24. Apr 2018

5 theses for a strong corporate sound

Corporate sound – often also called audio, sound or sonic branding – has been a buzzword in the marketing industry for over ten years. Everyone knows the prominent sound logos of brands like Telekom, Audi or McDonald’s. We grew up with the catchy jingles of Haribo, Schwäbisch Hall and Co.

So it is not surprising that many brand managers fancy their own sound, as it promises increased brand recognition, arouses sympathy among target groups and increases media efficiency.

But not all brands achieve the status of a Telekom. Why is that?
Here are five theories that brand managers should consider when approaching the topic:

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

1. Audio branding only has a long-term effect.

The best known sound logos are those that are used the longest. Audi and Telekom have been using their sound logos for over 20 years. A sound that is discarded again after two years was a bad investment because it had no chance to assert itself on the market.

2. Audio branding requires consequence and consistency
The decision in favor of a sound logo is not a decision you can make, but a decision you must make. For a brand to be associated with a sound, it must be used consistently and consistently across all channels and auditory applications. Today like this, tomorrow like that creates uncertainty.

3. Audio branding is a matter for the boss
To believe that a sound logo can be implemented without the involvement of the managing director is naive. The visual and acoustic logo form a unit and are the company’s high-profile sender markings. They communicate the positioning and the vision of the brand. Thus they are strategic means of communication and not “beautification”. The involvement of relevant stakeholders in the company is essential to ensure the acceptance of the results.

4. Audio branding is more than just a sound logo
What has long been taken for granted in the visual world is still scarce in the acoustic. A corporate design consists of a logo, a colour climate, typefaces, design principles, etc. And everything plays together. Too often, audio branding thinks only of a sound logo. Brands sound more and longer than just 2 – 3 seconds at the end of a spot. In addition to a sound logo, a brand is acoustically supported by defined brand music, structured sound elements, a soundscape and a brand voice. In this way, sound applications can be developed for the telephone queue or for events to suit the brand. Even a software user interface can bring the brand world into play with interaction/functional sounds, such as the confirmation tone.

5. Audio branding is not a project.
“We’ll do audio branding next year.” That’s what you often hear in companies. A project is then set up for two or three months and the results are then made available to employees and agencies on a server. Unfortunately, a corporate sound does not implement itself. One has to be persistent in providing continuous support for the shooters, in monitoring and afterwards in ensuring that the sound is correctly customized and implemented across all media in line with the concept. Audio branding is therefore a continuous process that never actually ends.

If you consider the above mentioned points, you have the chance to build up a big asset for your brand. Audio branding is not a good way to earn quick credit.  A corporate sound needs time to be learned. But then it unfolds its full power and strengthens sympathy and trust in the brand.

Alexander Wodrich