As a marketer, it’s your job to allow as many people as possible to learn about your products and services. Granted, segmentation will play a key role in who you target, but you shouldn’t make it hard for certain people to understand the value of what you are trying to sell.
Posts Tagged ‘sonic branding’
This post is part of our series on audio branding knowledge.
Emotion is one of the things that music can most effectively manage. When you hear happy sounding music you instantly change your mood. Of course this has many health benifits, but as a merketer this ability can have an impact on your bottom line too.
A couple of weeks ago I was featured on The Price of Business with Kevin Price to talk about audio branding. The interview was aired on Business 1110 AM KTEK, part of the Bloomberg Radio network, out of Houston, Texas.
I’m aware that many of you missed the interview, so have a listen to the audio below.
As a marketer you understand the difference between tactical and strategic moves – the tactical moves are the individual parts that make up an overall strategy. This is marketing 101. Without a vision for the success down the road your individual tactics will be hit and miss.
Traditionally music studios have been about creating tactical creative work. Everything from radio commercials to on-hold music. These are the individual pieces. As audio branding professionals we look at how each of these elements combine, what is the overall effect?
One of the problems with the tactical approach is that it’s hard to know which tactics to use without a strategy behind it. You end up going in a different direction for each campaign. It also makes it harder for consumers to connect with your brand. In fact, a recent study done be Katz Marketing shows that 87% of consumers can recognize certain brands by its sound alone.
Think about the difference that you can make when you ask “How can we select music and sound that will help build our brand for the long term?” Instead of “What music can we use for this one campaign?”
Individual tactics work great when you know the direction you are heading, but without a strategy behind your tactics it can be tough to move the ball forward. Just remember to think about the sound of your company over the long term and the impact that each touchpoint has on your customers.
The world we live in today is quite visually based. We run into visual symbols and icons throughout the day as we go about our work. We use these visual references to help us communicate meaning and get stuff done. In a world that moves a million miles a minute anything we can do to speed up communication can be beneficial.
An earcon is the audio equivalent of an icon and just like visual icons we hear earcons throughout the day. Its job is to communicate meaning through the use of sound. What’s powerful about this and sound in general is that even though light travels faster then sound we process sound quicker.
Some examples of earcons:
- Empty trash sound on your computer
- Microwave end beeps (some models sing a song now)
- Seatbelt on warning signal in your car
- Car doors locked horn honk
- Beeps when you press a button on your phone
As you can see from the list above eacons are useful for helping people understand what to do. Combined with visual references this is powerful in helping customers use your product.
Many earcons are instinctively understood, however, as a marketer you need know when people might not understand the meaning of the sound. Failing to do this can cause frustration and deflection from the product/brand.
Again, going back to what makes a successful audio brand will help you create better earcons for your product.
Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a frustrating trend that as a marketer you need to be aware of. First, a little backstory.
There have been a couple of studies released recently discussing the importance of music in advertising. I won’t go into the full details today but you can read them here (Ad Age) and here (Marketing). Furthermore, in our own work with clients we’ve seen clients increase customer leads by 108% with radio alone.
A few weeks ago I appeared as a guest speaker on Susan Regier’s Merlot Marketing. Susan is a fantastic copywriter and entrepreneur who loves seeing her clients’ businesses grow.
TreBrand has had the pleasure of creating a brand song for Susan and her company Vantage One Writing. You can check out the song on our demo page.
Now, have a listen to the 15 minute talk I did with Susan about the magic of audio branding.
You’ve seen me ramble on about how to make a successful radio ad or creating a better experience for customers who call you and even the top 10 audio logos and what if you want to put them all together into on cohesive audio brand?
Well, here are 5 things you need in order to maximize the ROI of your audio identity.
Memorable – Is your audio branding program memorable? If you’re going to invest in music and sound for your brand then you want to make sure people can remember your brand by the sound it makes. Memorability will play a large role in how successful your audio branding program will be.
Flexible – A good audio identity must be flexible enough to be used in many different ways. Just like the visual logo that a company uses, an audio asset, such as and audio logo, can now be used in many different mediums. It’s also important to be flexible so that the identity can change with time and still maintain its memorability.
Distinctive – Have you ever tried to name a song after the first 3 seconds? It’s certainly possible for the average person to do and this should be your goal. With that said, one thing you want to ensure is that your brand isn’t just another whizz bang sound. Each part of your audio identity must be distinctly yours.
Congruent – One of the best ways to make the most out of your investment in music and sound is to make sure that your audio identity naturally fits your brand and your audience. For example, if you own a Japanese restaurant then playing traditional Japanese music would be a good idea. However, you need to balance this with a bit of surprise because if you get too close to exactly what people expect then they get bored.
Purpose – As with many branding techniques it’s important to seek out a purpose for each asset. This will give staff and employees a true reason to keep using the audio brand in the way it was intended. The best example of this is the NBC Chimes which have a wonderful history that you can read in the linked article.
One thing to think about is that it’s not always possible to have all 5 parts present. Sometimes one aspect may be stronger then another and that careful balance is where an audio branding expert can help you make the most of your investment in music and sound.
If you’ve ever entered a casino, particularly the large ones in Vegas, you’ll know that the marketers at these places really care about customer experiences.
What is it that keeps people wanting to come back for more? Is it the chance to win big?
That’s part of it but the rational side of you knows that the house always wins. What the casinos do really well is hit each of your senses and ensure each of those senses are delighted.
This idea should be a big deal to you as a marketer. Sensory branding which encompasses audio branding isn’t all that new, however, many companies still miss the mark.
So, why is this important? Well, consumers who are engauged with a brand outside of the usual visual cues are more likely to remember your brand and memory leads to purchase intentions.
How can you get better at sensory branding? Simply, ask yourself, “if we removed one of our senses such as sight could we still recognize the brand?” If the answer is “no” then you’ve got work to do.
Building an iconic brand takes time and effort but the rewards are worth it. Think about your other senses so that your brand and customers will thank you.
One of the advantages of using music strategically – having an audio brand strategy – is the ability to prime the pump. This is particularly important if you are in a cluttered industry such as soft drinks. Let me explain.
For most people music takes a subconscious role. There have been many studies that ask did you notice the music or did you find that the music influenced your decision and most people answer no. This is curious because the studies also show that a person’s decision usually reflects the musical fit. So, if you are selling French wine vs. German wine and you play French music you’ll most likely sell out of the French wine before the German wine by about 3 bottles to 1.
The above phenomenon is due to what psychologist call priming. This means that the music or whatever else is in that environment matches our expectations. Priming is useful for products and services where there isn’t a clear advantage and the consumer doesn’t have a well defined preference.
So, how can priming help you? Get answers here.