by Noel FranusApril 26, 2007
Most organizations have relied almost exclusively on the sense of sight to communicate who they are, what they do and why they matter. Pirates have their unmistakable skull-and-bones flag. Nearly all religions have their own unique symbol. And today, practically every brand on earth has its own visual identity. Other senses are rarely part of the equation.
Yet sound has unquestionable potential in creating impressions. Consider the sonic snippets in your life—imagine Chariots of Fire or Rocky without music, a PC commercial without that Intel Inside bongggg, or a Harley-Davidson hog without its expertly calibrated tone. Sound triggers recall and …ver más…
Just as the color of your hair doesn’t define you as a person, music doesn’t define an entire brand. Audio identity takes into account the totality of a company’s sounds—from the promotional to the functional—and offers a systemic (rather than subjective) approach that ensures brands are perceived the way companies intend them to be perceived.
You might expect advertising agencies and marketing departments—not industrial-design or product development groups—to take the lead in audio branding. While there’s an obvious fit between advertising and sound, not all companies have the marketing prowess of a McDonald’s. And not all depend on advertising to grow relationships with customers; in many cases it’s the products themselves that define a person’s relationship with a company. That’s where software, industrial design and other roles come into play. Companies that extend their audio identity to products, services and promotions have more ways to grow brand value.iv The opportunity is there, and for most large companies (who already spend between $1 million and $20 million on sound) it’s ringing clear as a bell.
Building an audio identity
Most companies take one of two approaches to building an audio identity. The first is promotional audio branding, which aims to connect