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Sep 13

Questions Every Marketer Should Ask Their Music Provider

question2 Questions Every Marketer Should Ask Their Music ProviderA couple of weeks ago I posted an article on one of the biggest audio branding pitfalls. This week I want share a few questions you should ask your music provider in order to get the best music for your brand.

For me, audio branding is about creating a great strategy around using music and sound for your business. It needs to be done in a way that will help your brand become more identifiable to your target audience. It also needs to help your company improve its brand recognition, brand affiliation, and help with customer growth. Simply put, it should help build brand equity.

So, for this post I’ve organized the questions into three areas:

1. Strategy questions
2. Production questions
3. Investment questions

The questions don’t include the standard questions you would ask any supplier, but will help you focus on making sure that the audio created for your brand will be in alignment with your vision of your brand.

Strategy Questions

What attributes make a good audio brand?
This is a rudimentary question for a smart audio provider, but you’d be surprised how many studios don’t understand this basic question. Here’s a post on our top five attributes to look for in a successful audio brand. The main one is to make sure that the audio is congruent with the brand.

How do you intend to learn about our brand and our customers?
At the core of an audio branding strategy is understanding your brand. Any brand focused music provider will have a plan for what we call Brand Exploration. It’s vital that you make sure your audio provider has the right knowledge about your brand and your customers in order to have a successful launch of your audio identity.

What processes do you have in place to ensure brand alignment?
Understanding how your music supplier will achieve brand alignment is important if you want a successful audio branding strategy. You’ll want to look for several different types of research methods such as brand workshops, brand audits, focus groups and free association testing.

Production Questions

What guides your creative process?
Asking this question will give you a sense of how the music studio produces music. You’ll start to understand if there is a method to their mayhem or if the music provider will go with a ‘feeling’. Although we are trying to communicate feelings when we create your audio brand, solely trusting our feelings won’t get you the results you require.

Ideally you’re looking for an indication that the company will follow a strategy or plan of attack. This doesn’t mean taking away the creativity, but living within a set of guidelines. If you listen to different Coca-Cola commercials or McDonald’s commercials you’ll be able to hear what I mean. This is particularly true of their corporate audio logos.

What customer facing feedback to you use?
That fact that music is an international language means that you need to check for translation problems. You’ve got to know if your customers hear the same thing as you. So, after producing music and sounds for your brand, it’s important to check that your target audience agrees with you in terms of how the music sounds. Knowing how a supplier will achieve this will ensure that you get a customer focused audio identity.

Investment Questions

Does your price include royalty payments?
Aside from the overall investment you’ll need to make, some projects will require you to pay royalties to the people who created your music. How much you pay and when you’ll need to make payments depends on many factors, but a great music supplier can walk you through all the details. In the end, it’s a small investment of time for you to understand the overall cost of your new identity.

Will we own the music/sounds you create?
Owning the intellectual property for a music track is important for you to increase brand equity. It also helps you avoid legal actionaudio logos can be filed for trademark protection and that will be a great help to protecting your brand.

How do you measure the success of your programs?
It all comes down to measuring ROI. An audio branding agency will have methods for measuring how you have succeeded in creating an audio brand. Typical metrics we look for are brand recognition, market share and brand affiliation.

Audio branding is great for creating emotional attachment to your brand. My hope is that these questions will help you think more strategically about using music and sound for your business and in your advertisements.

As always, if you have questions or comments put ‘em in the section below.

headphonesSM1 Questions Every Marketer Should Ask Their Music Provider
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 Questions Every Marketer Should Ask Their Music Provider

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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