Evan Brown, the author of Paving the Way to Improve Brand Experiences: Sense & Sensibility! blog writes how branding with sensory branding is important. He goes through each of the five senses and elaborates how it will influence a brand.
Your sense of smell can trigger memories and remind you of something you eat or buy. For example, the smell of salt in the air that washes over you as you approach the beach reminds you of your first time going to beach. One example that reminds someone of a particular brand would be the Bath and Body Works scents. My favorites is vanilla bean and when I smell vanilla I think of the products I have in that scent.
Certain sounds spark memories of products and events in your life. Your favorite store probably has unique songs ringing from the speakers as you shop. Or a restaurant plays tunes that appeal to you. Everyone has a favorite song that stirs up a good memory and you get connected because of that emotion you feel. The same thing applies with brands. When you hear that jingle or sound, you think of the brand that is associated with it.
Vision is another important sense. When you think of a particular brand, you can picture the image or logo. Some examples of well-known logos are the Nike swoosh, the golden arches for McDonald’s, or the famous apple for Apple products. People tend to buy things based on image. For instance, when you are looking over a menu at a restaurant, sometimes there are pictures of dishes available and you choose what looks most appealing to you. The same goes for brands. You remember imagery and logos associated with brands you like.
Taste is an important sense that gets your taste buds enticed and your mouth watering when you think of a particular food or beverage. For college students, alcoholic beverages will activate taste buds. Think of cold refreshing drink you would love to sip while relaxing after classes are over. The fizzy taste of soda or the smooth feel of a liquor gets your mind on your favorite brand.
The last sense is touch. Recall a time when you purchased a shirt, how the fabric felt against your skin. Brands incorporate touch into their products so when you touch it, you will remember that brand. For instance, Victoria’s Secret has high end products that make women feel good about themselves. Their products are different from other stores and when you pick up something from Victoria’s Secret, you know it’s that brand because it has a distinct feel. That’s why brands incorporate touch into their brands so you will remember it.
One thing I would recommend to incorporate sensory branding for West Virginia Wesleyan College would be a song that really encompasses the entire campus and sports teams. Just like West Virginia University does with “Take Me Home, County Roads” at the end of their games. Another suggestion the college could act upon is designing a new logo that would be more appealing to younger generations.