Do you hear that? It’s the sound of your brand. For many, visual marketing is a familiar sight. But what about building brand recognition through sound? With the rising popularity of short video content, audiences have short attention spans – and they must be hooked quickly. The point? Don’t fear making great content, but ensure the first few seconds captivate your audience with sound that bites. Leverage sound for an auditory experience that makes your audience bite back.
The Right Strategy
The first step in finding the right sound for your brand is strategizing where to add sound. Possibilities include adding sound to a logo (like Intel) or audio to a social media post (like this Otherland Society reel). Prioritizing sound within an advertisement or a physical environment helps set the tone for your brand. From our experience, here’s help to inform your direction:
Inspire Emotion and Connection
You want your chosen audio to inspire emotion and connect with your audience. Nostalgic sounds, like an old song that’s instantly recognized, can peak the attention of your audience and bring back fond memories over a good meal or cocktails with friends. Meanwhile, a calming meditation track can fill customers with peace while checking in at a spa. Vessi, a maker of waterproof sneakers, played on a trending audio bite in this TikTok while showing off their sneakers. A perfect fit if you ask us.
The Right Audience
With any decision on how to amplify a brand, you need to consider the target audience. Who’s listening? And who do you want to listen? It’s important to make your brand memorable by relating to who’s listening. If your target audience is Gen Z, you might choose audio that is upbeat and trending (check out this UTZ ad). Sometimes a sound can be so unique and memorable, everyone listens. For example, take this video of youngster Tyriq sharing his love of corn. Remix the interview with dance music and a viral TikTok is born. By itself, the sound makes no sense, but viral video after video (like this one from Delta Airlines) proves the impact of even the shortest sound bite.
Tell Your Brand Story
Always consider your brand attributes. Is your brand professional? Energetic? Rebellious? Friendly? These keywords help determine how sound can tell your brand story. Old Navy is one brand that has created a cohesive auditory experience across a variety of platforms. This is evident in their commercials and TikToks. Their dynamic sound weaves seamlessly into the store experience. In these examples, their choice of lively, family-friendly music stimulates movement and enthusiasm. This leads their audience to believe if they consume their product, they will inherently feel the same way. Sometimes the opposite works. Take this video by Red Bull, which matches the daring actions of a skier with classical music to heighten the dramatic tension. This combination perfectly captivates the Red Bull audience of bold and adventurous individuals.
The Right Tempo
The pace of your audio greatly influences your audience’s behavior. Research shows the extent to which music tempo affects consumer behavior including time spent, overall mood and purchasing power. Choosing music with a slower tempo makes sense in a retail store because it encourages customers to stay longer and spend more money. A fast-food restaurant has a rapid flow of customers and a quick-paced environment, so sound with an upbeat tempo is best to keep everyone moving.
After considering the right strategy, audience and tempo, it’s time to discover the right sound. Just like visual inspiration, sonic inspiration can be found almost anywhere. In popular tv shows and movies, pulled from interviews and iconic pop culture moments, or even from daily life. Our best advice? Perk up your ears and start listening.