Audio Branding: How to Market with Sound

Audio Branding: How to Market with Sound


Recently, we started talking to a client about the importance of sound in creating any video production and it brought up the topic of how often it gets neglected. One interesting aspect of the audio element is “Sound Branding”. It is a concept that we are surrounded by in our daily lives, and is often utilized in the media production and business world, yet somehow often gets forgotten as part of a marketing strategy.  While audio track and theme songs in video productions are vitally important, why stop there? Let’s discuss how audio is key to your branding and overall marketing strategy by delving into the concept of sound branding!

What is Audio Branding?

Audio branding, sound branding, sonic branding, or acoustic branding are all terms used to describe utilizing sound to reinforce a brand identity. In similar way a TV show has a recognizable theme song; sound branding creates that recognizable tune for your company or video. For example, whenever you start up or close down a Microsoft computer you hear a familiar tune. Sound branding can surpass language barriers, making your product or company recognizable anywhere in the world regardless of locality or language. For this reason, audio branding is more established in multilingual Europe than Australia.

Audio branding is an extremely powerful tool. Sound and music influences our emotions on a subconscious level. Sounds can trigger memories and emotions and emotion is what makes your target audience remember your brand. You can exploit it to your advantage not only in your next video production, but throughout your business marketing strategy.

The main market for Audio Branding is technology and top and tail in videos, some examples of companies using easily identified audio branding includes:

  • McDonalds
  • Toyota
  • Windows
  • Skype
  • Intel
  • Apple

What are the main benefits of Sound Branding?

If we haven’t quite sold sound branding to you just yet, consider the multiple benefits it can have to a production or business. By sound branding a product you are adding another memorable trademark that is specific to your brand. Twitter utilities this with their trade mark tweet notification sound. Nowadays, if someone has a bird call as their message tone, you would be forgiven for thinking it was your own twitter account. This recognisable sound bite is linked to Twitter so thoroughly that even similar sounds are helping to push the sound branding effect. Plus the distinct sound helps separate Twitter from other social media competitors.

Here’s a summary of why sound branding is worth the effort:

  • Sound Branding creates a recognizable mark for your product or business
  • Sound branding separates you from your competitors
  • Sound branding created a connection and recognition between productions or videos
  • Sound Branding creates a brand community
  • Sound Branding connects with audience at an emotional level

What should you consider when utilizing sound branding?

If you’re thinking about trying your hand at Sound Branding or are at least a little bit interested there’s a few things you need to know. As audio representations of a business logo, audio branding for a business or product should be short and simple but recognizable. Once a sound logo is established you can still utilize the same notes, keys, or musical pattern but update the music style through switching around of instruments or under weaving other more modern tunes around the overarching motif. Be sensitive to your viewer’s mood and what you’re trying to influence them to feel.  A soft, light tone is more suited to a beauty product, while a loud, strong tone would suit an energy drink. Sound branding should influence the viewer’s mood and match what you are branding, but also allow you to maintain your sound brand across the years while staying current with changing music styles and trends. Avoid trends that may pass and be careful not to create something similar to a competitor.

Creating your brand:

In order to generate a sound brand, you need to know your brand, your consumer, and identify and sonically deliver whatever emotion connects them. For example, when you turn on your Samsung phone or product, there is a distinctive tone that is associated with that. This jingle makes you feel happy because you know your device is powering up and you are about to be connected with other people. This is perfect sound to use for a Samsung phone sound brand, because it is already recognizable and associated with the product doing what it should. Now that sound can be utilized for commercials to sell additional products, whose purpose may be completely unrelated, because that emotional connection has been established! So the first step is to establish a positive emotional connection for the company or product to a jingle of your choice. Identify the entry point sound points, whether it be incorporating a sound brand into a business by using a chime when a client enters the office door, or jumping straight to using it as music and sound logos in your video productions.

So there you go. Get out there and start utilizing sound branding to your advantage!

For help in incorporating sound branding into your next video production don’t hesitate to contact the experts here at VMP!  Feel free to chat with us about incorporating sound branding next time you need a new video, or if you want help updating and re-vamping an existing production.

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Mon, 10/11/2014 – 11:29am





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