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/sustain a meaningful symbol (e.g. Christian fish)
10. Create a sense of mystery (e.g. Coca-Cola formula)
Having been centrally involved in marketing for several decades, I have also become convinced of the importance of answering three questions. The first two can easily be answered: “Who are you?” and “What do you do?” Whether or not a brand succeeds is almost entirely determined by the answer to the third question: “Why should I care?”
I wholly agree with Landstrom that multi-sensory branding has the greatest impact. The “Ten Rules” suggest HOW to create that impact. One of the most important strategies is to make people feel that they are a valued member of a special community, of what Seth Godin characterizes as a “tribe.” However, that said, it is also important to celebrate individuality by making each brand experience intensely personal. (Note the frequent use of the possessive “My” in commercials and advertisements.) People appreciate feeling included but also hope that their participation will nourish their sense of individuality, of self-worth. They are loyal to brands that help them achieve both objectives.
In addition to revealing “the sensory secrets behind the stuff we buy,” Lindstrom also provides a brilliant explanation of the potential role of all five senses when consumers make purchase decisions; he also shares an abundance of research that quantifies the influence of the five senses. However different they may be in most other respects, the most valuable brands take advantage if all available sensory touch points; establish and then sustain a string connection across each of the touch points; reflect an “innovative sensory mind-set” that set them apart from their competitors; enable consumers to associate sensory signals with the brand, convinced that the signals are authentic; and ensure that the signals are distinct and integrated throughout the consumer’s experience.
Credit Martin Lindstrom for formulating what amounts to an operations manual and tool kit for those in need of a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective game plan by which to create or enhance a multi-sensory brand.