The Dollars & Sense of Great Brands

According to Martin Lindstrom in his book Brand Sense, “83% of all commercial communication appeals only to one sense – our eyes. That leaves a paltry 17% to cater to the other four senses. This is extraordinary given that 75% of our day-to-day emotions are influenced by what we smell, and the fact that there’s a 65% chance of a mood change when exposed to a positive sound.”

If he’s right, that means brands that appeal to multiple senses have a better chance of standing out than those that don’t.

Think about a new car – you see it (the design), touch it (the seats, the steering wheel, the controls), hear it (the sound of the engine, the closing of the doors), and even smell it (love that new car smell). This brings a lot of senses to bear on your decision. The only sense left out is taste. I suppose someday the car companies will figure out a way for us to taste our cars (strawberry paint?).

Most brick-and-mortar retailers utilize music that appeals to their demographic, along with smells and textures designed to enhance your shopping experience. Apple stands out in this group for their amazing retail stores. When you’re there, you know you’re part of something special.

Apple Retail Store

One study at a wine store discovered that French music caused an increase in French wine sales, while German music caused an increase in German wine sales.

Then there’s cereal. The sound of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, introduced in 1928, became such an icon, they came out with the characters Snap, Crackle and Pop in 1933 and they’re still popular more than 80 years later. The Rolling Stones even recorded a song for their TV ad in 1963.

We all respond to what our senses bring to us. For brand marketers, this opens up many powerful opportunities that go beyond what our target audience sees with their eyes.

Think of ways in which your brand can utilize multiple senses.

Bill Schlosser

Dr Brando, Huntsville, AL, USA