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Gen Z knows what your brand looks like, but do they know how it sounds? As audio-based marketing grows, now’s the perfect time to create a sonic brand.
Sonic branding is getting some buzz these days, but it certainly isn’t new. While it’s been around since radio, (think of the eponymous NBC chimes), it remains underused. Yet, sonic branding is increasingly relevant, especially today.
Let’s harken back to the 00s: The Internet began to kill off direct mail, and suddenly, a brand could get its products and services in front of an audience all the time, anytime (granted, with a dial-up connection). With that nearly always-on brand availability, there simply wasn’t as much need for print-based marketing.
A similar evolution is happening now. This time, it’s visual marketing that’s taking a hit. Usage of screenless voice assistants like Alexa and Google is growing. With voice-assisted shopping expected to exceed $40 billion in 2022, brands need to find new ways to generate awareness and remain top-of-mind among Gen Z.
Brands are (re)turning to audio—or in more modern terms—to ‘sonic branding’ as a way to capture Zers attention and, hopefully, to retain mindshare by way of sound.
What exactly is sonic branding? It’s simple, really: It’s the sound of your brand. Imagine handing out a business card. Your sonic brand or identity is the audible equivalent of that business card.
Everyone knows the iconic NBC chimes. So here are some other examples of effective sonic brands:
The goal of sonic branding is the same as any branding activity. When someone sees your brand, they think of you; when they hear your brand, they think of you. And eventually, the inverse applies, which is truly the holy grail of sonic branding: When someone thinks of your brand, they hear your brand. (Cue this.)
Take note, here are the essential components of sonic branding:
Given how much faster sounds impact us than speech, there are countless opportunities to incorporate your company’s sonic logo in everyday life. Just think about the many, many digital and mobile touchpoints and sounds we encounter throughout the day: starting your laptop, sending or receiving a text, a point-of-sale purchase, launching or swiping within an app, adding an item to a digital cart, just to name a few. The key is to incorporate your sonic brand without overwhelming or inundating the customer.
In a time where screen time is diminishing and voice-driven sales are increasing, don’t overlook audio as an integral part of your voice and identity. By creating and including your unique sound across your entire brand expression, you’ll have a powerful new way to connect with Gen Z.
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