Visual Brand vs Audio Brand
A long time ago audio dominated the advertising industry and was the king. The development of television and the internet has now changed that!
Yet, — and it goes without saying — in today’s cluttered and overwhelmed visual communication, audio can make the ‘sound’ difference to brands. Audio branding or sonic branding is a powerful tool because it can be used by both large and small companies.
Within temptation …. and escaping from Google’s multi-dimensional definitions given to Audio Branding, at Rabbeats we come down to a simple but straightforward concept:
“Audio Branding is the strategic use of sound as part of a company’s brand identity (kit, guide, you name it) which has only one purpose: to communicate it to their target audience. And by sound, we mean voice, songs, sounds, jingles, etc”.
Let’s take a prodigious example: Starbucks.
“Music has played a pivotal role in our stores for over forty years and we have been at the forefront of how to integrate it into a retail environment,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks (BusinessWire, January 19th, 2016).
Starbucks uses music and sound as part of the branding strategy in order to improve the way its customers feel in their stores and at the same time promote customer loyalty.
Audio Branding is, therefore, a representation of your company that strengthens your brand, its values, authenticity, image, and personality.
We all know that the ‘visual language’ of your brand is your logo, but your brand is far more than this, and kinda goes without saying — here comes your company audio which is the ‘sound language’ of your brand and it’s a powerful addition.
Sound is potent. But why?
For a number of years, music production companies and marketers have always promoted the power of Audio Branding.
But lately, believe it or not, neurologists and psychologists are researching the effects of sound/music on the human brain. Let’s see some of the benefits of Audio Branding:
1. Your brand will become synonymous with moments
Sound is everywhere and above all is efficient. For most of us, it’s something that we simply can’t ignore and as a result, we respond to sound quite fast.
Putting aside the look and feel of a brand, we can respond to sounds up to 100 times faster compared to visual images.
Photo by Dominik Vanyi on Unsplash
According to Sims Wyeth, neurologists concluded that the sound will actually remain in our minds for almost five seconds before it begins to fade.
On the contrary, visuals disappear in less than a second. And that’s a huge difference in advertising, right?
2. Music evokes strong emotions
I don’t know about you, but at Rabbeats, music creates emotions and brings out memories (whether positive or negative).
That is, sound can greatly influence the mood of the listener and in a way prepares us for what is coming next. Let me take you on a trip down memory lane… the movie “Jaws”.
When you hear the suspense music before the shark attacks you know that the shark is coming to attack.
Eventually the shark attacks..
3. Music makes your brand familiar
In order to build trust, you need to make your customers feel familiar with your brand. And sound can create that connection.
For instance, even the first couple of opening lines of the “Holidays are Coming” song from Coca-Cola is enough to bring an image of the company to mind.
But don’t listen to us, listen to the original ad available on YouTube.
4. Where your brand cannot be seen, it can be heard
Let’s be clear; all of your brand visuals are important, however, your customers can’t appreciate them when their eyes are ‘busy’ with other things – such as the road ahead while driving, or the emails they’re replying to on their phone.
Audio branding ensures that you still have a way to connect with your audience when their eyes aren’t available.
How do brands use sound?
In order to create that memorable and authentic brand identity, you need to introduce brand sounds that produce additional layers of emotional response by picking the right sounds that match your brand personality.
When developing your audio branding strategy, you should be setting two main goals:
- consistency in the message and
- emotional relevance to the brand.
According to Neuro-Insight’s study, the adverts that linked their sound/music and visual creatives delivered, on average, 14% higher memory encoding than more passive soundtracks!
Another study identified that audio logos that fall into the range of 5-7 notes are more successful in penetrating the human brain.
An example of big companies with audio logos (compiled with at least five notes), is Mcdonald’s, Intel, and T-Mobile.
Sounds, audio and music can be used to target your customers throughout their purchasing journey.
Therefore, when you’re designing your audio branding strategy make sure you include every sound you use to connect with your customer.
You could, for example, include:
- The theme that plays before your ads, podcasts, videos, etc.
- The jingles you use in your marketing.
- The sound of clicking through your website.
- The music you play in your stores.
- The “on hold” music that plays when a customer calls you (and the music when you connect the customer to another client).
- The types of music you play at your events.
- The voices of the people who speak for your company.
Find your sound with an audio/sound production agency
Audio and sound branding has an important part to play in your company’s success. If you’re not already using sound to differentiate yourself from your competitors (and get customers to remember your business), then now would be the perfect time to upgrade your brand image, campaigns, ads, etc.
How? Introducing your brand’s sounds to all customers’ touchpoints and making them feel a certain way about your service or product.
Isn’t it about time you spoke to an audio production agency and found your brand sound?
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