When BMW introduced its new “sound logo” a few weeks back, it got me to thinking. Even though most of our B2B clients don’t have the need (or ad budget) for an audio version of their logo, can sound play a part in shaping their brands?
When you think of a brand as much more than just a logo, colors or a print advertisement and recognize it as the sum total of all of the experiences your customers and prospects have with your company, suddenly what your business sounds like is worth considering.
Car companies like Ford and GM fully understand how important sound can be to their brands. They spend millions of dollars researching and fine-tuning each vehicle to ensure the perfect brand acoustics. Muscle cars need to sound muscular so exhaust systems are tweaked endlessly to get the right sound. Luxury cars need to sound … well, like luxury … so NVH specialists conduct extensive testing to eliminate unwanted squeaks and rattles.
Retailers know sound is an important part of their brand. Audio in retail environments is carefully managed to create an environment that embodies the brand (and subtly influences purchase behaviors).
And if you think about it, sound is part of your brand.
What do your offices sound like? Are they bubbling away busily with background noise? Or seriously quiet? When the phone rings, is it the digital tone of a dated system or something a little warmer? Is the projector in your conference room noisy and disruptive? Or quiet and efficient? Do your office doors clunk loudly or click quietly when they close?
Even these seemingly innocuous sounds – the background noise we learn to block out as part of our daily work life – are in small ways, helping to shape the brand experience for the vendors, customers, prospects and media that visit your offices.
So take a minute today and walk around your offices. Listen closely. Tune into the sounds that you typically tune out. And ask yourself this question: do I like what I’m hearing?
And more importantly, does it a fit with the brand I’m working so hard to create?
Rob Wilkie is the creative director at PUSH 22, an integrated marketing and communications agency supporting leading and emerging companies.