Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brand sounds for a higher equity

I read a book called 'Brand sense' by Martin Lindstrom, which talks about how the most successful brands cover as many senses as possible in their touchpoints...thus exhibiting a direct co-relation between brand success & number of senses incorporated.
Now every brand will have some inherent senses that it can exploit through touchpoints..e.g. a fragrance brand will marinate consumers in their offering.
Talent lies in incorporating more senses than the only the obvious one (or two) and thus capture a consumer's imagination through multiple stimuli!
This is where jingles and musical intelligence comes into play big time. I personally think human beings are more susceptible to auditory input than to visual input. Every brand can create a musical touchpoint... something distinct... and build communication into this avenue. The trick is to get the tune right... sometimes the most annoying tunes get stuck in the mind but they've served the purpose.... awareness and recall... bingo's bbooiinnnggg is a classic example of an annoying sound that automatically and distinctively brings the brand into my mind.
As a brand I feel adidas is very foresighted... they realized the power of music and have gone ahead and created a special soundtrack with 'welcome to adidas' throw into the track for all their retail stores.... and the stores are only allowed to play this track... I'm sure such effects register in the consumers mind and will justify their investment in time because such tactics will sub-conscioulsy make the consumer choose adidas over another brand. Airtel is another brand that has effectively gained mind-share through the route of capturing the ears of consumers and they've done a great job.
Jingles can serve as an anchor for a brand... you start off with an innocuous tune and suddenly you see the ad, text and whatever else the brand wants to communicate in the mind's eye. However, unfortunately not all brands are exploiting this sense.
Brand managers should, at every step, see how many senses they can incorporate. In the Philippines, HUL organizes events and creates a whole 'cooking extravaganza' experience for their consumers - Hotels, cafes, chefs... very innovative... don't you think? I agree with Martin Lindstrom, a brand which incorporates as many senses as possible will occupy foremost position in the customers mind. Once that is done, you can be assured that the customer lifetime value will be skewed towards your brand even though the customer is an experimenter... we all like our comfort zones... we'll try something new but return to refractory position and once a brand occupies that refractory position, it needs to stay there.

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