Human beings have five senses, so why would brand strategists leave four of them aside? Over the past few years, senses other than sight have been explored by brand experts and marketers. Although the senses of taste and touch are more difficult for brands to reach, some brands like Singapore Airlines and Rolls Royce have already used scent to build brand identity, also known as olfactive branding. A new area of focus is now sound branding, and one of the most sought after solutions is custom music on hold and messages.
As brands now look to engage with their customers on a much deeper level, the opportunities for creating a sound branding experience that conveys a brand essence and soul is possible. Bentley Motors recently looked to create a brand experience by replacing all interior mechanical sounds with sound that had been created for their Continental GT car. From enhancing your product or service to actually impacting customer behavior, music can be critical to how consumers perceive your business!
First, let’s take a look at the potential impact of sound in a retail environment:
In 1998, Adrian North, David Hargreaves and Jennifer McKendrick ran a test in a British wine shop to determine the role of background music in purchase decisions. For a number of days they piped in French and German music, alternating between the two. The results: on French-music days, the French wine outsold the German wine by a ratio of four to one. On German-music days, German wine outsold the French by a ratio of three to one.
The same team also discovered that customers are likely to tolerate long waiting times (both on the phone and in the real world), if and when the on hold music background is enjoyable and fits our expectations.
Companies have shown that at least one clear path to people’s hearts, minds and wallets is through their earbuds. Good sound is good business!
So now that you’ve begun thinking you want to develop your sound brand, you’re asking yourself “How do I get started?”
Great sound doesn’t happen by accident. Proper planning, design and installation are all critical to achieving a sucessful quality sound. Audio branding involves the audio quality, the script, the tone and delivery style. Music on hold may be one of the first things a potential customer hears when calling a company.
Music on hold isn’t likely to be remembered by callers and won’t cover up bad customer service, but it can compliment a good all-round operation. Music can have a tremendous benefit to companies when making callers wait on hold. A suitable piece of on hold music can distract the caller from the boredom of being on hold. It reduces the perception of time passing, making complaints about waiting time less likely.
With the use of Audio Branding through on hold messaging, your message — and only your message — plays directly to an audience already motivated to learn more about your company. The Fact: Audio Branding with on hold messages is simply Target Marketing at it’s most effective! Use the opportunity to reaffirm your brand.