“Seeing’s believing, but feeling’s the truth” – Thomas Fuller
“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves” – Albert Einstein
I first wrote about the importance of the sense of touch five years ago (click here). At that time there was very little literature focusing on this important sense, but the last two years has seen the publication of at least four books about touch and related senses (see below) so it’s time to look again at touch. Touch is often neglected, especially by marketers, so let’s focus on why touch is such a powerful way to communicate with your customers. Read more »
In Jakobson’s Organ, Lyall Watson lays out the primal power of smell, showing that it not only helps us detect the difference between good food and bad food, but can also diagnose disease, detect danger, identify relatives and follow menstrual cycles. He quotes Rousseau who wrote that, “Smell is the sense of memory and desire”.
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Aradhna Krishna’s new book on sensory marketing “Customer Sense” is a welcome addition to a very select list of reading on the topic. Aradhna has already edited “Sensory Marketing”, which contains chapters by experts in each of the five senses, many full of interesting insights and examples of how the senses work and how brands can create more engaging product and service experiences.
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Every year IBM make five predictions about the future five years out (they call it “5 in 5″), and this years are fascinating, especially for anyone interested in the human senses. This year the five predictions cover the five senses, and I can’t wait to see if they come true. Read more »
Making more sense of brand experiences
A recent post on Making Sense of Brand Design (link here) shares some great examples of creating sensory signatures to create short term impact and long term brand identity, and recent reading (see references) has revealed more ways in which the senses can be leveraged to create great brand experiences.
The most interesting overall finding revealed in Helmut Leder’s Scientific American article is that in the short term how a product or experience looks is very important to its appeal, but after a month of use how it feels comes to be much more important than how it looks. It’s great to wear a really fancy pair of shoes for the first time, but we won’t wear them very often unless they are really comfortable on our feet. Read more »
“Mathematics is he universal language of the mind, music is the language of the heart.” - Robert Schumann
A worm in your ear
Last week I spent some time shopping in Jakarta, to understand the competitive environment and category messaging for a brand I am working on. As I wandered through a (relatively modern) supermarket in Jakarta, I noticed my irritation at the shop’s jingle which kept repeating, repeating and repeating as I walked through the aisles. The jingle was short, felt quite childish, but irritatingly catchy (it’s still ringing through my head now – I can’t seem to forget it as much as I would like to). Read more »
How smart are our eyes?
In his Theory of Colours, published just over 200 years ago, Goethe describes colour as having ‘a strange duplicity’ and wrote about colour as something other than constant and fixed. Although his theory has been superseded, his ideas on colour perception as a product of the interplay of light and dark are still relevant today. Goethe is also partly responsible for the colour circle that is standard now and the idea of complementary colours. Read more »
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio
“The hands want to see, the eyes want to caress.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“The task of architecture is to make visible how the world touches us” - Juhani Pallasmaa paraphrasing Merleau-Ponty
Are we seeing too much?
In The Eyes of the Skin, Juhani Pallasmaa argues for the importance of our sense of touch and the dangerous dominance of vision in our thinking, design and buildings. Vision was the last of the senses to develop in evolutionary terms, but has become our dominant sense accounting for around two-thirds or more of sensory processing (you can read more on vision here and more on touch here). Like all the other senses, our sight is embedded in our skin and is an adaptation of it. Vision originated as light sensitive skin cells, and our eyes still have a covering of skin. Our skin is still sensitive to light and experiments have shown that some people are even able to detect colour from their skin’s sensitivity alone (that is, they can see with their skin!). Read more »
“When I see equations, I see the letters in colors – I don’t know why. As I’m talking, I see vague pictures of Bessel functions, with light-tan j’s, slightly violet-bluish n’s, and dark brown x’s flying around. And I wonder what the hell it must look like to the students.” - Richard Feynman Read more »
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” - Jonathan Swift
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