An Introduction to Audio Branding: Interview with Steve Keller

An Introduction to Audio Branding: Interview with Steve Keller

Creating an Audible Affinity for Your Brand

Ask a marketing professional about how to sell more or how to build consumer confidence in whatever it is that you sell and they’ll say at some point in the conversation – “brand… you’ve got to build your brand.” However, branding is becoming more than just what you see or read. It’s also what you hear. Audio branding’s not new — think of the NBC chimes or the tones computers make when they boot up or the sound that plays at the end of every Intel commercial. Companies have begun to really invest in creating audible attraction for their products. So what better way to learn about audio branding than to talk to an audio branding expert? The following is a recent conversation we had with Steve Keller of iV audio branding. We’d be wise to “listen” to his words of widsom.

Define “Audio Branding” in 2-3 sentences

Steve: “In simplest terms, audio branding is a process that helps establish a sonic personality and identity for a brand – an identity that can be communicated audibly through a variety of touch points designed to engage consumers emotionally, rationally, and behaviorally.”

Why is audio such an import part of a brand?

Steve: “41% of consumers rate sound as a key element of brand communication. Research has shown that the use of congruent audio in an advertising context shapes purchase intent, enhances recall, increases receptiveness to cognitive messages, and drives consumer engagement. When it comes to brand communication and identity, think of it this way: it’s easy to close your eyes – it’s much more difficult to close your ears.”

Do you think most companies are optimizing the audio part of their brand? If not, why?

Steve: “No. Part of the reason is that most companies simply aren’t trained to think about audio strategically. They think of audio as a “support” piece to their marketing: a voiceover for a brand spot, a piece of music for their commercial. They don’t stop to consider that with audio, they have the opportunity to actually create brand assets. They can build equity in these assets over time. Not only can they enhance brand identity and communication, they can actually be collateralized. Strategy, testing, execution, and management: these are the keys to maximizing your “Audio ROI”.

What are the common misconceptions about Audio Branding?

Steve: “There’s a growing buzz about audio branding in the marketplace. Unfortunately, audio branding is often thought of solely in terms of the “deliverables”: an audio logo, a brand theme, soundscapes, etc.. But audio branding isn’t simply about execution. It’s a process that is one part art and one part science. The science is deeper than most are aware – and it’s what helps us move our creative decisions away from subjective preferences and towards objective rationales.”

Are there any exciting advancements in Audio Branding technology that keep you up at night?

Steve: “The impact technology has had on audio delivery systems is amazing. Bone conductive technology, the use of high frequencies to communicate information to apps, directional speakers that can focus sound into a very small area, audio fingerprinting that allows you to enhance transmedia experiences – it’s almost too much to keep up with.

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