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Creating a Multi-Sensory Brand Experience

by Krystle Wurster on 01/23/2018 | 4 Minute Read

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A lot of people talk about creating a brand experience. Miraya Berke and Liang Shi, co-founders of Desserts Goals, actually do it.

Dessert Goals is on a mission to create festival-inspired dessert experiences. Their multi-sensory strategy has created a memorable experience that all brands can learn from.

I had the opportunity to talk to the co-founders to learn more about their brand and thoughtful experience-driven strategy. The idea was simple and storyesque. One hot summer while swooning over their love of shaved snow, Miraya and Liang realized there wasn’t an opportunity to explore different types of desserts, so they decided to create one. One year later, four events, two cities, and 7,000+ attendees they have created a resonate experience.

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People are looking for deeper reasons to connect.

There is a lot of talk about “experience” and its role in design and business. Whether it’s applied to user experience, customer experience, or the employee experience, there is a growing desire to create remarkable customer interactions which are memorable and inspiring.

Curate a powerful physical connection to a brand by engaging the senses.

Most forms of marketing communication engage two senses—sight and sound. But a compelling brand experience is made by touching and triggering all five senses. By creating richer, more textural environments, brands can effectively create entire worlds of experiences and unlock authentic emotional responses.

What’s surprising is that only 28% of marketers in the US are harnessing the power of all five senses to engage audiences. Yet, today’s technological innovations make it easier than ever to craft a multi-sensory brand experience.

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Dessert Goals’ strategy focuses on these five elements: Five Senses, Friendliness, Elements of Discovery, Visual Stories, and Growing Mindfully.

Consider all five senses.

Liang firmly believes in designing for all five senses. Before every event he and Miraya consider what elements they think will be memorable. They map out the attendee experience—from entry to exit—brainstorming ways to surprise and delight at every step. “We take every aspect of the experience into consideration, not only what you see and taste, but even the music we curate is meant to give you vibes of nostalgia and fun. We strategically place vendors around the room based on scent. There are a lot of things we take into consideration beyond just putting together a bunch of desserts in a room with a bunch of people.”

The friendly component.

When designing each event, they consider experiences they’d like to have with their friends and create the entire event around those intentions. When experiences are made with a deep personal connection they often lead to the creation of something much more special and provide a greater degree of intimacy.

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Design elements of discovery.

They create an environment that encourages people to discover things they’ve never tried. The curation of food at each festival is a mix of popular desserts combined with a range of sweets from different cultures to create a variety that encourages adventure and exploration. To ensure a truly personal experience, they sell tickets in time slots so guests enter for 1.5 hours and the ratio of vendors to attendees keeps the lines short.

Craft visual stories that portray the outcome.

Social media plays a large part in Dessert Goals’ growth strategy. The driving factor for their visual story is fun. Lots of bright colors, shapes and playful typography make the experience Instagrammable for guests connecting with and sharing their brand online.

Grow mindfully.

Dessert Goals is influenced by fun and travel, so the founders have created a business strategy that considers these two factors, giving them the flexibility to balance life and work. “I think we hear about so many of these overnight success stories with businesses where founders sacrifice their lives to make it happen. We’re definitely open and excited about new possibilities, but right now as just the two of us, we’re trying to be kind to ourselves and mindful in the way we grow” says Miraya.

Designing a multi-sensory driven strategy is one of the smartest ways for brands to trigger emotion and the create memories. To stand out, immerse your customers in an experience and a feeling. Brands that appeal to multiple senses will be more successful than brands that only focus on one or two. By thinking uncommonly about how they connect with their customers, brands can create longer-lasting, memorable impressions that have people evangelizing for them.

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