Visual appearance is important. Studies have shown that if your product appears professional, customers are more likely to fault themselves for usability issues versus the product. Visual appearance also contributes to the overall aesthetics of your product that create that important emotional connection. It is important to get your visual appearance right.
But your brand isn’t just visual appeal. It’s much more than that. To capture the hearts and minds of your customers, you must appeal to all their senses. What does your product feel like? What are the textural experiences around your product? Does it feel good in your hands? What are the ergonomics of your product? Ever have a product that just felt great? It was the right weight – not too heavy but enough heft to feel substantial. Just the right amount of residence or smoothness where you need it. What does your product sound like? Does it click, squeak or chime? What does your product smell like? Does it have the new smell? Earthy smell? Does it smell like something that comforts me or that I can trust?
Human Factors and Ergonomics
I am a big fan of the Logitech R400 Laser Presentation Remote. Why? Because it feels right in my hand. It’s the right shape and size to fit. It’s not too heavy or too light. It has this matt texture where I hold it and a smooth texture on the switches and dimples (like a golf ball) in key areas. I don’t own stock in it but wanted to give you an example. If you do a lot of presentations, then you probably know what I am talking about.
How about your sound design? Does your product make just the right ‘click’ sounds – not too loud but not too soft, either? Or the right chime when it starts? Something that is calming, friendly and lets me know that everything is going to be Okay. I am fan of that Apple chime. I trust my device is going to run right when I hear that chime. It reassures me that something in my day is going right.
Smell? Yes, Smell
Your product smells. But does it smell good. Smells are becoming more and more important. Certain establishment will pump in certain smells to relax their customers to stay longer or excite them to buy more. Ever been on the Soarin’ Around the World ride at Disneyland? You are on a swing bench staring at an IMAX screen, but it feels like you are flying over these amazing landscapes with a slight breeze in your face… and did I smell those pine trees when we flew over that forest? And those oranges when we flew over the groves? Amazing!
It is through all the senses – touch, sound, smell (taste) and sight – that you must consciously craft your brand to the perfection that your customers have come to expect.