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Winners Appeal To The Senses
Thebe Ikalafeng, Sunday Times Business Times, 25 September 2005

GLOBAL studies show that as marketing and advertising budgets increase by 3.6% annually, the returns decline by 3.3%. The effects of branding campaigns are declining steadily due to the cost of reaching consumers in an ever-busier world, a cluttered media environment and rising consumer cynicism

An article in The Times of London, published in June 2004, reveals that the overall effective influence of television commercials has decreased by some 52% in just 10 years. The cost of producing TV ads has increased more than 130% in the same period.

This is a clear indication that the traditional paths of brand building are slowly drying up, forcing marketers to think of alternatives.

Appealing to the senses is growing in popularity. Almost 98% of all brand communication today is exclusively directed at sight and sound.

The power of the senses in building brands is shown in a study of 14 countries by Martin Lindstrom for his bestseller, BrandSense, which established that:

  • 80% of consumers say the smell is one of the most satisfying experiences when buying a new car;
  • 60% say it's the sound of a cellphone ? not its look or features ? that distinguishes the brand; and
  • 72% of our emotions are based on what we smell rather than what we see and hear.

Not surprisingly, South Africa's favourite brands use sensory strategies.

Coca-Cola, South Africa's Overall Favourite Brand in the Top Brands Survey, emerged as the top overall sensory brand in a local study.

SAB Limited and Vodacom were ranked third and fourth among local organisations that best use sensory stimuli in building their brands. Coke, Nike and Nokia, the first, seventh and eight overall favourite SA brands, are among the top five brands that best use sensory stimuli in building brands.

Six of the top 10 Overall Favourite SA Brands' Coke, Vodacom, Castle/SAB Limited, Nike and Nokia are among the top 20 most sensory brands in South Africa.