Brands and businesses spend a lot of time, resources and effort perfecting the visual identity of their brand.
But, today technology requires brand-consumer interactions to be interactive – they are now two-way conversations.
Which has made us ask the question, what does a brand sound like?
People aren’t just tuning into podcasts once in a while. In fact, 82% percent of podcast listeners spend more than seven hours a week listening to podcasts.
Pair that with a surge of IoT (Internet of Things) like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa – we are spending an increasing amount of time using voice search.
“In the one dimensional days when communication fed only from brand-to-consumer, marketers put a lot of weight on brand sound in connection to television commercials and radio spots. As the market changed, sound took a back seat to visual design. The perception was that brands were seen more than they were heard, so much more rigor and care was put into perfecting the brand’s look and feel, leaving sound in limited roles like jingles and spokespeople,” said Rob Davis.
Today, sound is back in the forefront. How a brand sounds doesn’t merely deserve the level of attention and detail given to visual branding. It demands it.
A successful brand voice makes a brand not only stand out but humanise it. A brand voice is more than just its tonality on social platforms – it is looking to what a brand would sound like on a podcast.
It is imagining more than a brand conversation on a Facebook post – it is imagining what it sounds like IRL (in real life) and could potentially extend to what the brand would listen to (musically). This all falls under a new term called a sonic branding strategy.
The power of a voice is undeniable – it makes us (and brands) individuals and may be a more of a defining personality – than what we wear or in brand terms, the visual identity.
Few brands have forged a unique sonic signature with the same degree of attention and precision that they bring to their images. The opportunity and potential it allows is too big to ignore.
It will be interesting to see if the advertisers integrate music into a brands marketing mix in a more meaningful way in future. For now, it’s an approach that others could learn from and build upon.
For brands, creating a sonic strategy that’s less fad-like and more deeply rooted in their core values is a powerful way to connect with consumers, from their shows to their stores to streaming audio content that is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives.
This is an opinion piece by Charlie Charls, senior copywriter at Attic Rush.
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