Book Review: Brand Sense


Brand sense is a book about integrating all five senses – touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. the book starts of by telling witch company’s are already using more then the common two senses, sight and sound.

The car industry for example already puts allot of money in research for the way there car sound and smells. Kellogg’s designed the crunching sound of there cereals in there lab and patented it. Singapore Airlines ensures that a special aroma in their cabins is a consistent as the color scheme witch matches the uniforms worn by the hostesses.

Brand communication has reached a new frontier. In order to successfully conquer future horizons, brands will have to find ways to break the 2-D impasse en start using these neglected senses. We should start using al 5 senses in order to create a foundation for future brand strategies. Building brand requires building perception

But to know how to use these 4 senses in your own brand you have to “smash your brand” first.
Strip your logo of your brand and see what is left, can you still identify it as your brand without the logo? now strip the colors. What is left of it? Do the same for the other senses and rebuild it after that.

Smash your color
Colors create clear associations, and its these associations that will benefit your brand. Look at the following colors and think about the brand who use these colors. They almost own the colors with their brands.

Red – Coca Cola & Vodafone
Orange – Orange & Easyjet
Blue – Pepsi
Pink – T-mobile
Yellow – Taxi’s – Yellow Pages
Yellow & Red – McDonalds – DHL – Kodak

Smash your shape
What if people only see the shape of your product, or a part of it, can they still identify it? Particular shapes have become synonymous with certain brands. Smash the following product into little pieces but you would still know from wich brand it was.

Barbie doll
Absolut Vodka bottle
iPod Earphone
Coke Bottle

Smash your name
McDonalds uses Mac or Mc in their naming strategie: Big Macs, McNuggets, Mcmuffins, McSundays. So does Apple: iBook, iMac, iPod, iPhone. Their naming philosophy is an essential part of their brand. Subbrands become intuitively recognizable and tap into the broad set of values already well established by the parent brand.

Smash your language
“Welcome to our kingdom of dreams – the place where creativity and fantasy go hand in hand spreading smiles and magic at every generation”

Everyone will know that this is the language of Disney. The key to forming a smashable language is to intergrate is into every single piece of communication that your company is responsible for including all internal communications

Smash your sound
Brands can be build using sounds. Integrate your sound in every aspect of your brand. Store, Website, Ringtone’s, Waiting tunes. When one hears the sounds of a Nokia ringtone most of us can instantly recognize this as a ringtone from Nokia. The tune from the intel inside commercials is also one of the most recognizable tunes in the world.

Smash your navigation
Conssistency is the only way to cut through the clutter of the noise. Use the same navigition in all your products, stores, manuals etc.

Beside the use of senses there is also much to be learned from religions. Every religion fosters a binding sense of community. Brands should create the social glue that binds common goals and values. Some brands are already doing this: Harley Davidson and apple both have a large base of followers.

Another thing that can learned from religions is the mystery the have around them. Unknown factors in a brand can be just as inspiring as the know. The more mystique a brand can cultivate the stronger the foundation it has for becoming a sought after and admired product. The gaming industry often uses this mystery by giving sneak peaks into there to be released games. Apple use this strategy in keeping there product launches a secret until the the day the product gets released in a big keynote presentation.

All in all a great book about using more senses for branding your product with some good examples. One thing that did bored me were all the dull statistics he had given throughout the book. They didn’t really add value plus you forgot them the moment you read them. His visuals were of bad quality too and didn’t added that much value. Most of the diagrams which where based on his statistics or working methods could be so much more vivid and much more simpler, take a look at this random diagram.

You have to look a very long time to understand this diagram. Bad Design.

Relation to Experience Branding
Experience branding is all about bringing emotions into branding. Your emotions are controlled by all of your senses so it makes perfect sense to incorporate more of the senses into the branding proces. I also think that subconsciously influencing the senses is part of experience branding. How can you make people feel more comfortable through sound or smell?


5 Responses to “Book Review: Brand Sense”

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  1. 1 Iphone » Book Review: Brand Sense
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