Hot New Research Shows Sensory Language Can Help Build a Lasting Brand

Sunday reading on the impact of sensory language on messaging durability.

Sunday reading on the impact of sensory language on messaging durability.

Is your brand 'cool?' How about 'bright' or 'sharp?' If so, you may be subconsciously building long-lasting, trend-proof positioning for your company.

A recent article in the Sunday New York Times took a closer look at why some phrases endure while others go out of style. Jonah Berger, associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School of Pennsylvania and the author of "Contagious: Why Things Catch On," teamed up with Ezgi Akpinar to look at language trends from five million books over 200 years. They found that language tied to senses such as sight, smell and touch did much better across history. In a subsequent test, they found that sensory metaphors were 50% more memorable than standard phrases 10 minutes later. 

What does this research mean for your brand? When possible, choose language that invokes a sensory experience when drafting your elevator pitch, boilerplate, quotes, website and even company name. Words that relate to taste, touch, sound sight or smell will help you build more memorable messaging. Here are some examples where you can choose sensory language: 

  • Bright instead of promising
  • Cool instead of stylish
  • Hot instead of trendy
  • Sharp instead of smart
  • Chill instead of relaxed
  • Sweet instead of kind
  • Burning instead of passion
  • Heated instead of dynamic
  • Bubbly instead of perky
  • Rough instead of unfinished
  • Smooth instead of easy
  • Listen instead of evaluate
  • Thundering instead of disruptive
  • Spicy instead of distinctive
  • Hard instead of challenging
  • Fresh instead of new

Can you think of more examples of sensory metaphors popular in startup marketing now? If your brand is in need of some sharp new messaging, contact Uncommon Bold today.