From streaming services to car manufacturers... insurance providers to fast food restaurants… consumers have a wealth of options available throughout all aspects of their lives – so it takes something special to motivate them to choose one brand over another.
It’s often thought that the written word is the most effective platform for inspiring the imagination, as it encourages people to conjure their own pictures in the mind based on the description before them. But audio is equally as powerful in evoking memories, emotions and ideas, and when brands use it to their advantage, it can prove to be incredibly effective.
Make it exclusive
When you ask someone to visualise the sound of a wave, it’s bound to bring images of the sea crashing into their thoughts. But this will never look the same from person to person. Some may be transported back to the crystal-clear Mediterranean waters they gazed at on holiday, while others will think of the very waves they can see from their windows at home. Unlike being presented with an image, hearing a sound invites us to bring our personal ideas and memories to the fore – instantly giving us more freedom to make the concept our own. And this approach can also be applied by brands to encourage customers to form greater attachments. By introducing audio to your marketing strategy, you’ll give people the chance to connect with your brand on a deeper level – and ensure they invest in your story for the long term.
The emotive power of music
The idea that a wave’s sound conjures different images for different people is powerful – but this phenomenon takes on even greater meaning when it’s no longer limited to a specific sound. A piece of music – and all the different elements within it – delivers many opportunities for people to establish their own connection, and that’s all because of the intrinsic link between music and memory. Neurologist Oliver Sacks has devoted a lifetime of research into this area, and argues that “once music is a part of us, it seldom takes its leave”. Music can not only take us back to a certain time or place, but remind us of exactly how we felt at that time too – which is a concept many brands have used to their advantage. John Lewis is one of the companies that does the best; by regularly choosing popular, emotive songs in their ads, they not only encourage listeners to connect with the song, but also with their own brand every time it’s heard in the future.
While choosing an already established track is great when the memory and emotions attached are positive, it doesn’t always work this way – and some people relate negative feelings to certain songs. Brands have no control over consumer memories, so every time you select an existing track, you run the risk of any pre-conceived ideas being passed on to your own business. But this is a pitfall that can easily be avoided by using an exclusive track. No opinions will have been formed, and instead, customers will build positive associations that are tied directly to their experience of your business – experiences they’ll recall whenever they hear the song.
A sound branding strategy
It’s clear to see that audio, and music in particular, has a great impact on a listener – making it something every brand should be capitalising on. By incorporating audio into your branding strategy, you’ll inspire the imagination and creativity of your consumers – encouraging stronger connections and greater brand loyalty. Music is at its most powerful when it’s heard at the right time – such as when a customer calls into the business. They’re already part of the buying cycle, and have a proven interest in the company, meaning they’re primed and ready to act upon what they hear. And when they hear an original audio production that combines creative copy, world-class voice artistry and a custom composition, they’ll have found the spark they were looking for all along.