Effective branding in today’s world is all about engagement – getting people’s attention and keeping them invested and interested. We’ve talked about the power of emotional branding. Today, we’re talking about how stimulating the senses can be invaluable to your branding efforts.

Building a brand identity is often associated only with vision (see the logo and its colours, and associate it to the brand name, with the help of positive experiences and memory-making). How about the other senses? Sensory branding is all around us. Think about the distinctive scent of a Cinnabon store in the mall. How about the one-of-a-kind taste of a York Peppermint Patty? Or the feel of an OtterBox in your hand? These brands use tap into sensory branding; however, there’s more.

What if you could incorporate a number of sensory experiences into one brand, product, or service? What if your brand had a branded scent, feel, look, sound, and taste? The answer is simple: You would not only enhance your branding efforts, you would more effectively engage consumers, build a brand, and cultivate brand awareness and client loyalty.

[Sensory Branding, Sense by Sense]

  • Vision: We are highly visual beings, and the logos and branded materials we see impact us with their colours, lines, and shapes. We remember what we saw during [good and bad] experiences.
  • Smell: Scents bypass consciousness to create and recall subconscious memories and stimulate emotions. Scent can be used for branding through a perfume worn by all associates, scented business cards, or a company candle given as a branded gift, for example.


  • Sound: When a brand incorporates sound, through a radio ad, a jingle, sound effects, or a branded function chime, we quickly learn to associate that sound with that brand. When we hear a similar sound (either as the result of a real-life happening or in the reproduction of a note), that brand is brought to mind.
  • Touch: We experience the world around us by touching it. That’s why petting zoos and hands-on science exhibits are so electrifying for children – it’s a dynamic and effective way to learn. Touch can be incorporated into your brand through textured business cards, the distinctive feel of your clothing, or even a firm, practiced, and branded handshake by your associates.
  • Taste: We love to eat, but even more, we love the tastes associated with eating. This one can be a bit more difficult to integrate (unless your brand is food or drink), but when it is utilised, the result can be unexpectedly delightful. Flavoured lip balm as a branded gift and custom after-dinner mints are some examples of ways you can convey your brand’s great taste.

Multi-faceted sensory branding gives your brand the chance to make connections through experiential memories even when the logo is absent.  Just imagine if your brand was brought to mind every time a person smelt vanilla, heard a familiar melody, tasted liquorice, touched tweed, or saw teal mingled with orange.

Whilst branding, make an effort to incorporate as many sensory experiences as possible. Each one will increase the chances of your brand being noticed, of it being remembered, and of it being made an everyday part of someone’s life.

Learn more about all the facets of corporate branding in our Brand Brain Magazine.

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