A Logo You Can Listen To

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A Logo You Can Listen To
A Logo You Can Listen To

An audio branding primer with Colleen Fahey, U.S. managing director at Sixieme Son:

Audio branding don'ts

1. Don't leave audio strategy until the last minute. Plan your music and sound at the outset.

2. Don't confuse audio branding with entertainment. It has a job to do, and that job is brand enhancement.

3. Don't forget that impact without meaning can be distracting and counterproductive.

4. Don't choose a piece of music because you like it. Ask instead, “What does it say about me?”

5. Don't repeat the same music mindlessly—adapt it to the context.

6. Don't neglect a measurement mechanism. Is the brand conveying its specific values better than before? "Our clients have seen rises in 'distinctive, soothing, pleasant' as well as 'innovative, mobile, and modern.' They've measured drops in perception of call waiting time. They've seen brand recognition by over 80% of population in just two notes."

Audio branding do's

1. Articulate what your brand stands for before addressing what the music must do. Audio branding should create a core “audio DNA” that remains consistent, while allowing flexibility for adaptations to multiple touchpoints over many years.

2. Think of your audio brand as a system of distinctive sounds and music, not as a jingle.

3. Investigate what audio approaches your competitors are using so you can stand out.

4. Enumerate your key audio touchpoints, including your on-hold music, trade show booth, app-opening sounds, and events. Make every customer touchpoint a relationship builder.

5. Decide if you need the audio branding to underscore or to add to the message conveyed by the visual brand.

6. Require an audio style guide as part of your brand guidelines.

And there you have it. Go give your clients an earful.
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