We are accustomed to recognizing brands visually, through their logos, ads, and packaging. But there is another sense that plays a significant role in creating memories and experiences: hearing. If you’ve been neglecting the power of sound in your brand-building efforts, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity.
Sonic branding, also known as audio branding, is the expression of your brand through sound. You may be familiar with the catchy jingles that instantly link to brands like McDonald’s (“I’m Lovin’ It”) or the startup sound of Apple computers. But sonic branding goes beyond these audio logos. It involves creating a distinct audio identity that resonates with your brand and the messages it conveys.
You can utilize sonic branding in various touchpoints, such as public spaces, retail stores, TV and social media ads, websites, and podcasts. It can be a single audio logo or an extension of your brand identity, encompassing your overall audio style.
The Benefits of Sonic Branding
By incorporating sonic branding into your marketing activities, you can influence customer behaviors in several ways:
1) Improve brand recognition and recall
Audio branding helps establish an emotional connection between your brand and customers. According to a Spotify study, audio ads have 24% higher recall than display ads and are twice as likely to lift purchase intent. With fewer sonic branding messages compared to visual ones, audio has a greater impact when it catches your interest or that of your target audience.
2) Enhance the impact of visual branding
Visual merchandising is crucial for influencing purchases and brand building. Adding sound to the mix can amplify the message of your displays. Whether through ambient music, voiceovers, or sound effects, well-designed sound creates a more immersive and emotionally engaging experience for customers. It also ensures a unified brand representation across different channels.
3) Influence purchase decisions in-store
Sound is an under-utilized medium in retail stores. Rather than broadcasting generic radio ads, you can strategically deploy your brand sound alongside point-of-purchase displays. By using targeted sound in different areas of your store, you can create a unified shopping experience that aligns with your brand messaging.
4) Extend your reach
Musical branding can transcend language and culture, making it recognized all over the world. Once your brand message connects with customers, it has the potential to travel wherever they do. This ability to create a meme-like effect strengthens their connection with your brand, making their experiences more immersive and memorable.
How to Build Your Audio Brand
If you’re a small brand or startup, you can start with audio branding by hiring contractors or freelancers. Platforms like Upwork offer music producers and voiceover artists who can create creative content for your marketing channels. However, striking a balance between affordability and quality is crucial for optimal results.
For brands with a larger budget and a desire for a strategic partnership, working with a sonic branding agency is recommended. These agencies combine your brand expertise with their creativity and audio mastery to produce a memorable sonic identity. They also possess the strategic marketing knowledge to tailor your audio branding to your customers’ persona.
How to Use Sonic Branding in Your Retail Store
Beyond the conventional approach of broadcasting audio throughout the entire store, a more targeted approach can help build your sonic identity effectively. By utilizing directional speakers, you can limit sound playback to specific areas, allowing for more creative and engaging branding experiences.
For example, you can provide additional information about your products when customers interact with them, make the entrance or exit of your store more memorable, enhance your visual displays with branded audio elements, and guide customers around the store using familiar voices from your ads.
The result is multiple opportunities for sonic branding while maintaining a peaceful shopping environment without sound pollution.
In conclusion, sonic branding is a powerful tool that can enhance brand recognition, impact visual branding efforts, influence purchase decisions, and extend your brand’s reach. By investing in audio branding and creative implementation in your retail store, you can create a memorable and immersive brand experience for your customers. So, don’t overlook the power of sound—it’s time to make your brand unforgettable.