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Sep 13

How to Increase Customer Loyalty Using Audio Branding

One of the key components of creating a strong audio brand is flexibility. By creating an audio brand that is flexible will allow you to build your brand’s identity on a global scale and create a loyal customer in the process.

What is flexibility in terms of using audio as a branding piece? It refers to the how well an audio asset, like an audio logo, can work in different situations. For global organizations, this concept is vital for the success of their audio branding strategy.

In order for a brand to use music and audio on a global scale, it’s important to remember that music isn’t always an international language. You need to make subtle changes to the way your company sounds depending on the location of your advertising or product launch in the case of product sounds (BTW, Nokia is a master at this). This also needs to be done in a way that the sound can be globally recognized.

The best way to achieve a flexible audio brand is to implement customer focused research. Why spend resources on user testing? Well, it helps us find the optimal sound that reflects the core values of your brand across multiple cultures – something that guesswork can’t do.

What if you’re not a global enterprise? In this case, companies that operate on a local scale should be aware of two things:

1. Multiple cultures in most metropolitan areas
2. Keeping your sound fresh and updated

Having an audio brand that is flexible will allow you to tap into additional markets and allow you to update your sound as time passes without neglecting the equity built in the past. In short, it ensures you can create brand equity in a wide variety of markets over time.

Real World Example

In recent years, McDonald’s has invested significant amounts of resources in caring for how they sound to the world. In doing this, they have created a strategy for using music and sound. Their most prominent audio branding asset is their audio logo. What’s unique is that the audio logo McDonald’s uses have many different textures and formats. Lets have a listen to a couple of the variations.

Different McDonald’s audio logos

As you can hear, they all have a similar melody, but in some cases the instruments or voice have changed. In audio branding terms, we would say that this audio logo is flexible. It was created in a way this allows music producers to keep the sound fresh over a long period of time but still keep it recognizable for the consumer.

Now this is the important part, McDonald’s isn’t doing this because they think it sounds neat. No, they are doing this because it builds brand recognition and brand loyalty. If you don’t believe me, here’s a quotes from Mary Dillon, former Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer for McDonald’s:

Marketers who don’t understand the power of sound will be left behind

As a side note, it’s funny that Coca-Cola being a major partner with McDonald’s also uses a similar strategy, which you can read about in this post.

Building customer Loyalty

You see, people have strong feelings about their favourite brands. Using music and sound is a quick way for you as a marketer to build an emotional connection with your audience. Once you have built this connection it becomes much harder for a customer to abandon your brand just because a competitor offered a lower price.

What brands do you recognize by its sound? Let me know in the comments below.

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 How to Increase Customer Loyalty Using Audio Branding

About Jordan Stevens | Audio Brand Consultant at TreBrand


Almost born with a guitar in his hands Jordan Stevens has been instrumental in inspiring brands to stand out and be heard. His music has been performed internationally and on the silver screen including a premiere at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Toronto International Film Festival.

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