“So it’s really no surprise that, you know, it’s back in the driver’s seat now, when everyone is really fighting and yearning for how to capture attention, even a little bit of attention, from an exhausted and overwhelmed and overstimulated population base globally. So I think it applies itself to media, to what you’re eating, in a restaurant experience, a shopping experience, really across the entire 360, or integrated marketing, if you want to speak like a marketer, that whole kind of overarching back row strategy from everywhere your brand is going to live. There are likely ways to embed audio into those instances in a meaningful way without adding more ‘noise’ to the world.” — Shez Mehra
For those of you who don’t know, I host regular weekly Clubhouse rooms on Wednesdays at 2 PM Eastern Time. We talk about all sorts of things related to sound, including voiceovers, public speaking, podcasting, music, and, of course, audio branding. We also cover things like Voice AI, Sound in Social Media, and even Audio NFTs. This particular recording, made with the permission of everyone who participated, is from a Clubhouse room called The Power of Audio Branding in my Power of Sound club. We had a number of stellar panelists, including Jeanna Isham, Shez Merha, Cornelius Ringe and Steve Keller, all of whom have also been guests on this podcast with episodes all their own. Lauri Domnick, from Bauer Media in Finland, and Jack Monson, from Social Geek Radio, also joined us.
The audio is presented as it was heard in the moment, so it won’t be perfect, and there’s a bit of a lag, so sometimes it might sound like people are taking a while to respond while other times it sounds like I’m talking over them. That isn’t how it sounded at the time, and hopefully won’t be too distracting for you as you listen. But this discussion should give you a good look at the fascinating world of audio branding from many different perspectives, and at why it’s a topic and discipline that’s becoming more important all the time. I also want to thank everyone that came up on stage to join in, ask questions, and make comments. Your participation made this discussion even better. The lesson is clear: if you aren’t paying attention to the sound of your brand, you’ll ultimately be missing out.
If you have any questions for the panelists, you’re welcome to reach out through the links in these show notes. If you have questions for me, just visit www.audiobrandingpodcast.com where you’ll find all sorts of ways to get in touch. Plus, subscribing to the newsletter (on the www.audiobrandingpodcast.com webpage) will let you know when the new podcasts are available.
What is Audio Branding?
We start off the discussion with a look at just what audio branding means for each of our panelists, and what makes it such a powerful marketing tool. Jeanna explains the subtle difference between audio and sonic branding while Lauri talks about its potential for stirring our deepest memories and feelings. Jack joins the conversation and agrees about the power of audio impressions. “There’s something more magical about audio memories stimulating something from the back of your mind, from earlier in life, childhood, whatever, there’s something more powerful about audio than anything visual.”
Filling the Gaps
Shez joins the group and talks about the insights his career as a DJ and musician have given him about the power of sound and how often it’s neglected in the business world. “It could be a song,” as he puts it, “it could be your mother’s voice, it could be the narrator from a show that you grew up on. There are so many ways in which we as human beings just inherently connect with sounds and audio.” Steve and Cornelius arrive and offer their perspectives on the untapped potential of audio branding. “Audio branding for me also is about filling the gap in brand communication,” Cornelius says. “There’s a huge gap in the potential of brand communication, and that is audio.”
Sounds in the Brain
Alex, a researcher for Massive Music who specializes in neuroscience, takes the stage first to point out how intrinsic sound is to the human brain. As he explains, “I think that what’s so powerful about music and branding, is that it’s subconscious, it’s innate response to how our brains process sound on a level that can’t be reached by other sensory
modalities.” Brad follows up to ask Jeanna about sonic branding, and how it goes beyond licensed music and jingles to the very heart of a company’s sound, from the quality of a smart speaker to the pitch and tone of a phone prompt.
Joe, a voice-over artist and singer, takes the stage next and reminds us all of the classic three-note jingle “By Mennan,” noting how effectively it breaks the established wisdom of commercial audio to make a memorable impression. “I find it fascinating,” he says, “that it’s a marriage of art and science to be able to twist people’s neurons so that this earworm gets in there.” Jack and Jeanna point out that a successful audio brand motivates its audience, compelling us to take action, and Shelley, a fellow singer and voice actor, points out the very visible changes in brain activity that occur when we react to audio cues, whether it’s a catchy melody or a familiar voice.
- Jeanna and Lauri describe the evocative power of sound
- Jack and Shez share their perspective on audio branding
- Steve and Cornelius discuss marketing gaps
- Alex and Brad take the stage with opening questions
- Joe and Shelley follow up with branding insights
Next week the Clubhouse chat continues as our guests talk about how sound can promote particular themes, the challenge of expressing identity through audio, and how taking a more personal approach to sound can help clients better appreciate sonic branding.
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.
Connect with the Panelists:
Jeanna Isham’s website: https://www.dreamrproductions.com/
Shez Merha’s website: https://the194group.com/
Cornelius Ringe’s website: https://www.wesound.de/en/
Steve Keller’s website: https://www.sxmmedia.com/
Connect with Lauri Domnic on LinkedIn: https://fi.linkedin.com/in/lauridomnick
Jack Monson’s website: https://www.socialgeekradio.com/
The Power of Sound club on Clubhouse: https://www.clubhouse.com/club/the-power-of-sound