“In broad daylight even, the sounds shine”
“I listen without looking and so I see”
In the beginning was sound…
If you sound, you exist!
So now, what´s the sound of your brand?
Listening is the new black, and brands around the world are increasingly investing in making themselves heard. Sound design increases like an avalanche and all brands with self-esteem are investing in – and sees sound as an obvious part of their branding.
Sound enhances visual identities and creates emotional bonds and memorable connections. Sounds are the Madeleine Cake and Lind Blossom Tea of our time ‘(from the famous scene in Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past where the aroma and taste of such a cake dipped in Lind Blossom Tea revives the protagonist’s childhood memories).
Sounds evoke memories and create strong emotions. Audio identities, music, audio installations, sound navigation and many new audio-related products and services are constantly seeing the light of day.
We are on our way from a semiotic turn, via an iconic turn into an audio turn. Everything in society points to the fact that listening, and hearing are taking up ever greater space in our lives. So far, our lives have been dominated by visual impressions and our visual senses have been, and still are, bombarded with impressions that we find difficult to defend our self from. The visual flow of information and the noise of images are intact and leads us to total exhaustion and visual numbness. We are no longer as affected by what we see, since we have already seen everything, and our vision is blurred to the extent that we now seek the opportunity to just close our eyes and turn our sight off. And if doing so, we will discover how other senses suddenly will appear and take up more space in our consciousness and we will begin to experience the world and our environment in a more differentiated way. Taste, smell, hearing, feeling is brought to life and we can discover whole new worlds around us and within ourselves. All of a sudden, we will start producing inner images as a result of having turned off the external flow and these inner images can then easily be enhanced and reinforced by, for instance, supporting sounds.
So, as the sense of sight is blurred and crammed with impressions, our hearing sense is yet another untapped opportunity for many products and services. Music services are constantly evolving, the use of audio books and Pod Casts is increasing, and more and more are developing audio navigation and voice-controlled products and services. The development potential within audio is enormous. Significant with sound is that it also lets us multitask and do other things while listening – we can work, drive our car, clean the house, do laundry, etc while listening. Audio solutions are in that sense very efficient and time effective.
The fast-growing audio consumption clearly shows how brands can use sound to achieve their communicative goals. Even small – seemingly insignificant – sounds that arise during interaction sends clear signals of how a brand wants to be experienced.
The effect of integrating audio identity into products to enhance the user experience is very strong. When we experience it every day, it is so natural that we just take it for granted. But think about it, what would all of our digital devices be without its tinkling notifications or sweeping interaction sounds?
Some examples of successful identities that combine audio and visual design are for instance Netflix, T-Mobile and Mastercard. They all shown the value of syncing audio identities to each brand’s visual language and user experience. With them you can experience the value of creating an audio identity that effectively works together with the brand’s visual language, providing a distinct and memorable brand experience. If Mastercard continues to effectively anchor its sound identity, they will have one of the strongest sound logos in the near future.
Skype has also succeeded extremely well. They have created a distinct expression that is as bubbly as their visual expression and then applied it to every essential feature of their product. Their sound is a given part of their brand and helps them stand out from their competitors who have similar products.
The interest in audio solutions is increasing at a furious pace and more and more brands are taking control of their sound identity. However, it is important to work with it as an integrated whole, together with the visual identity and not just as something that is applied to something already set and existing.
Facts and arguments why your brand should invest in audio 2020:
- Nine out of ten purchase decisions are based on emotion. Sound IS emotion – with the right sound and music you can achieve effect.
- The audio strategy also affects your TV investments, 61 percent of the viewers turn away from the screen, so advertisers today need an audio logo that can still give a voice to the brand.
- Radio has the highest ROI of traditional media, generating an average of 2.3 x the return on investment to the advertiser.
- Edison Research’s study shows that podcast listeners are more receptive to hearing advertising messages during their favourite podcast, 45 percent are willing to visit the advertiser’s website, 42 percent are considering a new product or service, and 37 percent are gathering more information about the product.
- Radio has a strong positive synergy effect on digital media and searches are on average 20-30 percent more effective in combination with radio.
- Man perceives thousands of differences in pitch, but only a hundred different colours. 87 percent of all brands have visual guidelines while just under 17 percent have audio guidelines. Listen to how you can make the difference between 83 percent being unhappy or 87 percent happy with the change of small sound details.
- Voice shopping is expected to reach $ 40 billion by 2022 and a survey shows that consumers are less likely to say a brand search compared to writing one. This means that fire searches will decrease as voice searches increase.
- 70 percent say that they use a more natural language when searching with their voice compared to a search in text, for brands it will therefore not suffice to “just” be Top of Mind, but one also needs to be Tip of Tongue.
- Mindshare NeuroLab’s survey shows that 21 percent of recipients showed a higher emotional response when they only listened to the message and were three times more positive about the brand than those who both saw and heard the advertising.
- 31 percent of smartphone users in the world activate voice search every week. By 2020, half of all searches in the US are expected to be voice search and soon it will be difficult for Swedish advertisers not to have a voice strategy.
Source of facts and information: Sound Stockholm / Resume´