What Should A Brand Sound Like?
October 16, 2019
The popularity and growth of the audio medium was marked this week at Mediatel’s London conference ‘The Future of Audio’. It was the first of what Mediatel promises will be an annual event and it sold out within days.
A full day of sessions by leading industry figures provided a fascinating insight into how media owners, agencies and brands are navigating the many facets of an increasingly diverse audio landscape, and how they see the future of the medium.
One of the sessions was presented by Trisonic Co-founder and creative Director Matt Hopper.
In ‘What Should a Brand Sound Like’ Matt looked at how audio branding has changed over the years and how, in order to fully embrace and make the most of the new audio age, brands need to apply their sonic identity across multiple touchpoints and adapt it accordingly.
‘Live’ sonic identity
With the help of one of Trisonic’s composers, Matt created a sonic identity ‘live’ in front of the audience. He demonstrated how a simple ‘earworm’ or sonic logo can change its character to suit different brands by a change of tempo, mood and instrumentation. And developed the sonic logo into a theme which formed the basis of a whole toolbox of tracks and elements for use across the audio spectrum, from radio advertising, to on-hold messaging, to ambient point of sale audio and in-app sound.
Matt devised five golden rules to define best practice in designing and applying audio branding:
1. Think long term.
Audio branding strategies should span five or ten years – this is vital to build familiarity and ‘brand fame’.
2. Be consistent.
Radiocentre and Ebquity’s 2018 ‘Re-evaluating Media’ study showed that consistent application of sonic properties across multiple media increases ROI by up to 400%. So to maximise results, just as you would your visual branding, apply your audio branding to strict guidelines and at every possible consumer touchpoint.
What sounds right on traditional radio won’t necessarily work in other environments. You’re catching consumers in different situations and moods and you’ll need audio to match.
McDonalds have used the ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ sonic for over 15 years, but they’ve rearranged it several times to keep it fresh. You need to do the same.
5. Be unique.
Radiocentre research proves that unique sonic properties are directly related to the ‘fame’ of the brand.
If all that sounds complicated, it need not be. Matt showed how with careful planning at inception, the brand theme can be remixed and edited to create everything a brand needs to adapt to various platforms and start the evolutionary process.
Once convinced that your brand needs an audio identity, where do you begin? What should a brand sound like? At Trisonic, we start with a close look at the brand, its culture, its history, its perception, its target audience and its aspirations. We research the audience and competitor brands – hear what they’re doing. We may test branding options against each other, and against competitors in THE TRISONIC LABTM. We look at where the track is going to be used and how, and start to build that toolbox of music that the brand can use in different ways.
To start a conversation about creating an audio identity for a brand, get in touch with Matt today.