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BRAND sense: Sensory Secrets Behind the Stuff We Buy (Anglais) Relié – 10 février 2005

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Chapter 1: A Cottage Industry Turns Professional

January 14, 2004 was a landmark in the life of Sydney-born teenager Wilhelm Andries Petrus Booyse. It was a day that passed unnoticed by most, but it proved to be the highlight of Will's life. He lay face-down on a firm table and submitted his neck to the pain of the plastic surgeon's laser.

The doctor worked slowly and diligently, carefully obliterating the tattooed bar code with the letters G-U-C-C-I neatly etched underneath. The beam followed the shape once so carefully duplicated from the Gucci Corporation's printed guidelines. Bit by bit the tattoo was removed. The process was painful, but it marked the end of Will's obsession with the Gucci brand -- an obsession he had taken to the outermost limits. Gucci had become more than a brand. It was, in Will's words, "My one and only religion."

I first met Will in May 1999, when his Gucci tattoo was brand spanking new. He had, he believed, formed a lifelong relationship with the brand. Lifelong turned out to be only five years. In that time, the brand was no longer just a brand. For Will it had become a "person" whom he could relate to, admire, and be supported by. This relationship gave him the energy he required to get up each day and go to school. It gave him a sense of his own identity.

He talked about Gucci as a family member, not as an expensive fashion product. He could expound at great length about the designs, the colors, the feel of the fabrics, the texture of the leather, and the distinct smell of the perfumed Gucci environment.

By the time Will removed the Gucci bar code from his neck, he had the sense that the brand was losing its grip. What was once perceived as the ultimate brand, made in heaven, seemed to be slipping. Will was not alone in his perception. Gucci's lack of innovation and dated advertising campaigns suffered a final blow when Tom Ford, Gucci's head designer, unceremoniously decided to go his separate way.

Additionally Will had found another path to follow. The Australian Navy beckoned, offering him another sense of family and identity. A lot of his newfound mates sported tattoos as well, but they generally chose the name of the vessel that they called home for six months each year.

Will summed up his experience with Gucci: "The admiration I had for the Gucci brand was stronger than any other person I knew. For me, Gucci was more than a brand -- it was my personal companion. When I entered a Gucci store, I felt like I was in heaven. Everything about the place made me feel at home. The atmosphere of luxury, the lighting, the design, and the music. I suppose the status that this gave me amongst my friends made me an exclusive member of this distinct brand community. In the time that I wore the Gucci tattoo, people approached me constantly and made me feel the center of the universe.

"I don't know what happened, but one day I woke up and the magic was gone. Gucci failed to excite me as it always had. The only thing that remained was the tattoo I'd had done so willingly five years before. So despite the pain of removal, I felt it had to go."

As frightening, shocking, or intriguing as Will's story might sound, my meeting with him sparked the first sensory branding research project ever conducted. It was a five-year mission which involved hundreds of researchers and thousands of consumers across four continents. We sought to understand the rationale behind behavior like Will's.

Will was a living breathing example of what marketers ultimately aspire to when they create a brand. He also was a perfect test subject in our quest to understand the dynamics of strong branding used correctly -- and incorrectly. What was it that made a kid base his life on a brand? What components of the brand formed such a magnetic connection? And then, at what point did the brand fail? How did obsessive belief turn into disappointment?

We went out and asked all kinds of questions of people who have particular affinities for various brands. They willingly, and kindly, shared their passions. This invaluable information led me to conclude that if branding wishes to survive another century it will need to change track. More communication in an already overcrowded world simply won't do it. A new vision with an emotional basis is required.

I realized that a brand would have to become a sensory experience that extends beyond the traditional paradigm, which primarily addresses sight and sound.

Another aspect of the new branding that I gleaned from Will is that a brand should create a following similar to the obsessive commitment of sports fans or even, in certain respects, to the faith of a religious community. The bond it forms is the social glue that links and unites generations of people.

Religion, however, is only one side of the story for the next generation of branding. In order to have a viable future, brands will have to incorporate a brand platform that fully integrates the five senses. This sensory platform will reveal the very belief -- or significant following -- necessary to create a brand philosophy. Without taking comparisons to religion too far, we can see its relevance for some points of sensory branding.

