Brand Sense: A book review by Bob Morris

In Brand Sense: Sensory Secrets Behind the Stuff We Buy, Martin Lindstrom notes that “the effects of sensory branding are astounding. Yes, it’s possible to create a truly spectacular commercial or an advertising jingle you can’t get out of your head, but their efficacy is doubled when the two elements are combined. Want to triple, even quadruple, this same effect? Include any and all of the other senses.

“This total sensory symphony creates a domino effect. In the way that impressions are stored in the brain, if you trigger one sense it will lead to another, then another…at which point an entire vista of memories will instantaneously unfold. Succeeding with two elements is only half a story: creating a synergy across the senses is, or should be, the goal of every brand on earth.”

“So the idea of sensory branding sounds good in theory? Well, practical steps need to be taken in order to transform a brand into a multi-sensory experience. The creation of a sensory brand is nothing if not a complex process.”

Here are Lindstrom’s “Ten Rules” for creating a sensory brand:

1. Create a sense of belonging (e.g. LEGO clubs)
2. Have a clear vision (e.g. Steve Jobs and Apple)
3. Mobilize against enemies (e.g. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream)
4. Generate evangelism (e.g. Manchester United)
5. Create a sense of grandeur (e.g. Bellagio Hotel)
6. Tell an endearing story (e.g. Sony’s EverQuest game)
7. Generate sensory appeal (e.g. Harley-Davidson)
8. Celebrate rituals (e.g. Olympics)
9. Establish and sustain a meaningful symbol (e.g. Christian fish)
10. Create a sense of mystery (e.g. Coca-Cola formula)

*      *      *
Martin Lindstrom is a best-selling author of four books and recognized by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of the world’s primary branding experts. He is a former BBDO executive, COO of British Telecom/LookSmart, and founder and CEO of BBDO Interactive Europe and Asia Pacific. Lindstrom is a global adviser to several Fortune 100 brands including The Walt Disney Company, McDonald’s Corporation, PepsiCo, Nokia, American Express, Mercedes-Benz, Reuters, Nestle and Microsoft Corporation. His most recent book is Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy.


Posted in

Leave a Comment