An effective brand identity in the usual sense means a good brand name and logo, fashionable packaging design - parameters that are mainly related to visual perception. However, this common understanding of branding is incomplete.
Human beings have five senses, so why don't branding strategists pay attention to the other four? Over the past few years, branding experts and marketers have explored other senses besides sight. Although the senses of taste and touch are difficult to tie into a brand, some brands such as Singapore Airlines and Rolls Royce have already used fragrances to build brand identity in what has been termed olfactory branding. Sound branding is considered a new direction today.
There are several types of sounds, this is the sound of the voice, and the sound of the environment, and music. The peculiarity of sound is, first of all, that while the visual, taste or sensory features of a product or brand require people to directly interact with it in order to be perceived, sound reaches consumers without the need for action on their part. We all perceive sounds, whether we like it or not, and we do not have to take active steps to hear them.
Also, sounds can have an unusually strong effect on a person. Sounds help us calm down or energize, and can create uplifting or sad moods. Psychological research shows that people associate sounds with specific memories. Thus, sound has a unique ability to evoke certain experiences, which is an important advantage when it comes to building a strong brand in the minds of consumers.
Many companies are beginning to understand the effectiveness of sound branding. Here are just a few examples of the successful use of sound: jingle Intel, phrase McDonald's "I'm loving it", yodel Yahoo, Macintosh computer sounds from Apple, Nokia ringtone. These iconic brands have strong and unique identities in their own right, but their strong position in the minds of customers is even stronger when paired with a vibrant and memorable sound. All these brands have created their own unique sound identity as an integral part of their brand. Nowadays, they are recognizable not only through a logo or slogan, but also due to several musical notes.
Audio branding helps a brand build a unique audio identity. Over time, this identity can become a valuable trademark. Branding in this sense not only helps to engage memories and associations, but is also perceived as an indicator of quality and reliability.
There are five most important characteristics of a brand's sound identity:
- duration and clarity
- link to the product
- familiarity and availability
The first four characteristics can be managed during the creation process, while the fifth can be achieved through an effective marketing strategy. However, a sound that is familiar to customers is no guarantee of instant brand success. Marketers need to make sure that customers associate this familiar sound with the appropriate brand. A simple and effective way to ensure this correlation is to include the brand name in the sound itself.
Although sound branding may seem like a complex and abstract thing, properly thought out and implemented in accordance with brand strategy, it can help build your brand with extraordinary success.