In the recent past there has been extensive usage of the audio strategy to build brands. I call this “Sound Marketing”.
The Airtel mobile service has created a musical tone, which is memorable and easily recognizable thus using sound as a vital ingredient in the brand marketing strategy. In fact the Airtel mobile service has a large component of audio usage and the use of sound marketing in my opinion is very sound.
In another case, the very memorable audio-mnemonic and tune after every Britannia ad makes sound sense to me and appeals to one of our 5 senses, thereby building a very strong and healthy brand which cuts across languages and does not have to depend on literacy levels to enter the Britannia brands in the minds and hearts of consumers. The Britannia T.V and audio ad commercials are excellent examples of good usage of sound marketing. Almost every child, almost every adult, and almost every grand parent remembers the Britannia audio signature in the relevant target audience.
The technique of “Sound Marketing” as I call it has been used very effectively over decades. However, now the significance has grown even more since the advent of audio being accessible easily through various instruments like mobile phones as well as strong resurgence of Radio-FM.
Many years ago the audio-mnemonic like the Vicks – Khich Khich as well as the Iodex – Ooh aah ouch as well as the washing powder Nirma jingle were well used. Infact, Ranipal with its very clearly remembered audio element and jingle – Ranipal, Ranipal, Ranipal – still rings well in the ears of the consumers. There are many such good examples wherein sound has been used very effectively to build brands.
I would strongly recommend that every Brand Manager should at least consider using “Sound Marketing” effectively for the building of their brands.
Let me now explain to you what in my opinion sound marketing is and the vital ingredients necessary for sound marketing to succeed.
I have created this term “Sound Marketing” and what I mean by it is that when sound is used as one of the core elements in the brand strategy of any brand then that approach in my opinion could be called Sound Marketing.
The important ingredients of “Sound Marketing” in my mind would be 4 in number.
Firstly, there would have to be an audio component.
Secondly, it could have words, but it is not necessary.
Thirdly, there would have to be music and
Fourthly, it should be relevant for the brand and product category.
Whenever a Brand Manager decides to use sound as the major component of brand strategy, it would be prudent to understand, whether the current or proposed brand personality of the brand is amenable to sound marketing. For example, some categories may be more amenable than others. FMCG durables services could be more amenable to sound marketing than may be industrial products or pharmaceuticals. That does not mean that sound marketing cannot be used for every category. It can be used but should be used with relevance and prudence.
It is important to note that usage of this type of technique is relatively inexpensive and is very well accepted by consumers in India. This is because more of listening is involved and less of reading. This helps comprehension and understating which leads to many benefits.
The benefits of “Sound Marketing” are many. The First benefit is the “Sound Marketing” increases memorability which in turn leads to better recall. Secondly, because of its distinct audio component it helps establish brand recognition, which helps develop familiarity and a bond with the customers. Thirdly, it helps increase wide spread awareness if proper media is broadcast is done. Fourthly, it is not only effective but also cost effective. Especially in today’s world where every rupee spent should be spent wisely.
I would recommend that “Sound Marketing” should be utilized frequently because as per consumer behavior studies sounds are easily recalled and like smell can bring out good brand associations provided the creative is executed well. In fact, there could be a very positive recalls of jingle, voices and audio spots even after a decade.
It is quite possible that because of focus on any other options “Sound Marketing” may have been neglected. I think that it is important that Brand Managers revisit this element of marketing for their brands benefit.
In today’s world consumers are hammered with advertising messages at home as well as while traveling. A regular audio element could easily enter the minds and hearts of consumers through their ears to be able to make a mark of the brand leading to increase sales, market share and profits.