Towards a more sensorial brand identity

To speak of a brand is to consider all its dimensions. The experience is global and cannot be reduced to its visual or verbal expressions alone. Brands are emotional concepts that engage all our senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste. These senses are especially important as they are factors of differentiation in a highly competitive and dematerialized world…

Visual identity

Although it is still too often reduced to the logo alone, while it refers to the whole range of graphic expressions and their articulation, visual identity – the very first sign of recognition of a brand – is undoubtedly the most familiar to us. It creates a language, an environment of its own, a visual parenthesis that inspires and guides our relationship with the brand.

Tactile identity

The skin is the largest organ in our body and touch is of fundamental importance in our perception of our environment. We are all sensitive to the choice of paper, the texture of a package, the softness of a fabric or the weight of a door we open. These are all sensations that can connect us to a brand and its products.

Sound identity

The SBB’s sound signature that you hear while waiting on a platform irritates you. You appreciate the voice of the receptionist at your favourite hotel. The sound of your car door doesn’t sound like your neighbour’s. And you still have in mind the four notes of Intel – the pioneer of brand signature sound.

These are all expressions that qualify brands, that contribute to their immediate recognition and that accompany your user and customer experience.

Scent identity

With the exception of brands such as fast food – whose fried oil fragrances are true brand indicators – or certain clothing or shoe stores – whose diffusers seek first and foremost to cover unpleasant odours – we still pay little attention to the scents we associate with the brands that surround us. However, the sense of smell is one that opens up our memory drawers and deeply anchors the emotion felt at the same time. Scent identity is therefore a subtle, evocative and powerful marker.

Gustatory identity

Of course, only a few specific sectors fully express a gustatory signature (here, we are thinking of food products and restaurants). Elsewhere, companies may offer you a chocolate or a biscuit that doesn’t claim to reflect the brand’s identity, but simply to accompany the complementary coffee.

And yet, in this ordinary attention to detail, there is much to be said. Because small gestures can be meaningful and can also have a lasting impact. And because defining a brand also means associating it with a taste. Sweet, salty, bitter, peppery… So many adjectives that can designate its character, inspire the tone of its speeches and give taste to the user experience. Let’s bet that branding will soon extend to this sense in a more consistent manner…

Nurturing the brand narrative and user experience

This set of sensory expressions reveals the essence of your brand and helps build a narrative identity that accompanies both your employees and your customers throughout the experience. Awakening the senses increases and strengthens the connections that you create and maintain with them. Because the more your brand multiplies its sensory expressions, the more it creates deep and lasting links with its various stakeholders.

However, be careful to think of these expressions as a whole and to ensure that they are coherent so as not to create a sensory blur in which the essence of your brand would be lost and to which it would no longer be possible to give meaning…


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