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Andy Wardlaw, Chief Ideas Officer
11 Dec, 2018 | 3 minute read
To achieve this, marketing professionals must establish a new relationship with sensory. The fact is, ‘sensory’ is often viewed an abstract concept to those who direct brand strategy. But it needn’t be. When brand managers tell me that “they do sensory”, in most cases they are referring to product development professional’s pursuit of better liking and ‘Just About Right’ (JAR) scores. They rarely mean Sensory Branding.
So what is Sensory Branding? As the non-scientist in the room, I believe it distils down to "the creation of brand experiences that are felt before they are thought.” If we accept that we all make sense of the world around us via our senses, and that most of the time we don’t even know we’re doing it, then imagine a future where brands exploit this more fully. Creating efficacy that is felt. Developing ‘body language’ that swoons consumers at those first moments of truth. Attaining a distinctiveness that is truly meaningful (not meaningless, as Ehrenberg Bass might recommend.)
As sensory partners to some of the world’s brightest grocery brands, we’ve spent the last 12 months urging companies to shoot for brand conviction: creating more convincing brand experiences that really deliver against people's expectations. Brand, pack and product all playing the same sensory tune - above and below conscious awareness. Our own investigations into some of the most successful CPG innovations in recent times indicate a correlation between sensory conviction and continuing in-market success. Sometimes the tiniest detail makes all the difference.
To help things along, we’ve been boosting our sensory toolkit with approaches that help brand managers gain unprecedented insight into how consumers actually experience their proposition - at each and every moment of truth. We've taken our sensory expertise ‘out of the lab’ and into homes – or whatever environment typically impacts the perceived reality of consumption.
Influencing this 'perceived reality' highlights an aspect of Sensory Branding that's there for the taking. Just consider being presented with a nice glass of wine this Christmas. The perceived reality of your drinking experience will almost certainly seem superior if you've just heard the sound of a cork popping when compared to that of a parallel universe - where you've just heard the sound of a screw cap.
Understanding what sensory cues can transmit vital brand equities, activate ‘System 1’ style communications and generate altogether deeper brand experiences has to be worth shooting for as the New Year begins.
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