Whether we like it or not, our brains are constantly making associations. If you're like me, you see an apple in the grocery store and it reminds you of phones and music. Many brands consider a few senses in their marketing--but do you think about all five?

One sense that is often neglected is touch, especially for those offering a service, but there are still many touch points that impact peoples' perception of your brand.

How much time did you spend deciding the paper stock to use for your business cards? Letterhead? Envelopes? Last mail campaign?

Some of the marketers out there might have thought about it a bit, but the rest might be realizing that you never gave it a second thought. Did you physically touch any of the pieces of paper before you chose one or did you decide on price alone?

Rough, Smooth, Matte, Glossy

The literal associations that are made in produce section also happen when feeling the paper stock someone holds: people are associating that material with your brand. If you picked the cheap paper, then what is that communicating to your potential customers?

When you choose a paper stock, physically touch the items and consider all the words that could be associated with that feel on your fingertips. Consider using a thesaurus to keep your brain moving.

If it is a very smooth finish (one of those really velvety cards you can't help but run your fingers over) associated words could include: rich, soft, deluxe or indulgent. Now, how does that tie back to what you want people to think and feel about your brand?

If you are a consultant that touts how streamlined and simple your process is, you could use the smooth card to represent that physically while a heavily textured card could be sending the wrong message.

Using Paper Stock To Increase Revenue

I recently spoke with a marketing consultant at a conference who handed me a smooth card and when I complimented it, she proudly shared that people comment on it often. So I asked, "What do you say when they do that?" Her response was that she thanked them and said she designed them herself.

While this is useful for a marketing agency, the conversation presents an opportunity to move from mundane to memorable. If instead she said, "Thank you! I chose this paper to reflect how smooth and simple we make marketing strategy for our clients."

That says a lot more about her brand in the same amount of time. It has a clear benefit and shows how thoughtful she is in everything she does.

Plus, our senses are directly tied to the memory center of the brain. If you can turn a tactile experience into a memory about your brand in that moment, it can be tied to any time they feel your card again or a paper stock like it. ("Who was that marketing lady again...I've been meaning to call her.."

Seemingly unimportant details like paper stock are a great opportunity for your business to stand out and be memorable. What are you all about and how can you convey that with the power of touch?