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Camy Cheng

Published on

May 3, 2021


Audio Marketing, Sonic Branding

What does the iconic Netflix ‘Ta-Dum’ and McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ jingle have in common? Well, they were both born out of successful sonic branding strategies.

According to research, the Asia Pacific music streaming market is expected to grow at 8.9% CAGR from 2020 to 2027, reaching close to US$ 14 million by 2027. Spotify has also revealed in an interview with The Drum that based on a research they conducted last year, 58% of respondents across Southeast Asia acknowledged that audio surrounds their daily lives, rather than something they just tune into.

This changing relationship between audio and audience, presents tremendous opportunities for brands who seek to engage with consumers in a screenless environment.

We’ve earlier explored the impact of social going sonic with rising mobile apps such as Clubhouse. Let’s take a deeper dive into how audio can play an instrumental role in your brand strategy.

Setting the tone for your brand

Studies have shown that audio can influence one’s emotions and trigger memories. Audio tones can also transmit messages that transcends geographical, culture, and language barriers. As such, the same melody can be interpreted as being sad or happy by listeners of different backgrounds. Some brands have already been using this knowledge to their advantage, tailoring content in audio form via sonic branding.

Sonic branding refers to songs or sounds associated with a brand, service, or product. This association isn’t created by fans or customers, but it’s strategically and intentionally composed by the brand to help its audience associate those sounds with the brand.

How a brand chooses the sounds to identify themselves with vary. It could be the choice of jingle with or without any lyrics, the pace of the music, or the type of musical instruments used to produce the sounds – all these will affect how people associate your brand.

When used effectively and uniformly across all marketing channels, sonic branding is a powerful strategy to enhance your brand experience.

Listen to the flowers and energy

A few brands have been in the spotlight recently for their audio branding performance.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) partnered with UK-based composer Rohan De Livera, musician Dominic Murcott and members from the SIA cabin crew and ground staff, to launch a new sonic signature titled “The Sound of Singapore Airlines”. The new sonic signature incorporates SIA’s iconic “A Great Way to Fly” jingle. Comprising of three instrumental tracks titled “Singapore Airlines Landing Music”, “Singapore Airlines Boarding Music”, and “Singapore Airlines Lounge Music”, these audio will be played at various customer touch points when they fly with SIA.

Along with audio architect Dominic Murcott, SIA designed and built a unique digital instrument that assigned musical notes based on the colour of the flowers of SIA’s new batik motif, and used that to generate 14 sets of melodic fragments used in the audio signature.

Malaysia’s leading gas infrastructure and centralised utilities company, PETRONAS, has also ventured into sonic branding in an effort to change the perception that it deals only in the oil and gas field. Launched together with a broader brand refresh that includes renewed visuals, PETRONAS conveyed its passion for progress and innovation through an upbeat melody. As a reminder of its cultural roots, PETRONAS even incorporated musical notes from a traditional Malaysian flute, the Ney.

Recording the success of music

Traditionally, most brands do not see the value in having a sonic identity because it takes time, attention, and commitment to ensure that audio branding is consistent across all channels. A lot of time is involved, and time is money.

However, as screen fatigue starts to bite in today’s multi-screen world, consumers are beginning to tune out. Coupled this with technological innovations that enable us to collaborate better and smarter, it might just be time for a sonic (branding) boom.

Unlike having the usual data from digital marketing activities to prove on return on investments, sonic branding measures success in brand recognition, recall, and association. Once there is alignment on how your brand sounds like across multiple channels, products, campaigns, the result is a unified sonic experience that is uniquely you.

Speak with our Marketing experts at [email protected] to find your Sonic Identity today!

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