Posts Tagged ‘sonic branding’

thinking250px 4 Critical Decisions Audio Branding Forces you to Make About Your BrandAs we move futher into the digital world one thing has become appearant, marketers need to implement a multi-sensory expereince for their customers. That said, once you’ve made the decision to create sensory delight for you audience you’ll want to think about how to communicate with your clients through the different senses.

Audio branding is a process that gets marketers to think about how their brand sounds to the world. In doing this, it also forces marketers to make critical decisions about their brand, both sonically and with the other four senses.

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A while back I posted an article on what an audio mnemonic is (or as some might call it, an audio logo). Today I wanted to share with you a great example from a recent Coca-Cola spot that effectively uses their sonic logo melody throughout the ad.

Coke has always, for as long as I’ve known, been involved in creating a brand around music. One of the key features and most recognizable parts of any audio identity is the audio logo. Before you read on, have a listen to Coke’s audio logo first.

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bear250 Why Congruency is Important When Creating an Audio BrandYou might already be spending lots of time and money on creating the right visual identity – which is good – but the truth of the matter is that we now live in a world where a multi-sensory experience is expected. What’s more is that some of the senses you’ve been neglecting are processed quicker and have direct connections to your emotional core.

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Money250px Are Jingles Worth the Money?Last week Tristan Clopet wrote an excellent piece about audio branding on the Ad Age blog. The main question in the article was whether jingles or music licensing, aka borrowing a pre-written pop song, was better for a brand.

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Of course I’m a little biased when I say this, anytime is a good time to start thinking strategically about how your brand sounds. In all seriousness, there are times in the life of a business that make more sense to implement an audio branding strategy. In this post, I want to highlight the best times to figure out how your business sounds.

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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.

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665909 45612219 300x225 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.

garbage can2 Watch out for this Audio Branding Mistake

Oftentimes we get asked to help companies with their on-hold music or IVR systems. Typically our clients for these types of projects are just getting started or they’ve had a system but it wasn’t customized to their needs. Now they are looking to step up their game, which is good for everyone involved including the customer who calls on our clients.

What sometimes happens is that companies also forget that a voice is needed for these types of projects. This isn’t so much a problem because it’s easy enough to book a professional voice actor or actress to do the job (click the link to visit our friends at Voices.com). However, it seems that it never gets budgeted for or that it gets neglected in some way or another. This is where the problem lies.

Instead of procuring a professional voice over, companies will use someone internally to save costs. I guess the thinking goes, “since we have a couple hundred people on staff surely we can find someone with a nice voice”. In general, this approach never turns out well.

What ends up happening is one of two things and sometimes both. First, the recording will be of low quality, sometimes with audible clicks and pops in the audio. Along with this, the clarity of the speech gets mangled. The other issue with this method is that there is very little opportunity to build brand equity. In order to build an audio identity you need to make sure you use your sound consistently across all sorts of mediums (we’ll be talking about the mediums in an upcoming post). Time and again, we’ve found that this is not possible when you use the voice of an employee as they usually have other responsibilities.

One thing to remember is that your phone system is your first point of contact with customers – you need to present a professional image. After all, you wouldn’t show up to a client meeting in sweatpants, unless of course you’re a personal trainer.

So, make sure you take the time to invest in a professional voice actor for all of your business activities. It’ll save you money and headaches in the long run and will help you build a stronger brand that can withstand the test of time.

You might remember the days spent at summer camp as being some of the most fun you’ve ever had. You developed skills you didn’t think you had and met some pretty cool people. However, some of these memories fade during the year when you’re not at camp.

Companies that have an extremly seasonal sales cycle, like football teams, golf stores, and mountain biking suppliers, all have the same challenge of keeping customers engaged during the off season. There are a few ways to do this, but we’ve found one camp in Connecticut is using audio branding to keep the memories alive.

bucksgong200 Performing Arts Camp Creates Memories Using Audio Branding

Buck’s Rock Gong

Buck’s Rock Creative and Performing Arts Camp is a unique place where campers get a chance to learn all sorts of creative skills, like acting, graphic design, and glass blowing. The camp has many rituals including putting on two fully produced musicals and trips off campus to see the Boston Pops.

As a former music counsellor at the camp, one of the memories I have is the hearing the sound of the camp gong. The camp gong isn’t an ordanary gong as it’s shaped like a giant cooper ring (see picture).

The gong itself is used to signal the time for certain events, like meals and put-to-bed time. On a typical day, you would hear the gong five or six times. As you can imagine, it gets burned into your mind as a camper or staff member.

The leaders at Buck’s Rock decided to take the sound of the gong and create a ringtone for anyone to download. Once you download the sound to your phone, everytime you get a call you will be reminded of camp.

Because of its functionaliy, developing a ringtone creates a way for memories to extend into the rest of the year. As long as you have good memories of the place associated with the sound, this will cause you to want to go again or share your experience. What more in case, the sound of the gong is so unique that I wouldn’t be surprised if people started asking you what that sound was, further extending the marketing reach of this audio brand asset to new people.

Overall, this approach fits our criteria for a great audio brand. So, good on you Buck’s Rock for taking the audio branding route!

Just recently, Coca-Cola released its 2014 FIFA World Cup anthem. They have always used music as a part of their overall strategy and in doing so they have created some memorable ads, but creating an anthem has become an expected part of their marketing plan at worldwide events as you’ll see in a minute.

Famous Coca-Cola advertisment

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