Most companies spend a lot of time and money making sure that things are visually perfect, and then lose half of their efforts because they lack sonic branding. I get a lot of “huh?” And, looks as if I have 3 heads when introducing sonic branding into a conversation. It’s a term many people are unfamiliar with, but it’s also one that after few minutes and a few examples everyone gets.
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve been exposed to sonic branding since the day you started watching television, or listening to the radio (maybe even before then). We all have. The concept behind sonic branding is simple, yet powerful. Sonic branding refers to everything from company’s on hold music and messaging to music in your store, waiting room, etc. It’s a piece of audio content you create to serve as a signature sound to reinforce your brand’s identity.
“There’s one powerful branding tool that has been generally overlooked or perhaps undervalued by most marketers: sound… cognitive studies show that relevant sounds and musical cues can truly influence people in ways marketers want. Audio-enabled media environment, the strategic use of sound can play an important role in positively differentiating a product or service, enhancing recall, creating preference, building trust, and even increasing sales.” – Harvard Business Review Article
A brand with no voice looks something like this:
- Your customers don’t really understand what you do
- They have no idea what you stand for and why
- Your tribe doesn’t know what to expect from your business + brand
- Your business and business communications are decidedly unforgettable
- You fail to inspire brand loyalty in your customers
- You lose sales because you don’t give potential customers a good enough reason to buy your goods and/or services
- Your business gets lost amongst the deep sea of other (more powerful) brands
On the other hand, a brilliant brand voice can mean:
- Your customers go to you first
- You and your brand have a positive reputation
- Your tribe is incredibly clear about what you offer and why
- You’re the first name on people’s lips when they think of your industry/product/service
- Your customers feel as though they can relate to your business and brand
- You’re a respected market leader
- You easily attract new customers and convert sales with ease
Every business wants more customers who buy more stuff, but today’s B-to-C customer and B-to-B client have lots of options; whatever you’re selling can be purchased from someone else, and if they can’t buy the exact same thing, numerous substitutes are available.
However, the strategic use of music and sound is missing from most brand experiences, especially in spaces where brands have challenges to connect and engage successfully. Having a signature brand voice and sound (sonic branding) presents your marketing material so that your audience pays attention, understands, and remembers what you have to say. It delivers your marketing material as meaningful content, and connects to your audience on a psychological and emotional level using all the verbal and non verbal influence-inducing techniques available.
Customers and consumers have become numb to a lot of the noise around them. Brands that tap into the power of sonic branding, strategically use sound, music and voice to evoke emotion, create meaningful connections with people and guide them through experiences. Creating this differentiating signature voice to deliver your marketing message overcomes many of the problems in getting your marketing message out, and differentiating yourself from otherwise just being noise in a crowded marketplace. Is sonic branding worth it? Yes. It’s even affordable for small businesses.
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