• Transform magazine
  • June 20, 2018

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Insights: Sound, a brand experience superglue

Roscoe Williams.png

At the Transform Awards MENA 2018, the best in rebranding and brand development was celebrated. Massive music is one of this year's sponsors

There is something exciting going on in the world of sonic branding. A second wave, a renaissance of sorts. Brands around the world are slowly waking up to the notion that a considered approach to music and sound is now a must, rather than a nice-to-have. Why? Because sound is a much overlooked superglue that binds together brand experience.

In this fractured and crowded media landscape, brands are increasingly remembered by customers as a selection of memories, stories and experiences. It's the ecosystem around your brand, the sum of its parts, that stays with customers and helps drive purchase intent.
How can music and sound help with this?

If you’re interacting with a product, engaging with a customer service representative, viewing branded content, attending an event or browsing a retail environment, you will most likely be privy to various brand consistencies. Visual identity, font, tone of voice, photography, iconography are but a few. These will have been carefully deployed to ensure your overall brand experience remains cohesive.

Not so with music and sound. In fact, in most cases the opposite is true.

Although the above are examples where music and sound could be united, more often than not we see music of wildly inconsistent styles and quality, alongside a total lack of ownable assets. Much of this music does nothing to support the narrative, experience or type of content it is placed with.

Combine this with the current trend of brands insourcing an ever-expanding roster of specialist agency partners, all with their own subjective music opinions, and the danger of an almost schizophrenic brand sound is more rife now than ever.  This is why we see more and more clients approach us looking for an umbrella, top-down approach to music and sound.

A modern sonic branding process looks at the brand experience as a holistic whole through the lenses of music and sound. Opportunities and inconsistencies are identified and an overarching big idea informs the creative production of assets and music guidelines. Finally, a skilled partner implements the rollout, ensuring the creation of a consistent sonic thread that flexes, adapts and binds the disparate parts of the brand experience together.

There is a lot more to sonic branding than a sonic logo and corporate brand theme. With the advent of technological advances like voice and screen-free user interfaces, 5G and the Internet of Things, there will be an even greater need for brands to provide their customers with a fully holistic sound experience.

It is, therefore, those investing in sonic branding’s superglue-like powers that will ultimately profit from their customers experiencing a more deeply connected brand.

Roscoe Williamson is head of branding at MassiveMusic