice to purchase by “activating perceived ownership and improving its sense of value.” This also ties in with our never-ending mission of creating a positive consumer experience; the variety of evidence suggesting the close link between touch and memory will likely cause your consumers to return.
In order to create this effect, we first need to properly identify the different components within touch. These include material, form, texture, surface and weight. Naturally, these components should be applied depending on your brand’s message and targeted audience. That being said there are some more widely universal opinions that you may want to consider such as how we tend to perceive the thickness of a product as more moisturizing.
Nars is a good example of a brand that applies this well in both packaging and product. Their packaging is often finished with a matte velvet like feel; if you notice the difference in the weight their products have in comparison to a drugstore product, it is not by accident. Heavier packaging gives off a more premium vibe and can have you believe that there is more product than there is. The texture of their products such as their classic eyeshadow is soft and smooth in a way that is difficult to miss. They know how to align tactile stimuli with their high-end luxury image.
Taste & Sound
Although taste and sound do not need to be considered in quite as much depth within the beauty industry, if applied correctly, they can both have an effective impact on our sales. Using lip scrubs is a good product related example of applying our taste buds. This can be a really fun way to play around with different flavours; you can use it to enhance the tone of your brand by matching the scrubs to your image. Whatever the taste may be, make sure that it tastes like your brand.
Jeffree Star Cosmetics is a good example of someone who has done this well. His line of lip scrubs matches the bubblegum-like playful theme of the brand; some of his scrubs include flavours such as Peach Popsicle, Pancakes & Syrup, and Orange Soda. He has also jumped on board with the clean beauty trend high in demand by millenials, which are a big part of his audience. If you have considered the use of more ethical ingredients in your products, lip scrubs would be an excellent way to start and are actually vital if you are using them for your consumers to taste!
In most circumstances, utilising sound within the world of cosmetics would only work in a tangible shop. The sound of your shop is something that can vary to extremes depending on your audience. Retailers targeting young consumers tend to play music on the mainstream side at a louder volume than brands for an older wealthy crowd that might want a subtler more relaxing ambiance. A great part of using the sense of sound, is that throughout the day, our ears are picking up on an overwhelming number of different sounds constantly; this means that unless your choice of music is overpowering there is a high chance that your consumers will not even notice it and associate any positive feelings from it with their general experience at your shop.
An example of a retailer that often considers sound in branding is Victoria’s Secret. Whatever they are playing is always relevant to their brand image. They often play classical music with the intent of providing an exclusive atmosphere. Not only does it create a sense of luxury but also privacy which can be a good thing considering most of their products. On another occasion, they played a compact CD of the spice girls aligning with their brand’s message of sensuality and empowered women.
Research shows that there is a 40% improvement in mood after being exposed to pleasant scents
Scent is one of the most crucial things to consider in branding as it is the strongest out of all our five senses. The majority of us have experienced how a certain fragrance can take us back in time or how we immediately think of someone we know when we smell the perfume they wear. Our noses have strong memory triggers which you can use to your brand’s full advantage if done right. It seems that in case, consistency is key. Scent tends to bring back memories that you have experienced more than once. This means that once you have your brand’s signature scent, try and use it repeatedly. A good in shop example of this would be Lush. That sweet and citrusy aroma hits you as soon as you walk into any of their shops. Nuxe is a good example in terms of products. In fact, they got so much recognition for their floral rose fragranced products that they launched their own brand scented perfume and candles.
It is not imperative that you use all five senses within branding as it only takes more than one to bring multi-sensory marketing to life. However many you chose to include, they need to work in harmony with each other in order to strengthen your brand’s message and work effectively.
Can you think of a product or brand that you feel connected to based on any of your senses?