What Does Your Brand Sound Like?

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Emotional connection – that’s the battle cry for small business marketing. You must have your logical marketing ducks in a row, but the real impact in marketing is made on the emotional level.

And emotion is drawn from the senses not the cortex (high school anatomy pays off at last.)

For many, music is a terrific way to connect and the thoughtful selection of music in conjunction with other brand elements may be a powerful way to extend a connection with your clients and prospects.

I recently stumbled on a unique agency, called RumbleFish, that helps companies find the right musical feel and context for their brand and then allows them to dip into an extensive pre-licensed library of mostly indie recordings to execute this aspect of their brand.

This move is an obvious one for retailers, but what about looking into “sound” as an element of your business through avenues such as music on hold (don’t let a radio DJ on your favorite station be a part of your brand), as an intro to your podcast, as an appropriate backdrop for an instructional video or in your advertising.

With the right selection, you may be able to make a sound or even a song a recognizable part of your brand much like shapes and colors are.

Oregon based Umpqua Bank really embraced the concept by creating a music on demand project around local artists. With the help of RumbleFish, the bank created their own local music store and allows new accounts to create their own local music mixes when they open an account. Brilliant local marketing and reportedly paying off in terms of profit too.

Side note: What would Rusty James have on his iPod?


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  1. John –

    I read your article “What Does Your Brand Sound Like” with great interest, as my website design and marketing firm has been promoting the use of audio on websites in order to create brand personalities.

    By adding a signature voice that represents your company and brand on the Web and in the public eye is the obvious next step in implementing the intrinsic value of sound.

    Any of your readers who want to know more about the concept of Sonic Personality should take a look at http://www.sonicpersonality.com and http://www.136words.com.

    Creating this differentiating signature voice to deliver your marketing message is affordable for even small businesses and it overcomes many of the problems in getting your marketing message out on the Web which is an inherently emotionless environment.

    Jerry Bader

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