“Parapapapa, I’m lovin’ it!”

Do we need to name the brand? Can you already not smell their burgers? This identification of the brand through a sound is called sonic branding. It is the recognition of the brand with a sound. A brand is rarely a tangible entity, it is an emotion. It is what people think about your business when they hear the same sound. And therefore, business leaders are continuously pushing the envelope to increase awareness and improve positioning of their brand in the minds of their customers.

Sonic branding has been a part of advertising since the time being. The drumroll played during the 20th century fox introduction was composed in 1933 by Alfred Newman. Intel’s bong anthem was first heard over 25 years back. These sounds had become vital aspects of their brands many moons ago. However, it is now, as we are digging deeper into this tool, we are finally able to comprehend the unfathomable potential that lies beneath this. We have already witnessed gigantic brands like Amazon, Google and Apple investing billions of dollars in the ‘sonic butlers of the future’ such as Siri, Google Home and Amazon Echo. The smart speaker market can actually be looked at like a battlefield for tech giants; all experimenting with voice-controlled assistants. With voice shopping industry set to reach $40 billion by 2022, new businesses too are investing in not just how their brands look but also how they sound.

‘Mere-exposure’ effect is a renowned psychological phenomenon which suggests that people tend to develop affinity or preference towards a product merely because they are familiar with it. This holds true predominantly in the domain of advertising. If your customers can hear your sound and recall your brand, the job is half done. The ‘thud’ sound at the beginning of your favourite TV show helps you know it is streaming on Netflix. Sounds that we hear from brands influence our day-to-day lives; they spark emotions, affect our choices and enhance our association with the brand. Besides brand recognition, sonic branding elements aim to create a positive image of the brand, boost brand’s perceived personality and enrich customer engagement.

Every time a brand crafts a sonic logo, the leaders work towards infusing emotion and values of the brand within the three-second amalgamation of over 20 musical sounds and notes. Mastercard created its sonic logo over an extended period of 18 months while working with agencies, artists and musicians from around the world. The objective was to make sure the sonic logo resonates with the global audience. It has been proven that relevant sounds or sonic branding strategies not only influence customers in the way marketers want them to but also these congruent cues can increase the speed of visual search for products. In the food and beverage industries, sonic logos are also known to improve the perceived taste of the brand’s products.

It is essential to note that a sonic logo is just the tip of the iceberg within the entire acoustic branding spectrum. Sound branding entails the detailed procedure of creating a brand’s language that can be used to communicate with its customers over every plausible platform. Coca-Cola’s ‘taste the feeling’ campaign rightly achieves that. This happy brand expresses a gamut of emotions from a customer’s perspective through the entire process of consuming the product via a brilliant story.

The emotion behind the sound that your brand carries is extremely crucial for the success of the brand’s sonic strategy. Our brains love it when what we see gets aligned with what we hear. The business needs to possess a detailed insight on the exact emotions it wishes to invoke. Visa found that 81% of shoppers felt safer and more secure with conducting mobile transactions if it used sound and animation, so that’s precisely what it did. Apple’s ‘Whoosh’ sound upon sending an email is aimed at invoking confidence that your communication is getting through. It is imperative to remember that music is emotive. Nevertheless, it has a way of communicating complex ideas in a manner that is easy to comprehend.

Sonic Branding 3

One may be tricked into believing that branding through sounds is meant only for the business giants. Rather, it is the time to acknowledge that every brand, whether big or small, encompasses several sounds. With growing competition, marketers across the globe are attempting to tap into sensory branding strategies to leave a deeper impression on their customers and sonic branding is one essential arrow in their quiver. If you want your brand to speak volumes to your consumers, a proper audio strategy is the foremost step to start with.

Tags: Advertising , Artificial Intelligence , Audio Identity , Brand Identity , Branding , Colours , Design , Influencer Marketing , Marketing , Social Validation , Sonic Branding ,