08 Oct SOUNDS INTERESTING
There are plenty of ways for a brand to stand out and cut through the cultural clutter. The most dominant is to enforce a recognisable visual identity with a distinctive appearance and character of its own.
We’re all very much familiar with the ‘visual’ aspect of branding. However the other sense which brands are making good use of is that of the ‘audio’.
Sonic branding provides instantly recognisable cues for brands. It can also provide a deep emotional resonance that often images fall short of developing. That’s no real surprise if you consider music to be the language of emotion. Why not then use music to evoke a memory, stir a feeling in order to trigger your customers into thinking about your brand?
Most notably tech-brands such as Microsoft and Apple have developed significant branded audio signatures. Companies such as AVON have been doing the same since the 1950’s and McDonald’s enduring “I’m Lovin It” sound signature has been used globally for the last 15 years.
So definitely not a new phenomena – but a sure fire asset all brands can muster.
Recently – the likes of Subaru have started to build equity into their own audio signature, consistently using the music of “Walk on the wild side”. Nick Scali wraps every sale event in popular music – designed to appeal to their segment of proud home improvers.
You’ll even note how movie franchises have a distinct audio footprint. You can’t think of Mission Impossible without hearing the enticing opening music. Nor the sophisticated swagger of the James Bond theme. Most famously of all of course are the John Williams scores for Indiana Jones as well as the Star Wars movies. Powerfully evocative – instantly transporting the audience into new and wonderful adventures.
Brands have adopted other musical means of harnessing their connection to their audience by compiling their very own curated Spotify playlists.
From brands selling highly desirable underwear such as Victoria’s Secret (Rock The Runway) to brands promoting family friendly movies such as Pixar have each created their own playlists. All designed to nurture connectivity. Ms. Squibbles from Monsters University has her own playlist, even though she was only briefly in the movie, because she’s seen head-banging to metal (Monsters Inc – Mrs Squibbles).
Creating new ways for an audience to connect with your brand increasingly binds them more to you than to the alternatives. At the end of the day – we all know that branding is not just about the size of the logo – effective branding maintains many dimensions – all in service of what the brand stands for as well as how it feels.
When preparing for your next campaign – spare a thought for how you too can enhance your brand’s connectivity through the use of an audio signature, some form of sonic branding or a piece of ownable music.
Sounds pretty good right?
David Flanagan, Director of Content & Strategy, P2.