Breakable Branding

Great little article written by branding guro Martin Lindstrom on the many senses of branding. Imagine I was meeting you for the first time and I gave you a handshake. Imagine I gave you one of those limp handshakes. A little bit wet, not really impressive. If you didn’t know anything about me, would you employ me? Probably not. Although there are few links between a person’s handshake and their personality, we actually create links between our senses. We evaluate people not just on what they say and what they look like, but also based on the sense of touch. That gives you an idea about how important our senses are and how important they are when we are building brands. Did you know that in 1980, seven out of ten new product releases failed to survive three months? Today, eight out of ten new product releases fail. Despite all the money spent on research, we are failing more and more when we release products. We need to find another way to create something successful. I think the strategy is to appeal to the senses. Today 83 per cent of all the communication you and I are exposed to is received visually. That means only 17 per cent is left to the other four senses. That creates a problem when I, as a consumer, want to evaluate a brand or a product. The trick will have to be to appeal to more senses. Let me share a little strategy with you, which I call “smash your brand”. The strategy is from 1915 and goes back to the fundamental briefing behind the Coca-Cola bottle. The original brief was to develop a bottle so smart that if you threw it on the floor and it smashed into thousands of pieces, you would still be able to pick up one of the pieces and recognise the brand.