Branding For The Five Senses

Brands are constantly fighting for our attention. The winners understand that aesthetics alone won’t cut it. They invest in more than just visual assets, and build equity through other human senses.

Sight. Sight is a staple for any major brand, but the best brands push past their primary touchpoint, typically their product, and brand more of the customer journey with distinctive visual cues.

Essentially a living manifestation of “millennial pink,” cosmetics brand Glossier uses the color throughout the customer journey to brand more moments. Just look at its pink bubble-wrap packaging pouch, which is repurposed by many as a clutch, a pencil holder and more.

To make your brand more iconic, identify a visual asset that is both differentiated and flexible. Think color, pattern, motion—now leverage it in other parts of the customer journey.

Sound. Once an important audible representation of a brand, jingles are a thing of the past. Sonic logos are on the rise as brands aim to echo their presence throughout our lives.



Credit card providers are turning to sonic branding to tie new payment methods back to their brands. Last year, Mastercard created a sonic logo to provide cardholders familiarity when they pay via card or contactless.

Consider investing in sound to connect disparate touchpoints.

Touch. The challenge of tactile marketing has always been the distance between the marketer and the customer. Some brands are closing the gap by selling their products through experiences.

Casper leverages tactile marketing to convert sleepers to its mattresses. The company invites customers to escape their day-to-day and trial a mattress for 20 minutes in one of their stores.

Explore different ways to elevate and expedite touch to bring customers closer to your brand.

Smell. Scent branding is often an afterthought, yet it’s often the element that immediately elevates a brand into an experience.

SoulCycle is able to claim “it’s more than a workout—it’s an experience” because of this. The company places grapefruit scented candles in its studios to bring riders back to the last time they rode with SoulCycle. Customers can expect a similar “soulful” experience wherever they go.

Whether you want to make a retail environment or unboxing more memorable, a branded scent can increase recognition and loyalty.

Taste is actually a combination of all the senses, making it all the more complicated to develop as a brand asset.

Think about a McDonald’s French fry. What makes it iconic is the combination of its consistently warm yellow hue, greasy salty touch, hypnotic smell — and, last but not least, its legendary taste.  

While it may be difficult to tie taste to a brand outside of the food industry, it’s a worthy sense to explore and drive memorability.

Find the right combination. While all of these senses may help build higher brand recognition, you shouldn’t saturate your brand with all of them. Rather, reflect on your customer journey to identify opportunities to connect, strengthen, or invent touchpoints with a sense or two that will surely turn heads and create stronger associations.

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