Branding: The Next Generation

The concept of branding is already undergoing dramatic changes. New technologies have allowed us to go beyond mass production and to mass customize brands. Currently brand manufacturers own their brands. This is changing. In the future brands will increasingly be owned by the consumer. The first signs of this shift appeared in the late 1990s. I documented this phenomenon in BRANDchild and named it MSP -- Me Selling Proposition.

In the 1950s branding belonged to the USP -- the Unique Selling Proposition. This ensured that the physical product, rather than the brand, was the core differential. By the 1960s we began seeing the first signs of true Emotional Selling Proposition (ESP) brands. Similar products were perceived as different primarily because of an emotional attachment. Think of Coke and Pepsi. The consumer tends to drink the "label" rather than the cola. During the 1980s the Organizational Selling Proposition (OSP) emerged. The organization or corporation behind the brand in fact became the brand. It was the organization's philosophy that distinguished it from others. For many years Nike subscribed to this form of branding. The internal spirit of the company was so strong that its employees became the main ambassadors for its brand.

By the 1990s brands had gained enormous strength in their own right, and the Brand Selling Proposition (BSP) took over. The brand was stronger than the physical dimensions of the product. Think Harry Potter, Pokémon, Disney, or M&M's. The brand name is found on sheets and toothbrushes, wallpaper and makeup sets. Books and movies aside, the consumer has become more fixated on the brand than the stories.

The world of communication constantly changes. Interaction has become one of the main catalysts. The concept of interactivity has forced us to rethink each and every communication, evaluating and designing it for the ever-demanding consumer. Technological innovation paved the way for MSP brands, which saw consumers taking ownership of their brands. The Canadian brand Jones Soda is a good example of this phenomenon. Consumers design their own label, which Jones Soda guarantees to distribute in the designer's local area. Nike and Levi's websites offer to customize any of their models exactly to your need and size.

The Future World of Holistic Branding

There's every indication that branding will move beyond the MSP, into an even more sophisticated realm -- reflecting a brave new world where the consumer desperately needs something to believe in -- and where brands very well might provide the answer. I call this realm the HSP -- the Holistic Selling Proposition. HSP brands are those that not only anchor themselves in tradition but also adopt religious characteristics at the same time they leverage the concept of sensory branding as a holistic way of spreading the news. Each holistic brand has its own identity, one that is expressed in its every message, shape, symbol, ritual, and tradition -- just as sports teams and religion do today.

An Emerging Global Phenomenon

Will's was a good story, a story that reflected some kind of truth that was out there. But stories need to be substantiated in order to reformulate the way we think. So what started out as an idea became formalized into a research project, and what emerged was a solid methodology that could shape the next generation of brand building.

The very foundation of this book and the theory behind it are a direct result of an extensive research project which sought to determine to what extent the religious factor -- faith, belief, and community -- could serve as the model for the future of branding. The project investigated the role each of our five senses would play in creating the ultimate bond between the consumer and the brand.

With the advent of globalization, every brand can be accessed from any place on earth with a telephone line. In the absence of a line, the cell phone will pick up the slack. Not a single brand is launched these days without an accompanying Web address.

This is the reality that we took on board in deciding that the project would have relevance only if conducted globally. Our multicultural research team involved people drawn from twenty-four countries, speaking eighteen languages. Additionally, the global research had another objective. We wanted to identify trends, and look at the evolution of local brands to help us create a solid foundation for the implementation of the HSP theory, in order for it to adapt to any market regardless of cultural differences and preferences.

I decided to team up with the global research institute Millward Brown. Their extensive brand knowledge made them an obvious partner for a project of this caliber. BRAND sense is the culmination of our extensive study. The idea took seed in 1999 and eventually developed into a global research project that involved some six hundred researchers across most of the globe. It represents the first truly professional brand research effort on a global level.

