Step four in creating an irresistible brand
When most people think of branding their business, they think of designing a logo and selecting colors and graphics. Notice, however, that this is only addressing our sense of sight. An all-encompassing brand incorporates all the senses.
Sight. In order to create a meaningful logo that actually reflects who you are, you must first think through steps one through three. Only then can you begin to apply a visual look and feel to your business. Messages conveyed in graphics are unavoidable. Everything visual communicates graphically beyond what the words say. If your brand personality is subtle and sophisticated, you won’t want loud, busy graphics in bright colors in your visuals. Likewise, if your brand is edgy and snarky, you want to reflect that in your visual brand. Graphically, everything you include in your marketing needs to be purposeful and point back to who you are. Your logo colors, the fonts you choose, the style of photography and the colors in images all reflect your brand.
Sound. Music defines a brand and helps set the mood for interacting with you. A catchy slogan can add a memorable signature to your advertising. Or a spokesperson with a unique voice can create a brand identifier (think of Allstate’s spokesperson Dennis Haysbert). Select background music carefully to make sure it’s conveying the right tone and mood for your message. Also consider tone of voice. Tone of voice in branding doesn’t refer to the inflection your mother uses with you when she’s angry. Rather, this is again incorporating your personality into your message, written and in sound. As we read words, we imagine them spoken by a narrator. If we’ve seen this brand represented by an actual person in video, we will use their voice in our imagination. That’s why it’s important to use vocabulary in your writing that they would hear in a video or sound clip. For example, it would be jarring to hear a child brand representative use a vocabulary beyond their years; or to hear an elderly person using street vernacular (unless that’s how they were originally presented as part of the brand).
Smell, touch, and taste. These senses tend to play a more minor role in branding unless it plays an essential role your business (i.e. a restaurant). Nevertheless, they do play a role in the brand experience.
It’s difficult to inhale the smell of a charbroiled grill and not think of Burger King, for example. Over time, repeat customers will come to associate fond feelings (we hope!) for your brand when they experience these triggers. Think about how it feels to step into your well-molded Birkenstocks — you’ll wear them well beyond warm weather months. Or the taste of your favorite beverage.
In a nutshell, the sensual aspects of your brand define the experience your customers have when they interact with you and your products and services. Consider all the senses, not just the obvious visual branding aspects.