Marketing is essentially about making promises. Promises that your organization or business offers something meaningful or worthwhile. To build trust in your brand, you have to deliver on that promise, and to deliver on your promise, you have to appeal to each one of the senses your consumers use while interacting with your brand. Below, we’ve compiled examples of how sense has been used to interact with brands – and how it did or did not help the brand deliver on its promise.
Looks aren’t everything, but they play a significant part in building a believable brand. If you offer high-end services but you’re brick and mortar location and/or website looks cheap, you’re going to have a hard time getting people to pay high-end prices – because what they see doesn’t match your promise. The same also applies to brands with lower-end products that try a bit too hard to be upscale, like the recent Taco Bell news that restaurants will be getting upscale makeovers. The polished design doesn’t match what consumers think of Taco Bell, causing them to take the look and brand less seriously. To sum it up, your look – from the finishes in your physical location to your color pallet – says a lot about you, including whether you’re worth trusting or taking seriously.
While sound is often an afterthought in building a brand, it’s a very real way your consumers interact with you from videos, radio spots, even the brand voice you develop. Some companies are even developing full audio brand guides to ensure their sound invokes the feelings it wants consumers to have when interacting with the brand. In addition to your physical sound, you also should consider what people are hearing when they read your branded content. Decide what tone your brand voice should have, and then faithfully carry it out in all language on your website, social media and other communication channels.
As brand interaction becomes increasingly less physical, the chance that consumers will experience your brand through touch becomes less and less likely, but it still worth considering… physically and emotionally. In the physical sense, everything in your location should feel like it fits with your brand whether that be clean and classic or chaotic and comfortable. And any goods you sell should feel the same level of quality as your brand. In the emotional sense, try to be personable and easy to connect with for your clients. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is through social media by interacting with your followers and posting original content about your brand.
Of course, any business in the restaurant and food service industry must serve delicious food to deliver on its brand promise. But for other industries, taste is an easy way to deepen your relationships with consumers. Cater lunch for your clients from time to time. Host an in-store event with tasty treats. Send local customers thank you goodies. La Croix does a great job of using the taste of their product to deepen relationships with consumers by sending cases of La Croix to people who have already tagged their product on Instagram.
Bad smells in your physical location or from your product can quickly take away from any fulfillment you’ve made on your brand promise. But just as quickly as it can damage your brand, it can also help it as well. Anthropologie does a great job of using scent to further fulfill their brand promise of being a pleasant, high-end place to shop by burning their signature Capri Blue Volcano candles throughout the store. In addition to the beautiful clothes, smiling well-dressed employees and artistic window displays, the smell completes the entire feel of the store.