In order to entice customers, your online branding should make the most of the 5 senses; taste, sight, touch, smell, and hearing. The fact that major brands such as Starbuck’s®, Pottery Barn®, and Anthropologie® have managed to survive the growing pressure for e-commerce is no coincidence. It’s the work of skilled and dedicated merchandising teams.

That doesn’t mean that you, as an online business owner, cannot learn from what these brands are doing and use it to enhance your own online branding. The one thing that these long-standing brands have in common is that they create unique experiences for their customers that appeal to their 5 senses.

In order to use this brand theory successfully, you first need to have a clear idea of who your target customer is. This will aid you in creating connections, attracting clients, becoming authentic and distinct in your industry.

What does your Online Branding LOOK like?

Visual elements have a huge part to play in your online branding. This is where components such as colors, typefaces, and imagery come into play. This might be the easiest sense to excite, but it should not be overlooked.

When thinking about the sense of sight, you should also give thought to the use of space in your branding. White space, or the lack of it, is very important in online branding.

Ask yourself questions like, “What is my brand’s persona?”. Is it professional, and if so, what visual elements will help to visually reinforce that in your branding?

One online brand that used the sense of sight very well is Google. Google’s use of white space is second to none throughout all its branding and products. This helps to create a clear and professional-looking brand using one of the 5 senses.

Brand Theory and SOUND

The sense of sound is one of the trickier of the 5 senses to capture with online branding. When it comes to brand theory and the sense of sound, you need to be thinking along the lines of your brand’s tone, message, and voice.

Whether you’re lighthearted and bubbly or a deep-thinking intellectual, the importance of online branding is to give your brand a personality of its own that people will remember and recognize.

One of my favorite brands that have captured the sense of sound really well is Not On The Highstreet. They have created an enthusiastic yet thoughtful tone through their posts on social media which convey a passion for design and quality products as well as their ‘Our Story’ page that draws your attention to their humble beginnings and future ambitions.

Another way you could excite your audience’s sense of hearing is by incorporating sounds such as meditation audio files into your website, live events, and video recordings which can truly create a strong brand image.

SMELL and the Importance of Online Branding

The smell is perhaps the strongest of the 5 senses because it easily triggers emotional attachments. What fragrance would best describe your brand and how you can use it in your online branding? Just like a logo, your brand’s smell should remain the same and help in creating brand recognition.

Mitsubishi’s ad agency once placed a fragrance ad in two major newspapers that stimulated that leathery new car smell which resulted in the company’s Lancer Evo X selling out in two weeks. Some entrepreneurs have a specific theme that runs through their online brandings such as coffee lovers, essential oils, and candles which they combine with their main coaching business. Check out Content Bistro and Elysian Aromas to see excellent examples of this.

Online Branding and TASTE

The sense of taste is easily conveyed in the food industry but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it in your online branding. Taste is probably the most difficult of the five senses to appeal to because different things taste good to different people. This is why it’s important to have a clear idea of your target customer when it comes to online branding.

While you may not be sending out food samples or bottles of champagne to customers to entice their sense of taste, ask yourself, “If my brand was a food item, what would I want the primary taste to be?”

Are you sweet, sour, bitter, or spicy? Ikea is a perfect example of how a retail brand utilizes the sense of taste to entice customers with its in-store restaurant and famous Ikea meatballs.

What does your Online Branding FEEL like?

In a study on the mobile phone market, Martin Lindstrom discovered that 35%of consumers care more about the way their phone feels than the design. That’s a significant percentage and goes to show just how important the sense of touch is when it comes to branding.

We’ve all seen products that have openings so you can feel the texture of the product. This tactic is used because it increases the chance of someone buying the product.

Thinking about how your brand feels is important when it comes to brand theory and appealing to the 5 senses of your ideal customer. Is your brand earthy, fresh or active? What aura are you trying to build around your brand and how can you emphasize this feeling in your online branding? Click here to know how you can identify your brand.

Using the 5 senses to create your Online Branding

When building your online branding, the look, sound, feel, taste and even smell should harmonize to create a coherent and unique experience that conveys your vibe to your customer.

Multisensory branding is not a tactic reserved for only the elite branding giants. You should be using the 5 senses to emphasize your online branding and increase your brand recognition. Appealing to more than the visual senses will help you attract the perfect client, create a loyal customer base and stand out in your industry.

Seeing as online branding is almost entirely virtual and digital, it can be tricky to master at the best of times. But having a strong brand will help create a loyal client base that will recognize your consistency and authority within your industry.

That is why I have a Free challenge –  Unleash Your Brand to help you create a unique, phenomenal and irreplaceable brand.

5 Senses and Online Branding
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