By Jeremy Lichtenberger (@Air_Master_J)
Without being able to see it, I knew there was someone nearby holding a Dunkin Donuts coffee. The familiar aromatic scent of their particular brew tickled my nose before I could pinpoint its location. While Im familiar with their pink and orange logo, it was the olfactory tease that connected me with their brand identify that morning. It got me thinking that while much of marketing focuses on defining the right words and creating the right copy, are marketers outside of the food, beverage and perfume markets — putting enough thought behind other opportunities to create a sensory experience to promote their brands?
Brand loyalty is characterized by an emotional and behavioral response. Using all the senses available is extremely important for brands to develop emotional bonds and relationships with consumers. The key is to build positive sensory experiences and lodge those experiences in long-term memory.
Pharma marketers are no stranger to employing sensory marketing strategies. Thats because most marketers realize that the use of color triggers subtle psychological cues. Who doesnt think of Viagra when they hear the words “little blue pill? A majority of people list blue as their favorite color. Its a masculine color that has been known to have a calming effect. It symbolizes trust, confidence and other powerful attributes. While Viagra is the little blue pill, AstraZenecas Nexium has invested significant branding dollars in promoting its image as the purple pill.
Color is a powerful psychological tool and has been shown to increase brand identity, assist in memory, increase a readers participation in ads, and improve readership, learning, and comprehension. However, its important to get good grounding in how people react emotionally to different colors or color combinations. Also its important to recognize that different cultures have different views on the meaning of color. This is important to keep in mind as companies create materials for a variety of countries or for their global presence, both on and offline.
The auditory system also provides powerful stimulus for connecting consumers with brands. I can still sing the 70s Alka Seltzer jingle and I know Ive caught myself humming the “viva Viagra theme song on more than one occasion. However, audio is not limited to catchy jingles or theme songs. Consider using podcasts, YouTube, audio commercials, video voiceovers and other sound stimulation to deliver key brand messages and strengthen the emotional connection consumers have with your brand.
As more products enter the market and technology advances such as social media make it harder to stand out, its important to think of ways to create connections with consumers beyond visuals. Whether its the color of your webpage or product or hiring a well-known celebrity voice to deliver brand messages, consider opportunities to build relationships using emotional, rational and sensual elements and create brand loyalty with customers in a more intimate and personal way than ever before.