The Importance of Sensory Branding for Product Personification

Category: Brand
Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
Pages: 6 Views: 116

Being graduated to the level, where marketing deciphers product in terms of a person and elevates its understanding from its mere features to personification, it is important to comprehend the difference between the product and brand. Like in case of product; the concern is about what the consumers perceive about the product considering the utility of the features. But, as per the fundamentals of branding it is much more than the features to identify the product. It is rather about the feeling, emotion, image and identity of the name behind the product, which is mainly build upon the platform of the recognition and perception.

The discussion here is about the transition of the fundamentals of branding to its advance stage to support the theory of Sensory Branding by Martin Lindstrom in Brand Sense. Here the author has applied a sense of micro issues to justify the boarder terms like feelings, emotion, image and identity of the product. Brand Sense deals with the five senses of human being; such as touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound that gives a result loaded with impacts. In the present market most of the branding companies apply this integrated method of sensory branding to achieve a measurable result that indicates the brands position in its portfolio.

The 21st century has made the world flat with its high tech engineering, communication and the knowledge to get into the nerve of the target segment the concern is catering. Here, the innovative approach of the six-step programme of brand building that includes

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  • sensory audit,
  • brand staging,
  • brand drama,
  • brand signature,
  • implementation,
  • evaluation have attracted the attention of the use of all the senses rather using the conventional idea of sight and sound to support the product marketing agenda.

Research reveals the startling fact that the emotion generation for the marketing of a brand covered and supported by smell up to the extent of 75%. Lindstrom’s list includes 20 brands to scale their future sensory awareness, among which the top three are Singapore Airlines, Apple, and Disney. In the course of the sensory branding; author has logisised the occurrings of the senses in the practical atmosphere. For instance, it is common to get a pleasant smell from a newly purchased car, which typifies the brand-new status of the car.

As matter of fact, it is the factory fitted aerosol gives the smell of a “new car aroma”. It is the smelling sense that recognizes the unique smell of a new car and sends signal to the brain to react. Similarly, in Singapore Airlines, the perfume used by the Airhostesses is the same that exists in the hot towels, given before takeoff. Eventually, the ambience inside the airplane spreads a single unique aroma that the passengers can recognize and register the brand with. In case of other senses; the crunchy sound of having Kellogg is a product of sound lab and is patented with the company’s recipe and logo.

Here the sound factor is making a brand statement and next time a person having corn flex but not Kellogg will also develop chance to relate it with Kellogg for the crunchy sound of the corn flex, which has been coined by Kellogg. Thus, here the sound sensory is able create a brand recall with the unique sound and can keep the brand as a “TOM product”. The sensory factor of Starbucks; which should be the aroma of the coffee and the taste of it, thus the smell and the taste sensory, is rather the visual impact of the interior; which adds to its sight sensory.

So apart from the smell followed by taste, which is obvious to cheer the consumers, the visual ambience of the place adds value to the brand image, its identity and thus makes their consumers the value for money (Lindstrom, 2005). In the endeavour of taking all the aesthetic decisions, companies use this theory of brand sense as a strategic branding. In this way the brand gets more vivid and comes out from the clutches of the jargons and the media gimmicks, making its message simple and bang on the point. To give a brand Source: Harvest Consulting Group LLC.

The sense of its purpose and the existence; it is necessary to perceive the same, the way the world is understood; with our five senses, the sight, the sound, the taste, the touch and the smell. And it is the same five elements of the nature the makes the sense out of a brand, in short; BrandSense. In measuring the Brand Experience of the target segment, companies focus on the response and understanding of their customers and their reactions on the part of the particular five senses while handling the brand in question.

Further, this array of experiences of the customer reveals the perception of the user extending the issue to question the self; about the identity or for using a certain brand, what image the customer gets about the self. Speaking strictly, who am I? This is a kind question that seeks the image or the perceived image of the person; thus, the personality. Relating the perceived image of the user and the brand in use; Brand Personality of the brand can be derived.

In this entire process the essence of a brand can be identified by using different senses for different kinds of brand with need and experience of different customers, the employees involved with the brand and the particular target segments. To make a cross-section of this marketing idea; the unique presentation of the senses and the allied questions to the brand, can be observed in the brand sensory wheel that segregates the divisions of the total composition of the senses (Brand Sense, 2001). Source: Harvest Consulting Group LLC.

The discovery of the sensory approach has enabled companies to unfold the essence of the current service and the possibilities of the future avenues. Author has logisised this that it will enrich the brand loyalty and makes the existing relationship deeper. Behind this happening, the five senses can play a crucial role. To know the fate of a brand conducting the sensory audit is a vital step to forecast the brand’s multiplication power on its sensory touch point. Ascertaining the brand’s stimuli, enhancement, and bonding capabilities, decides the execution of the above knowledge.

The essence of this approach is the simple fundamental of including more senses to make the brand base stronger. We also follow this while evaluating the brand and its surroundings too. To explain, a visual encounter of Starbucks retail follows the suite bellow:

  • Sight: Brand logo on building, cups, and bags
  • Sight/Sound: Uniform and customer approach
  • Sight/Sound/Touch: Interior aesthetics (sofa, colors, wall paper, music)
  • Smell/Taste: Distinct aroma of freshly ground coffee

This process also unveils the concept of smashability factor, which measures the strength of an individual sense for a brand and hoe much impact it can give. A real-time example of the application of the auditory sense reflects from the recent transformation of the Cadillac brand. For the hard penetration of the European and Japanese car makers into the American luxury car segment, Cadillac Source: brand papers. had to bear the burn of declining sales figure during late 80s and early 90s.

To retrieve the brand from the grip of the downward graph, the same has been assessed, disassembled, reassembled, and re-positioned by late 90s. To do so, the brand invested in molecule analysis to create a new meaning to its design and market preference. This entire process has remodelled the brand from its “grandpa drove into a fast, sexy, and desirable product” concept to the recent Caddy commercial with Led Zeppelin playing “been a long time” that blaring out from the speaker (Brand papers, 2009).

The innovation of the sensory branding has opened a plethora of concepts to associate the brand with the target group and it has no end to create feel factors. This is because, the central theme of this process is entirely depending on the nature, which again is the adobe of the man kind.


  1. Brand Sense. (2001). Building Brands with Sensory Experiences. New York: Harvest Consulting Group LLC.
  2. Brand papers. (2009). Sensory Approach. Retrieved March 14, 2009
  3. Lindstrom, M. (2005). Brand Sense: Build Powerful Brands through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight, and Sound. New York: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group.

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The Importance of Sensory Branding for Product Personification. (2018, Jan 02). Retrieved from

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