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6 Brand Benefits of Sonic Branding

Sonic Branding

It’s no longer effective to just depend on a logo or a graphic identity to solidly brand a product or service. Sound travels much faster than imagery to the brain, and is processed in the same structure where decisions are made. In fact, hearing a sound helps predict what we are going to see as a visual!

“According to a report by Medical Daily, a new study from the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow has found that the visual cortex – a part of the brain that processes information from the eyes – processes auditory information as well.  In fact, this brain region utilizes sound to predict the images the eyes are about to see.

Sounds create visual imagery, mental images, and automatic projections,” lead researcher Lars Muckli, of the Institute, said in a press release. “So, for example, if you are in the street and you hear the sound of an approaching motorbike, you expect to see a motorbike coming around the corner. If it turned out to be a horse, you’d be very surprised.”

At Stephen Arnold Music, we know that sound is an extremely powerful force in shaping our perception of the world. Here are some benefits that illustrate how important sonic branding is to a company brand.

1. Drive familiarity

The key to using music strategically is to use it often, consistently and in line with your audience’s tastes and habits. Use it to drive memorability and recognition in a crowded market-place by adopting our ‘recency, relevancy, frequency’ model.

Joe Belliotti, Head of Global Music, The Coca-Cola Company – “It’s always our ambition to continue this tradition by featuring great music in our advertising that people will remember and love decades from now.”

– Elisa Harris, Founding Partner at CORD

2. Connects Product Values to Consumers

A strong sonic signature can predispose and connect listeners to the key attributes of a brand, whether it be serious and sober, or fun and quirky. Take, for example, the Seinfeld show:

“Seinfeld. Not a great musical composition. But it had a great sound. The unique, memorable, unmistakably recognizable, annoyingly quirky sound of the Seinfeld music serves as a signature for the show. A viewer hears the familiar music from another room, and there’s a Pavlovian response, “Ooo, let’s watch Seinfeld,” and that’s an example of … sonic branding.”

– Jonathan Wolff, Composer “Seinfeld” Theme

3. Connect on an emotional level

Music is one of the most immediate and powerful means of connecting with an audience. Marketing is as much about the emotional as it is the rational. Choosing the right music for your brand will help elicit the desired emotional response from your consumers, whether that be joy, or moving people to tears. The first step to using music emotively is to develop a clear musical framework. This framework will help to define how little or much you use music to drive the emotional side of your brand’s personality.

Anuraag Trikha, Global Brand Communication Director, Heineken – “Music has almost become the beat of how Heineken communicates and touches people around the world.”

– Elisa Harris, Founding Partner at CORD

4. Touch emotions through a physical response

Not only is the physical mechanism in our ear a subtle and complex structure, it triggers core reactions in our nerves and brain that interpret emotional context and meaning almost instantly.

“The sound of the baby’s movement – even the rustling of the baby, the smallest sound – is programmed into [the mother’s] neural networks, what we call the SCP [subcortical pathway], and that the neural networks of the mother respond to these sounds a lot more than they respond to any other sounds. So the loudness of the sound is not as important as the message or the meaning that it conveys. That’s why that song (the NMC chime) is very soft; it’s very quiet, but it has a strong message for us.”

– Audiologist Dr. Sol Marghzar, AU.D., CCCA

5. Gather More Attention

With the availability of such vast amount of information, attention is your most scarce asset. Adding a complementing sound to reinforce your brand identity can help you get more attention of your target audience.

– Aashish Pahwa

6. Long-term Financial Success

Research shows that even for a low involvement product, such as bread, changing the sonic logo attached to the product can increase the consumer’s willingness to pay for that product by 17 percent. Thus, proper design of a sonic brand can have both short- and long-term implications on a company’s financial success.

 – Vijaykumar Krishnan, Asst. Professor of Marketing, Northern Illinois University

Have you developed your sonic brand for your company yet? At Stephen Arnold Music, we’re excited to help you bring your brand to life using our successful sonic branding strategies.

Feel free to contact us at 214.726.1600 or send us an email via our Contact Form »

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