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What Would Facebook Smell Like?

Posted by: James Holland on October 26, 2011


I recently visited the Texas State Fair. I took the photo above in the new car area because it reminded me that, when we think of brands, it is easy to miss out on their tangible aspects – or the materials from which they are made.

In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, those of us charged with creating and managing brands can, on occasion, overlook the simple things -- such as how brands themselves look and feel and, more importantly, how they might feel to a consumer’s touch. Would the boy shown in the picture above have reached out and touched a screen just to see how it felt?

When a brand is created, much attention is given to its visual and verbal identity – and rightfully so. Paying attention to consumers’ other senses is important too. Some well-known brands have recognized this and have sought new ways to connect with their consumers. The glass and metal used in Apple stores mirror their products. The Apple website has a similar aesthetic. Brands like Chrysler give their cars a distinctive ‘new car smell,’ as they’ve found people prefer such cars to those that have no scent at all.

Ask yourself: What would Google taste like? What would Facebook smell like? These sound like ridiculous questions, but, when trying to successfully build and manage a brand, asking yourself such questions can help open up new channels and spark world-changing ideas.

— James Holland, Senior Designer, Interbrand New York

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