The majority of brands tends to focus almost exclusively on defining a visual identity: logo, typefaces, colours, etc. This is an extremely widespread trend, which rests its foundation on the strong perceptual and receptive capacity of the human senses towards images and, therefore, on the value that sight has in brand construction and recognition. In reality, there is another human sense that is fundamental in determining the notoriety and recognisability of a brand; a sense rarely explored or not sufficiently considered: hearing.
It is precisely on this sense that “Sonic Identity” was born and developed, that is, the transposition of a brand’s “Visual Identity” under the aspect of sound. A true specialty of marketing, which began to spread and has been gaining ground in particular since 2018. What undoubtedly boosted it was the observation that, in the sphere of artificial intelligence, the influence of sound (and sounds) in the human-machine dialogue is escalating. But there are also other more consolidated analyses that lead us to consider the importance of sound: suffice it to say that, already in 1900, Wallace’s studies attested that sound is a powerful trigger of memory because it intensifies the brain’s ability to remember information. For example, let’s think of how certain objects can be recognised even only by their sound: the telephone is an emblematic case.
Now, if we reflect on our everyday lives, we cannot help but see how every moment of the day and our every action is accompanied by a mixture of noises, vibrations and music that makes us react with extraordinary speed (0.146 seconds) and, therefore, influences us. A true crowding of sound stimuli, amongst which our eardrums can recognise many, attributing specific meanings to them.
The choice of a sound says much about a company
“Sonic Branding” originated from a reflection on this context: can a brand gain notoriety and be easily recognised in terms of sound? The answer is yes. Let’s think about when we turn on our Mac: the result is a sound that now makes it immediately recognisable, just as unmistakable is the sound we usually hear at the end of a BMW commercial, or even the “I’m loving it” jingle that closes McDonald’s commercials. And while we’re at it, let’s ask ourselves: without that sound, would the emotions we experience at the appearance of the brand be the same? Of course not. Sound has become an integral part of these brands.
The choice of sound tells, therefore, the characteristics of a company. The selection of instruments, research, sensations stimulated by a sound composition can contribute to the effectiveness in promoting a product line.
The choice of a company’s “soundtrack” distinguishes the spaces, fills the time spent on hold on the telephone, the displays at fairs or waiting for a presentation pitch at a public event. These are the days of streaming; we listen to music mainly through Spotify. Spotify ADS gives us the possibility to create ADV campaigns, compile thematic playlists and choose editorial lines to propose and share through cross-media promotion.
So what are the advantages of “Sonic branding”?
First of all, it increases the attention threshold: the sonorization of a video, for example, can help keep attention alive. The sounds chosen to accompany specific actions in an App or in a website are useful for creating Alerts or emphasise results achieved.
Secondly, it can trigger emotions: music helps keep memories alive and allows us to relive emotions.
Finally, it can help the audience remember the brand more easily. We’ve already mentioned the McDonald’s jingle; but we could go on with the Netflix double “tick” or the sound that accompanies VISA transactions.
The analysis and coordinated choice of a sound allows the company to tell its story in many spheres, taking advantage of all the tools available.
Commercial – Audio / Video: making a commercial requires careful attention in choosing music and voice-overs.
Podcasts/Pitches: The world of Podcasts is constantly evolving. Through storytelling with podcasts, a company can communicate with customers, collaborators and employees.
Ads / Playlists: Spotify has recently opened up the possibility of creating targeted campaigns based on audience ratings.
But you can also communicate from the answering machine alone…
Welcome & FreecomHub
We at Welcome have also decided to propose this new marketing approach to our companies, clients and prospects. To do this, we have chosen a partnership with FreecomHub, the most important platform for creating, producing and promoting musical content, which originates from the aggregation of labels and thematic series without distinction of gender, age, origin and nationality. A music hub which, through Welcome, is at your complete disposal.