So… What is a Sonic Brand?
Sonic brands (a/k/a audio brands) are sound identities that get inside the mind and stimulate emotion and recognition. They are comprised of a trio of elements: 1) voice, 2) music, and 3) ambient sounds. In fact, these three things make up the entire human auditory experience.
The audio logo is the heart of the sonic brand and is a signature piece of sound that normally gets played at the end of a commercial. The logo is usually comprised of three to five notes, is typically five seconds or fewer in duration and is easy for the average consumer to remember (e.g. - NBC, Intel, Nokia). A hybrid of sound design, original music and creative orchestration, a well-developed sonic brand harnesses the incredible power that music and sound have to evoke an emotional response and to help us recall what we have seen or read. What this means for advertisers is that it increases cross-platform brand recognition and differentiation.
We humans hear infinitely more than we see, and we remember what we hear better than we remember what we see. Moreover, we better remember what we see when we see it in conjunction with sounds that we hear. Sound has the ability to engage us in ways that visuals alone cannot. That’s the essence of sonic branding—to engage consumers in a way that cannot be accomplished by images alone.
Creating an Outstanding Sonic Brand
To create an outstanding sonic brand—one that will actually do its job to get people’s attention, create brand recognition and differentiation, and engage—ChromeOrange™ Music●Media begins with an outstanding team of music, audio, marketing and media pros. We're a creative collaborative that focuses on the development, creation and evaluation of unique audio assets that are designed to complement the corporate vision and marketing strategy for a brand or company—to enhance brand identity, increase brand awareness and differentiation, and engage consumers.
In other words, we don’t just sit in a room with one another, pick a few notes to string together and call it a “sonic brand.” We get inside the emotion of the brand—the experience that the company intends for it to deliver to the target consumer—and then we use innovation and imagination to create the melodic and harmonic elements that will ignite such emotion. In doing so, we create more than just a sonic brand and an audio asset—we create emotional touch points (ETP’s) within your target market.
Scalabililty and Application
Another important aspect of sonic brands is that they’re inherently scalable. Therefore, they can be manipulated and adapted to intensify consumer/brand interactions, from a website mouse-over to a website animation to broadcast messages, mobile devices and mobile apps, social media, and beyond. The possibilities for application are truly endless. The idea is for the sonic brand to become an indispensable part of the corporate vision and identity and brand strategy… “Audio DNA” for your brand.
And, our modern, Internet-driven world is border agnostic. Whether you’re in the United States, Great Britain, South America, Africa or Australia (or anywhere else in this world), if you’re a consumer with access to modern communications, you are certain to share commonly-recognizable sonic brands with your international counterparts. Sound and music speak a universal language that can instantaneously carry your brand around the globe.
Common customer touchpoints that can be transformed into ETP’s via implementation of sound and sonic branding include:
• Telephone, on-hold/IVR and voice messaging
• In-Store (announcements, displays and music/stereo systems)
• In product
• Production area (music for staff and ambient noise)
• On the Web (podcasts, YouTube, company website and blog)
• Training and sales DVD
• Events (conferences, seminars and product launches)
Increase Your Bottom Line
Cognitive studies have shown that relevant sounds and musical cues can truly influence people in ways marketers want (HBR Blog Network, Feb. 7, 2014). Moreover, researchers Dr. Adrian North and Dr. Hargreaves at Leicester University have concluded that, "Brands with music that fit their brand identity are 96% more likely to be recalled than those with non-fit music or no music at all,” and that, “Respondents are 24% more likely to buy a product with music that they recall, like, and understand compared with 8% where the opposite applies" (Brand Channel, 2005). Those are staggering statistics!
Before results of that kind can be achieved, though, much strategic and creative thinking must first take place. The ChromeOrange Music●Media team knows that, over time, our work will ultimately be judged by how well the sonic brand and ETP’s —the Audio DNA that we create for your brand—achieve that bottom line and simultaneously save costs by providing a clear and consistent sonic identity that can be easily revised, re-purposed, adapted and expanded ad infinitum. Our years of experience in the fields of music, audio, marketing and media enable us to draw on best practices that produce these measurable returns.
The ChromeOrange Music●Media sonic branding team does more than just create a sonic identity that coordinates with your customer touchpoints. Across all media, we help you use sound to create ETP's—emotional touchpoints.
Step 1: Preparation
Just as the roots of a tree ensure that the branches have a secure foundation, we must ensure that the audio brand, which begins with a memorable audio logo, fits the company/brand--that it is aligned with the vision for the company/brand and has the potential to connect with customers and potential customers on an emotional level.
Step 2: Cultivation
Once the tones have been identified, we think creatively about the tone color and timbre of the instrument(s) that should emit those tones as "the" sonic identifier for the company/brand and then design an audio logo that will achieve brand awareness and recognition.
Step 3: Pollination
Implement the audio logo--"plant" it in the consumer's mind by integrating it into every touchpoint so as to create company/brand memorability and demand.
Step 4: Harvest
Yield and evaluate/analyze the results achieved across all touchpoints.
To begin the process of developing your unique sonic identity, you will need to spend some time thinking about your brand and answering some important questions:
How consistent is your advertising sound? All too often, sound can be a last-minute decision in the creation of a broadcast or Internet ad, often based on a brand manager or creative director’s preference for a particular piece of music, so that advertising sound often changes dramatically from ad to ad. Research shows that advertising sound is very powerful, and we know that brands are enhanced by consistency. As such, while variations on the theme are acceptable, sound should be consistent from ad to ad. Working within best practices for audio brands and in tandem with your brand manager or ad agency, we help you get the right balance between brand or campaign consistency and creativity.
Giving away high-value content is a great way to build loyal customer relationships, as the vast consumer magazine industry has shown. Audio is the perfect, modern way to do this: it’s personal, human, intimate and impactful (which is why radio is still relevant in our digital world). Moreover, it’s way more cost effective than is print or screen-based media (video and websites). If you’re not podcasting to your customers, you’re missing out on something that could yield big returns.
Product sound is a continuum: some products or services have virtually none (a can of beans) while others are nothing but sound (music). Product sound can be an asset (Ferrari) or a liability (Boeing). Business can be conscious of it or – as is so often the case – largely unconscious. We help you become fully conscious and take control of all aspects of your brand sound so you can maximize your sonic assets and minimize your liabilities.
This is probably the cause of more lost business than any other form of sound. We can help you optimize your call handling systems, call centers, sound on hold and telephone staff training so as to transform your customers’ experience from frustrating to fabulous.
Only after all of this has been thoroughly fleshed out does the ChromeOrange™ Music●Media team begin their strategic and creative thinking.