Research on sensory perception and religious comparisons to branding had never been done before, and we tried our best to remain sensitive to their differences in character, profundity, and ultimate truth. Project BRAND sense is therefore a pioneering study. We conducted focus groups in thirteen countries, and performed quantitative tests in three markets. Each country was carefully selected on the basis of market size, brand representation, general product innovations, religious representation, state of brand maturity, and the country's sensory history. We quickly learned that even though a brand is supposedly global, the way local cultures perceive it could be extremely varied. We discovered that the way people use their senses also varies from market to market both in terms of the sensory priority and in sensory sensitivity.

The BRAND sense study therefore is a composite of distinct and different markets. For example, we selected Japan, India, and Thailand because all three countries have a well-known history of integrating five senses in their culture and traditions. Some of Japan's most innovative brands often make use of the five senses -- for example, when using aroma. The rich design heritage of the Scandinavian countries has made visual identity essential in their communication. The United States and Britain, with their large market size and diverse media, present the biggest challenge in building and maintaining brands. We added countries like Chile, Mexico, Poland, and Spain to our study because of their strong religious and devotional traditions, or because of their history with music and food.

I hope you find BRAND sense inspiring and I hope also to introduce you to a new vision for building brands. It's been my intention to draw parallels between existing cases that will help you rethink the way we will perceive brands in the future. But more than that, I hope you will leave the BRAND sense experience with a clear idea of how to proceed with creating a multisensory platform for your own brand.


The brand building of the future will move from a two-sensory approach to a multisensory approach. The historical development of brands started with the Unique Selling Proposition (USP), where no two products are alike. Succeeding stages included:

  • Emotional Selling Proposition (ESP), where products were perceived as different primarily because of an emotional attachment

  • Organizational Selling Proposition (OSP), where the organization or corporation behind the brand in fact became the brand

  • Brand Selling Proposition (BSP), where the brand was stronger than the physical dimensions of the product

  • Me Selling Proposition (MSP), which saw consumers taking ownership of their brands.

The future of branding will embrace the Holistic Selling Proposition (HSP). HSP brands are those which not only anchor themselves in tradition but also adopt characteristics of religious sensory experience to leverage the concept of sensory branding as a holistic way of spreading the news.

Copyright © 2005 by Martin Lindstrom

Revue de presse

"BRAND sense is a landmark work that explains what the world's most successful companies do differently, integrating all five of the senses -- touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. The book will transform the way marketers approach the entire concept of branding."
-- Charlie Bell, CEO & Chairman, McDonald's Corporation

"Martin Lindstrom, one of branding's most original thinkers, reveals how to break out of the two-dimensional rut of sight and sound, and connect emotionally with all five senses. His book provides data and insights that will surprise even the most savvy brand watcher."
-- Robert A. Eckert, CEO & Chairman, Mattel, Inc.

"Martin Lindstrom has a talent for big ideas. In BRAND sense, he brings new ideas to life using real examples from leading companies around the world. BRAND sense introduces new dimensions to the art and science of brand management."
-- Alex Hungate, Chief Marketing Officer, Reuters Group

"Creative, insightful, compelling. It will help you cut through the mass of commercial clutter and develop a powerful brand."
-- Torben Ballegaard Sorensen, CEO, Bang & Olufsen Worldwide

"BRAND sense breaks new ground with an insightful view of how marketing to all five senses can transform the way you build your brands."
-- Andre Lacroix, CEO & Chairman, EuroDisney

"It contains a treasury of ideas for bringing new life to your brands."
-- Philip Kotler, from the Foreword

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Par Ricotao le 16 février 2016
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Ce livre est un de mes livres préférés, il intéressera bien au delà des prof du marketing et de la com, tous ceux qui souhaitent comprendre les forces qui influencent ces mammifères que sont les êtres humains.
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Par Miz le 29 décembre 2012
Format: Format Kindle avec audio/vidéo
An excellent and easily accessible book on how the senses can be brought into play to create brand experiences. I brought the Kindle version with video which is a real plus. Highly recommend
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x931c148c) étoiles sur 5 48 commentaires
25 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92c97eac) étoiles sur 5 Certainly makes you think! Can be hard to implement! 7 mai 2005
Par Stephen Northcutt - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I read this in one shot on a 6.5 hour flight to Kauai against monster headwinds. Since then I have picked it up and read sections and tried to make changes in my company based on what I learned. Thanks to Lindstrom's book, I can certainly tell you I am on a brand journey.

