7 February 2020

Super sound: the key to standing out

Guides & explainers
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a superbrand of epic stature or a local business trusted by a small community – success comes down to separating yourself from the competition.

In today’s marketing saturated world, achieving this differentiation is harder than ever before.

With the world’s products and services available at the touch of a button, niche markets becoming less niche, and consumers freed from geographical borders for purchase, the business landscape becomes all the more crowded – no matter what the sector. Defining the right brand image works to set a business apart from their ever-growing list of rivals, whether this is showcased in a campaign on the world advertising stage, or deployed in smaller-scale marketing that delivers the most professional edge. Yet in both these approaches, sound is key in achieving the ultimate goal of standing out.

When we look to the world advertising stage, there’s perhaps no greater show on earth than the Super Bowl. Every February, the biggest brand names clamour to get their hands on a 30-second slot in among the action on the pitch – and this year, new records were set as Fox recorded more than $400 million dollars in advertising revenue.

The biggest spenders within this were Anheuser InBev, PepsiCo, P&G and Hyundai, who invested in ad space for multiple brands within their groups – and saw a strong return. Mountain DewTide and Hyundai’s slots were all lauded among the best of this year’s crop, perhaps for their recruitment of Bryan Cranston, Charlie Day and John Krasinksi respectively. But it wasn’t just famous faces that made some ads stand out in this most competitive of fields (although this was a major trend.)

13.6% of the ads featured incorporated elements of audio – and these particular brands really stood out. Snickers and Turbo Tax, createx exclusive, undeniably memorable songs for their ads – making themselves noticed through the sheer catchiness of their earworm. Several others – including Coca Cola – made the distinct sound of the product a real feature. And in a remarkable move, Hummer made an audio branding asset out of silence to promote their new electric vehicles.

Thankfully, not all businesses have to fight for attention on such a high profile, highly scrutinised scale as the Super Bowl – but that isn’t to say that the local, regional or national market isn’t just as competitive. Gaining the edge among business rivals is often about showcasing the ultimate in professionalism, and this is where audio branding can really make a difference – particularly in a key channel for business communication: the telephone.

As soon as a call is answered, a professionally voiced Auto Attendant production guarantees the best first impression – greeting callers, and offering them a succinct series of options to efficiently connect their call. Then when they’re waiting to be transferred or connected, an On-Hold Marketing production keeps them engaged and informed by strengthening communication – really setting a business apart from any company that has poor quality music, beeps or silence on-hold.

Looking beyond the surface of the professional sheen, audio like this works to reinforce and strengthen the inherent identity of a company – in three distinct ways. Creative copy gets the message across in their exact tone, and this is delivered through the chords of a professional voice artist with a style that reflects the human qualities of the company. Mixed with this is an exclusive track composed to capture exactly what makes the business unique – and communicate these values in the most emotive way.

Together, these three elements create a sound identity that’s clear to hear – and to comprehend. More than any other, sound is our fastest sense. It takes our brains one quarter of a second to process visual recognition, but only 0.05 seconds for sound – so once an exclusive track becomes synonymous with a business, it can inspire recollection almost instantaneously. And this speed of sound is another essential part of what can make a business stand out in the mind of the consumer.

For super brands and small-scale businesses alike, sound is key to standing head and shoulders above the competition – so be sure to make your name heard.


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