A subtle but highly effective strategy often overlooked by startups and new brands is Sonic Branding. This strategy focuses on using sounds or music to amplify your brand’s growth, and it extends far beyond conventional methods. In this article, we’ll explore the power of music to establish your brand’s identity and the benefits of collaborating with independent musicians.
Startups face intense competition as they strive to make a name for themselves in crowded markets. This is where sonic branding comes in handy. Creating a unique sound identity helps startups stand out. Imagine opening an app, and the right sound instills trust or excitement about the brand. It's all about crafting a memorable sound experience that reminds people of the brand at every interaction.
"Music can have a profound impact on branding, creating emotional connections and enhancing brand identity," says Emily Reynolds, owner of R Public Relations. "Music really shapes how people feel about a brand. It sets the tone. It makes it easier for people to connect with what you're all about," growth marketer Abhi Bavishi agrees. "Take Mastercard. They have their own jingle that plays in their commercials," Bavishi points out. Or imagine Netflix's iconic logo animation without the sound.
Brands that create a sonic identity take these audio cues beyond mere advertising; they can become ingrained in our culture. Sonic branding seeks to harness the connection between a sound and a brand's identity.
Sonic branding isn't limited to TV and radio anymore. In today's digital age, you can use music in podcasts, mobile apps, and on social media. Consider platforms like TikTok, where specific songs or sounds become associated with trends. Brands can leverage this by connecting their sound with these new platforms and trends.
Independent musicians play a pivotal role in creating unique and memorable soundscapes in today’s diverse music landscape. The synergy between brands and indie artists can be mutually beneficial. Brands gain a distinctive and exciting identity by partnering with indie talent, while musicians benefit from increased exposure and the opportunity to reach new fans.
Reynolds emphasizes the strategic process involved in this collaboration: “Collaboration between indie musicians and brands involves a strategic process. First, identify your brand's overall vibe and target audience. Then, find indie musicians whose style aligns with your brand's voice through traditional search engines and channels like Instagram and TikTok. Examples of music branding include using original tracks in product launch videos, creating curated playlists for brand events, or integrating handpicked music into all sorts of content marketing. The key is authenticity; choose music that resonates with your brand's message, values, and audience for a lasting impact.”
Bavishi reports from his experience: “Teaming up with indie artists is a smart move. It gives your brand a unique voice. Here's how I collaborate with artists for background score for creating some of our YouTube videos for clients: First, we have a good chat about what the brand wants to achieve. Then the artist comes up with some tunes. We review, provide feedback, and then start using it on our social media.”
There are platforms that help startups and brands connect with independent musicians. Songtradr, an innovative music licensing platform, facilitates brand collaboration through an extensive music catalog. Songtradr streamlines the collaboration process, making it convenient for brands to connect with various musicians. This collaboration helps brands create a unique identity and offers exposure to independent musicians.
With flexible usage options, Songtradr empowers brands to consistently integrate their chosen sound into their marketing efforts, across various platforms.
As an alternative to Songtradr as a larger music licensing platform with an extensive catalog for brand collaborations, you might consider starting out with royalty-free solutions which are free to use. Platforms like Joystock offer royalty-free music, ideal for use in non-monetized online videos and advertising at no cost. The royalty-free music platforms retain ownership of the tracks but grant you the legal right to use them in your projects.
Finally, let us acknowledge that music is not just background noise - it is a powerful force that can significantly influence our perceptions of brands, often in subtle but powerful ways.
They are a testament to the art of sonic branding, a masterful blend of strategic creativity and brand identity, that is carefully crafted to leave a lasting impression on the listener. In Abhi Bavishi's words, "Bottom line, sonic branding isn't just cool, it's effective."
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