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What does your brand smell like?

Last night, WWD ran an Enriching Your Brand workshop at Open House Deli in Winchester, with creative studio Marmalade on Toast. If participants were expecting your normal branding exercises, they were happily mistaken! Guided by Simon Harmer and Bee Jacobs, we were encouraged to harness the power of our senses, specifically sound, touch and smell, in relation to understanding our brand.

After a short introduction from Simon and Bee, who highlighted where brands have utilised the senses in cementing their brands position; the whistle of McDonalds, the roar of a Jaguar engine and fizz when opening a bottle of Schweppes, we were given small boxes and told to go to each station - scent, sound and texture - and carefully select from among the objects which of each best represented our brand. We scuttled off, boxes in hand and readily excited to freely touch, sniff and dance away, something that you're rarely encouraged to do in normal life, let alone for a workshop!

The group split into thirds and we were each given worksheets to write the items we had chosen. At first, the task of associating our brands with a scent, for example, seemed impossible. How do you now what your brand smells like?! But Bee was on hand to navigate through the process of digging deep to better understand what we thought our brands formulated. Some chose the coconut-y scent of Bodyshop body butter, reminding them of holidays and therefore relaxation and peace. Some chose lemon, a bright, zesty scent. Someone chose sage, reflecting later that this scent brought clarity and creativity and considering their business is in art journalling, it made perfect sense!

Most of us agreed sounds were a little easier, it was like finding the soundtrack to your business, but texture was another one that stumped us. Although it was deeply satisfying once we got there. A small square of soft cotton and a chunky wooden stick were selected by a business that sold baby clothes and beautifully designed wooden toys - the contrast of the textures was something that Bee had already touched on using the example of Victoria's Secret playing soft, classical music in their stores.

As we enjoyed our lattes and delicious chocolate brownies, we seated ourselves back at our tables and furiously started filling in the questions provided by Marmalade On Toast, culminating in the ever-important question: what is our why? We shared our findings, showing each other logos and business cards to figure out if what we had chosen, if what we thought our brand looked like, was reflected in our actual branding. Were our colours too harsh, our message too long, our language too corporate or name too confusing? Some of us realised we were pretty much there, but still had some tweaks to make. A couple - that this was just the beginning of their branding journey but definitely a great place to start.

Branding it an essential part of your business, it's the way you communicate to your audience and customers when you're not there to do the talking. It has to subconsciously communicate your values and feel. We would like to thank Simon, Bee and Olivia from Marmalade on Toast for delivering such a unique and inspiring workshop for us and we encourage you to drop them a call if you're looking for direction with your own branding.

Next Workshop

Our next workshop will be in Southampton, on Thursday 14th March, with life and executive coach, Lindsey Hood. We will be tackling the imposter syndrome - so this is perfect if you struggle with self-doubt.

Title - Overcoming Imposter Syndrome, with Lindsey Hood

Location - Docks Coffee House, Southampton

Time - 18:30 - 20:30

Cost - £14.50


About the Author

Emma is the Founder of Women Who Do, running networking events in Winchester, Southampton and Exeter. She has worked in marketing for 7 years. If you'd like to be featured as a guest blogger you can contact her on or to join one of our events, take a look at what's on near you:

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