I’m a bit of a fraud!
You see I’m a member of Brand Professional, R&D and Sensory Linked in groups. But I’m not a brand professional, an R&D practitioner or a sensory specialist either. As a sensory branding consultant I sit between all three!
What I HAVE learnt after 25 years experience as a sensory branding consultant, however, is just how different the worlds of R&D and Brand can be. Different departments, usually different buildings, sometimes different countries or continents! Different language and different kinds of people (thank heavens). Often I run workshops and find myself introducing Brand and R&D people from the same company who have never met before.
Some of you may be thinking, “That’s OK. Who wants to listen to the Pepe Jeans and Prada Shoe brigade anyway? All they are interested in is the latest flashy TV ad.”
Those who feel this way may have a point. But believe me, it does matter. We MUST build more bridges between R&D and brand. Truly successful products have to appeal to consumers at a functional or hedonic level AND an emotional or conceptual level. The promise must be aligned to the total customer experience in product, pack and communications.
I know that most of you know this, but it amazes me how often this key area breaks down like a dysfunctional family….. “I don’t care what your sensory panel are saying, it’s not on brand!” “You may have spent a million on your new fat-free brand positioning but it’s not possible to make ice cream without cream!” (It may be, but you get my point).
So whilst I am neither an R&D specialist or a branding expert, I have become very, very good at helping organisations to build bridges between the two, running co-creation workshops and providing simple exercises and frameworks that you can use to work together.
I post and blog on this subject and hope you find some of this thinking helpful in your endeavours build bridges and to create truly successful products/brands.