Music, an International Language?
Whether you are a musician or not, you have probably heard the expression that music is an international language. Now as a marketer in this modern world, understanding this fact is critical. So, in this post I want to explore some research with you that will help you use music in your business more effectively to reach the global marketplace.
First off, many studies have shown that certain aspects of music carries common meanings for people in different parts of the world. What this means, for example, is that most people will hear slow music as a sad song or fast music as a happy. For global marketers this is good news since certain parts of your audio brand will not need to be adjusted for cultural differences.
Now, I’m going to contradict myself and say that the finer details in communicating emotion through music can get mixed up in translation. For instance, Eastern music uses a different system of notes and not following these rules can mean that you are communicating a completely different emotion than you intended. By not keeping track of the different cultural norms you may be inadvertently be giving someone the finger.
Testing your Intuition
To help mitigate the problems mentioned above you will want to test your audio brand assets with a cross section of our customer base. Typically, this testing should take the form of a focus group but can also be done using customer questionnaires and free association methods. We have seen some companies go as far as having separate tests done for each of their core markets. This gives them a true understanding of how their customers feel about the music that is being produced as a brand asset.
For local companies you may think this issue apply to you, but if you are located in a major city, like Toronto, you are going to have a well-mixed pot of culture to deal with.
Take the time to evaluate the sound of your company makes and how impacts the emotions your customers feel.