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Using audio to build brands and move mountains

Here’s a great piece on how to use audio to build brand identity.

Audio – that element that the radio industry should be the world experts in.

While author Martin Pazzani writes especially about the music selected for the very successful campaigns for his brands, an audio “signature” is not limited to music:

As a former CMO, I have seen brand recognition and awareness, ad recall, Web visits and consumer information calls all increase by double digits by using the same carefully selected brand-based music in all TV and radio ads for a year. This level of consistency was not boring or creatively limiting, but rather, it followed the basic principals of branding that have long been used in the visual world: consistency and differentiation. Rather than changing the music frequently or using music that sounded like everyone else’s, we made the decision to create a cohesive and unique musical identity. The upside in all these metrics and the impact on the overall consumer brand experience–and the long-term budget savings by not constantly changing music scores–was significant and measurable.

And he asks these questions:

1. Do consumers know what your brand sounds like as well as they know what your logo looks like? If your brand did have a “voice” and a soundtrack, what would it be? 2. Have you ever done an audit of your audio assets? How much do we spend on music and sound, and how many different audio messages are we sending out? 3. Are musical decisions being made subjectively based on personal preferences of varying people for each execution, or are they made strategically and consistently for the benefit of the brand? And exactly who is making these decisions anyway? 4. Are there strategic guidelines in your creative briefs that give music and sound direction to all who manage your brand? Even better, do you have a carefully created and selected library of “brand music” that they can use to guide their choices? 5. Why do we insist on graphic consistency–logo shape and color–across every medium, yet change the music and sound of every communications touchpoint without a second thought?

What he’s talking about is the power of sound to communicate and compel.

And no one should be the master of that sound better than radio.

How much of your pitch to clients is based on capturing a compelling and consistent audio signature for their brands?

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