Brand Sense: Sensory Secrets Behind the Stuff We Buy (Book Review)

On April 10, 2012
brandsenseA brand has full impact if together with the visual and auditory stimuli it activates other sensory channels like taste, touch and smell. Martin Lindstrom proves that brands sensory experience plays a major role in creating brand loyalty in his book Brand Sense: Sensory Secrets Behind the Stuff We Buy (published in 2010).
Lindstrom provides a comprehensive methodology to plan, implement and sustain effective sensory marketing. In 8 chapters, the author offers many examples of leading companies which utilize sensory branding to their advantage, including Microsoft, Apple, Disney Mercedes Benz and Singapore Airlines. The author also provides useful “action points” at the end of each chapter and how to apply them in business. It remains for each reader to determine what is most appropriate to their organization’s needs.
As Philip Kotler explains the Foreword, “distinctive brands have to be powered up to deliver a full sensory experience. It is not enough to present a product or service visually in an ad. The combination of visual and audio stimuli delivers a 2 + 2 = 5 impact. It pays even more to trigger other sensory channels – taste, touch, smell – to enhance the total impact. This is Martin Lindstrom’s basis message, and he illustrates it beautifully through numerous cases with compelling arguments“.
Having an instantly recognizable logo is a good start to having a successful brand, but it is not good enough to ensure success. In this interactive world, people want and need more stimulation, even from the brand name products they use. Martin Lindstrom’s book about branding and the senses, he makes a strong case for why consumers need to be able to not only hear and see their brands, but they must also be able to associate touch, smell, and taste with a brand whenever possible. Lindstrom offers a 6-step approach for evaluating and modifying a brand, so it is ready for the market of the 21th century. He advocates that brands engage a consumer on multiple sensory levels, much like religious organizations do. He sets up an interesting cross-industry comparison, noting how religions capture loyalty from cradle to grave. A fact that Lindstrom believes is due to the multi-sensory appeal of religion. When multiple senses are engaged, people are more engaged. Religion evokes sights, smells, sounds and tastes that might change with the season; while most brands rely on sight and sound alone. In order to break into the multiple sensory approach to branding, companies must smash their brand and examine each of the components that comprise their brand. Each part must work on its own, but also must combine to create a strong identity.
This book can be of interest to marketers, brand managers, or those interested in theory and what the major companies are doing to engage the senses.

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