I am sure every reviewer will mention Singapore Airlines. We were holding a conference and I wanted to create that distinct SANS Institute smell. So I bought five aromatic dispensers and test scents with names like "Ocean Feeling". I had people stationed to observe the customers and make note of anything they said about smell. Zero results. Why? The biggest reason is probably the volume of air in a modern conference center is several orders of magnitude greater than a jet.

We are working on the tips the author gives for music, here I am convinced he is right, I cannot listen to Rhapsody in Blue without thinking about United Airlines.

Without this book, I would have thought brand was a logo and picking some colors and maybe a jingle. My eyes are opened, and at this point I know it will be a long journey, but I am sure I will refer to the book again and again. Highly recommended for any business owner or organizational executive.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92c97f00) étoiles sur 5 An unusual treatise based on Millward Brown's study 12 mai 2005
Par Midwest Book Review - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Martin Lindstrom's Brand Sense: Build Powerful Brands Through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight And Sound provides an unusual treatise based on Millward Brown's study linking branding and sensory awareness. 'Sensory branding' is a relatively new concept: Brand Sense takes the next step from study results to outline a six-step program for bringing brand building into modern times. Examples cover products and retail marketing alike, demonstrating the basics of establishing an appealing marketing approach based on more than sight and sound alone.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92c98354) étoiles sur 5 Ponder your brand beyond your product and your advertising 20 septembre 2005
Par Tim Dire - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Martin Lindstrom has written a truly readable and provocative book. Short term goals, and the pressures to meet them, make it all too easy to view business both myopically and blinkered. Take a step back and regard your brand (and your competitors' brands) holistically. Products, services, and the delivery of the same to your customers, encomapsses all senses. Yes, some will dominate, but is important to understand which and why. If taste and smell (say) are the essence of your brand, how do you convey this in your advertising, where sight and sound are dominant?

I would have rated Brand Sense 5, but for the fact Lindstrom draws on analysis from a massive data base from Millward Brown. I would have liked to have seen some of the details - perhaps as appendices.

All in all a great read ... now I have no excuses for not doing more!
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92c9833c) étoiles sur 5 Yet another Brand eye-opener from Lindstrom... 13 février 2005
Par Jonathan Greenstein - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Continuing from where he left off with BRAND child, Martin Lindstrom, once again, has made me sit up and take notice of an innovative approach to contemporary marketing.

BRAND sense makes perfect sense and that's what makes it so disarmingly good. It's not that that the concepts and outcomes being postured are revolutionary, because in truth they are not. However, Lindstrom puts these notions across with such clarity that it's like a veil being lifted, and the understanding that had always been there, is now revealed.

Think about it. Why should marketers rely only on sight and sound to build brand presence, when all the other senses are equally as receptive to a savvy marketer's ability to touch its consumer base? For me, the anecodtal evidence being offered in this book, backed by credible qualitative research, points with absolute certainty to a marketing future unrecognizable from where we are currently.

Which makes the future for brand builders that much more exciting.

I loved this book for its simple human truths. Lindstrom is a past master when it comes to understanding the subtelties of consumerism, again evident in this sequel to BRAND child. I recommend it to anyone wishing to be on the cutting edge of brand knowledge and brand development.
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92c98804) étoiles sur 5 Extraordinary hypothesis 13 février 2005
Par Lynne - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Now and then we need a nudge in our thinking. BRAND sense will do just that. Rethink and reframe our traditional ways of branding. In a fast-paced world where we're bombarded with slogans, signs, messages, and catchy tunes, Lindstrom's book carefully guides brands in reframing the way they will think about and present their brand. It's an extraordinary hypothesis. It is bound to challenge every marketeer to reasses, reconfigure and reframe their brand in a way that will connect more deeply and more emotionally with the consumer.
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