Our audio landscape is definitely changing. It’s becoming more and more important for brands to have a recognizable sound, especially with the rise of Alexa, Google Home, and similar products.
Even our appliances are becoming “smart”. If they recognize voice commands, how long will it be before they start selling us products directly – without needing a desktop computer, an iPad or a phone at all? And what’s the quickest way for these “smart” devices to let us know what brands they sell? Audio, that’s how.
In lots of different places, these options may not be displayed as *only* audio, but those sounds are certainly played when we choose what we want. And that reinforces the idea of an audio brand. If we’re in public when this happens? It also reinforces it to everyone around us.
Now, how about when we actually buy something? We already use a lot of automation to purchase what we want. What if the very act of purchasing, reinforced a company’s audio brand? Turns out, Mastercard is thinking about this. And they apparently (according to Forbes) spent $15 Million dollars on it! The video below will explain more of what their thinking was and let you hear the results. It doesn’t sound bad to me or anything. But I think they’re betting on how recognizable it’ll be across platforms. I’m not entirely convinced, but time will tell, I suppose. Should Mastercard have thought about this years ago? Probably. But if they couldn’t do this kind of audio branding years ago, at least they’re doing it now.
Of course, this might be too little too late. Visa had a 2 year head start on them!
And I love this CNBC video because the two commenting actually have opinions on which sounds appeal to them across many different brands. They have a good point. Visa’s criteria, in case you don’t want to watch the video? It has to be short, unobtrusive, energetic and optimistic. It took them a year to develop that one little bit of sound – so this is no joking matter. Maybe it surprises you that Mastercard spent so much money on this. It doesn’t surprise me at all. After all, Visa paid Morgan Freeman to do their commercials. That couldn’t be cheap.
But that leads me to another point. You may not be spending fifteen million dollars on your ads – or your audio brand. But you still do want to remain consistent – and professional – across all your touch points. This has already become really important. And falling flat on this part of your marketing will cost you (and it’s a cost you may never actually be informed of).
Not everyone has to have a certain trill of notes or a particular melody associated with their brand. But your brand should definitely have a consistent “feel”. Something you follow through with in music, voice over and automation (if you have it).
The future of branding is sound and if I can help you with the voice over end of that, feel free to reach out. Even if I’m not the right voice for your particular sonic image, I know a lot of talented folks that might be able to help and I’m happy to make introductions.
Now – go out and make some noise!