Sometimes, a concept seems to appear out of nowhere but is suddenly everywhere. Last month, associate editor Maggie and I attended two different conferences but both touched on the idea that brands are no longer just brands, they are multisensory brand ideas.
At the Whole Grains on Every Plate conference, hosted by the Whole Grains Council and Oldways, Batool Batalvi, a strategist and psychologist for SB&B Marketing, said, “People are no longer consuming a brand but are consuming a creative brand idea, which is embedded deep within a consumer’s insight.” And consumer insight can be the reawakening of old knowledge; it doesn’t have to be new.
This goes along with a couple of the trends from the Puratos Taste Tomorrow event–build a multisensory brand and tell your story.
As bakeries, you already have the multisensory part down: your product looks good, smells good, tastes good and often brings back happy memories for customers. But the hard part is tapping into all those emotions of customers to get them to buy your product.
Emotions and feelings, which is what drives decision making, is located in the old part of the brain (language is in the new part of the brain), Batalvi said. I once heard a speaker years ago detail all the differences between the old and new brain, and while I can’t remember all the details what I do remember is the old brain is what has kept humans alive for millennia–it’s where the fight or flight instinct is located and that a feeling of pain means, “don’t do that again”–while the new brain handles the higher concepts, like language. So, use the skills of the new brain to trigger the feelings housed in the old brain.
“Consumers can’t always say what they want, but they know it when they see it. Consumers understand facts and figures but they don’t drive behavior–that is done by emotion,” Batalvi added.
To help tap into customers’ emotions, make sure you tell a compelling story. What makes you different? How can your bakery be differentiated in the customer’s mind? You all have a story to tell, make sure you do.
On a completely separate note, to all of our baker friends on the East Coast who have been affected by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy, you all are in our thoughts. One of the many wonderful things about this industry is that bakers are great at pulling together in times of distress. They banded together after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and they will again now. While the storm couldn’t have hit at a worse time when holiday sales should be heating up, remember we’re all standing behind you and ready to help.