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The diagram below illustrates my approach. First I research: what are the hot topics (Google Trends)?  What keywords are target consumers using (Keyword Planner tool)?  Then I’ll set up robust mechanisms to evaluate the creative, focused communications plan that I’ll implement.


Sonic branding and why it matters

Branding is no longer just visual.  Sound is key for good branding.  But how to make sonic branding work?

Humans are very sensitive to sounds and can instantly tell a positive sound from a negative one.  Every sound has significance.  Sounds have massive emotional impact on us, triggering instant memories and feelings.  That has always been true.  We now have voice-activated technology and sound-based internet access, so the sound a brand makes matters.

Growth in sonic branding

Influence magazine, Q1 2019, explains that research company Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30% of web use will not involve a screen.  Therefore, brands need to develop an audio logo, just as they developed a visual one.  It could involve a sound – like a bell chime or a few bars of music.  They should reflect the organisation’s values and say something meaningful.  The sonic brand must appeal to the target audience.  Soothing, mellow music is good for a holiday brand, a synthetic sound would work for a technology company.  If the sonic branding is used consistently, it will become the audio identity of the brand.

New sounds, new words

Sonic branding also needs words.  It needs a tone of voice.  For example, brands can create short podcasts that users can play on demand.   Choose the gender and tone of voice carefully.  Then choose a bespoke and distinctive vocabulary.  Use specific terms for products and services.  We all remember that Starbucks did this by introducing distinct words for types of coffee:  flat and skinny.

Sonic branding is communication and it is a two-way process.  Sonic branding must evolve and respond to users’ tastes and how they are using voice-activated search and their choice of words.  Just as brands take note of keywords typed into a search engine, so brands must track the words spoken into a voice-activated internet tool.

Inspired by an article in Influence magazine, Q1 2019

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