Most businesses like to invest heavily in the visual branding elements such as logo, design and color. That’s why there is a lot of noise about visual branding, and audio branding does not get much attention. It’s particularly true in the case of small and medium size businesses who, in fact, generally lack the will to execute a branding strategy.
Visual branding is not a bad thing, I’m sure it’s working for a lot of businesses. However, to neglect audio branding is missing a good opportunity.
Audio can be a great medium to connect with your brand’s customers. Therefore, it should be considered an important branding element in the branding mix.
Think about your favorite phone, how the ringtone has created associations in your mind. Sometimes, when a phone rings, I try to reach for my phone till I realize it is someone else’s. I’m sure you’ve also experienced this.
Do you recall the Nokia keyboard sound?
How about listening to songs from your younger days, don’t they take you back to the old times and create a sense of belonging or longing.The songs just remind of the the places you used to live ,and sometimes the memory can be really strong & vivid.
Before you know it, you are hit by a wave of strong nostalgia triggered by an audio that you deeply associate with in your mind or memories.
The point of sharing these examples is that Audio has an incredible impact on us. If you are not convinced, then you probably need to spend some time with a musician. There is a different level of aestheticism about all things audio. After all, sound or voice is the first form of real communication among humans before they learnt writing the sounds.
Why audio branding
Branding based on taste or touch is good for some categories of products and it can be a strong branding element. However, there is a problem here. A customer has to take an action i.e she has to get in contact with the brand. In other words, the customer has to experience when already present in the environment i.e the restaurant etc.
For example, I can be influenced by taste or touch only if I ,as a customer, take the initiative to touch or taste the product. But this is not the case with audio branding. You don’t have to do anything as long as your ears are not blocked :). Audio will get to you, you can’t help it.
Like a traditional branding, audio branding has the same purpose but the tools & techniques might differ depending on the industry. You should be ready for the usual questions that are asked in a meeting about visual branding.
Audio branding needs to include your brand promise, your brand values and aspirations? Who is your target audience? How are you different from the competitors? These questions can guide the process of audio branding.
If managed well, audio branding can play a significant role in helping your customers recall or recognize the brand. When you hear a whats-app or Skype sound, you instantly recognize the.
The piece of music or song used as part of audio branding needs to be relevant and pleasant to the ears. One of the best example is Airtel audio(the music). Believe it or not, the sounds that are associated with your phone, apps or computer operating system are not randomly selected. Instead, they are carefully planned and thought out. The composition is deliberate, relevant and meaningful.
There is a complete psychology behind the sounds of famous brands. Therefore, they are supposed to affect you in ways that you might not realize.
Here, I’m sharing a few videos and I hope it would give you a better idea about audio branding and its impact. You can watch the first one to know exactly what big companies are doing with sounds.
You can enjoy all of the ringtones used by Airtel here in this vid :
I’m sure you’re using a good smartphone and here are some for Android phones
Minksy, L., Fahey, C. (2017). Audio Branding: using sound to build Brand.Kogan Page Limited. New York, USA