How to Leverage the Power of Audio Branding in Your Marketing Strategy

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Audio consumption is growing across a range of channels—streaming, podcasting, voice assistants, smart speakers and social audio. The numbers speak for themselves with 192 million or 68% of the population now listening to digital audio each month, an increase of 3 million compared to 2019 (Edison Research).

Because of the boom in listeners, advertisers are fighting to increase their share of ear in the audio ecosystem in order to build better connections with customers. Meaningful, memorable and distinctive, audio is widely known to strengthen brand awareness, recall and trust.

It’s no wonder, then, that there’s been even more buzz around audio branding (aka sonic branding) over the past year.

Audio branding is the integration of sound into an entire marketing strategy; it should complement existing marketing efforts including visual branding. According to Colleen Fahey, Author & US Managing Director at leading audio branding agency Sixième Son, the goal of audio branding roadmaps is to ensure that “everywhere that you hear the brand it sounds like the brand”. In other words, while audio touchpoints include anything from sport stadiums to display ads, Fahey urges brands to infuse their audio DNA into all of them. Creating a coherent audio brand reinforces connections with customers time and again.

How do agencies like Sixième Son create an audio brand?

1. Audit the Company and its Competition By digging deep into the brand and sonic history of the company you can see what they stand for and learn their audio heritage. You hear your competitors and find the distinctive spot in the marketplace where you can stand out.

2. Run a Sonic Moodboard Workshop To further develop a strategic brand sound, moodboards are key at Sixième Son. They help pinpoint which brand values to emphasize most and identify which sounds help you express them best. These audio ideas help inspire the tailor-made design of the core audio brand.

3. Audio Touchpoint Adjustment Once a core audio DNA is crafted, it can then be extrapolated through all facets of marketing communications for a plethora of purposes and messaging—from app sounds to TV and radio commercials, from podcasts to audio display ads and beyond.

Who’s getting it right and why?

Veritonic’s 2021 Audio Logo Index demonstrates how “Insurance again proved itself the sector to beat when it comes to audio branding”, with Farmers Insurance and State Farm at the top of the ranking. Even USAA, in the market for just over one year, appears in the top 20. Insurance is followed by strong results in the QSR category. Auto Parts and Hardware make a good showing, too.

Across the board, mentioning the brand’s name in an audio logo scored 29% higher and melodic logos were more effective. Longevity and frequency of use are also key in driving effectiveness.

Staying on point culturally, with “social relevance and sensitivity” is also proving to help move the needle. Take Indeed, for example. The career service provider has a team dedicated to building campaigns which highlight underrepresented voices in the workplace in their ads. Using a female voice in one audio spot scored the highest for driving purchase intent.

How can you generate audio brand awareness at scale?

When you’ve created and tested your audio assets, it’s time to widely distribute your audio brand across the growing audio ecosystem. Get started in streaming with Spotify’s user-friendly Ad Studio, connect to the largest share of the US podcast audience with Midroll, or leverage your audio brand on the vast reach of the display networks with Adsonica.

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