Professor Charles Spence, author of ‘Sound Design: Using Brain Science to Enhance Auditory & Multisensory Product & Brand Development’  is the head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory based at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University and a close advisor to our multi-sensory dining events.

Charles’s interests lay in understanding how people perceive the world around them. In particular, how our brains manage to process the information from each of our different senses (such as smell, taste, sight, hearing, and touch) to form the extraordinarily rich multisensory experiences that fill our daily lives. His research focuses on how a better understanding of the human mind will lead to the better design of multisensory foods, products, interfaces, and environments in the future. His research calls for a radical new way of examining and understanding the senses that has major implications for the way in which we design everything from household products to mobile phones, and from the food we eat to the places in which we work and live.

Charles is currently a consultant for a number of multinational companies advising on various aspects of multisensory design, packaging, and branding. He has also conducted research on human-computer interaction issues on the Crew Work Station on the European Space Shuttle, and currently works on problems associated with the design of foods that maximally stimulate the senses, and with the effect of the indoor environment on mood, well-being, and performance.

SensesProfessor Charles has published more than 250 articles in top-flight scientific journals over the last decade. He has been awarded the 10th Experimental Psychology Society Prize, the British Psychology Society: Cognitive Section Award, the Paul Bertelson Award, recognizing him as the young European Cognitive Psychologist of the Year, and, most recently, the prestigious Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

Sound Design: Using Brain Science to Enhance Auditory & Multisensory Product & Brand Development, introduction:

The last few years have seen a phenomenal growth in the field of sensory marketing. While there has never been any doubt about the importance of the visual aspects of design, what we are now seeing is an increased emphasis by marketers on the impact of the other senses: Sound, touch, smell, and, on occasion,taste. Many companies and brand managers are increasingly being told that they should engage as many of a consumer’s senses as possible in order to increase brand engagement/loyalty.

Beyond the mantra of “the more senses your brand stimulates, the better” what guidelines/rules are there to help the brand manager or product developer improve the sound of their products? And what consequences might changing a product’s sound have for the customers’ overall multisensory product experience? What sensory marketers typically fail to mention to brand managers and product designers is that they should not consider each of the sensory attributes of their products in isolation.

Why not? Well, because the brain is a fundamentally multi-sensory organ, and, consequently, changing any one sensory attribute of a product (be it the sound, feel, or colour) is likely to impact on the customer’s overall product experience (or Gestalt).

Let me repeat: Consumer perception is inherently multisensory!What this means is that each of our senses are intimately connected to all of the other senses. As a consequence, you cannot expect  to change the sound of a product, say, without also likely impacting on the product’s feel. In short, the traditional approach to studying and modifying the sensory attributes of a product individually doesn’t work,at least not always.

The full pdf is available here: Sound Design

For more information on Professor Charles Spence visit this link