Insights on Marketing & Technology

If you want impact online, think about sound again

Brands and companies are constantly publishing content to an increasing number of channels. Many of those are digital, placing new demands on corporate communication toolboxes. Strong sound identities are expected to become significant competitive parameters in the communication of the future.

  • By: Nikolai Kronborg og Karsten Kjems
  • Published: 23-04-2014
Danish companies are communicating through owned channels like never before. The pursuit of content that adds value is spreading fast, and terms like ‘content marketing’, ‘real-time marketing’ and ‘branded content’ takes up space in articles and at seminars. Businesses are beginning to understand the importance of producing content that gets viewed, read, shared, and ultimately converts customers and sales. The challenge is to maintain a high level of quality in a time where rapid response and execution is crucial. Nikolai Kronborg, Danish CEO of Chimney Group, believes that sound design is an important component in creating consistent communication:
"People are naturally attracted to beauty. We are drawn to great music as well as beautiful architecture, art and gastronomy. It’s a strong identity marker for who you are and what you stand for. A sound identity allows companies to establish recognition across channels - but also to stand out in a cluttered media landscape. Sound can accentuate a message and trigger the right emotions, whether one wishes to come across as stable, responsive, innovative, dynamic, or something completely different."
A good sound identity supports the company's desired image and business objectives and ensures that all audiovisual communication is in sync with the company's values and positioning. This may sound abstract, but according to Karsten Kjems, Chief Audio Visual Strategist at Chimney, it's a very natural evolution:
"Sound can be incredibly powerful. The more of your senses that are being pointed in the same direction at the same time, the stronger you’ll perceive the message. We know this from movies and TV, but for a long time, sound has been neglected as a corporate communication tool. Most brands are well aware of the value of a consistent visual identity – such as using the same color, logo and font in all communication. Now is the time for sound. Not more but better sound. If sound does not add value it's just noise, which has no positive business impact."
The effects of this better sound is backed by Eva Fod Bruun, Head of Brand Strategy at Velux, who expands on the topic:
"Having our own sound identity means that we can concentrate on the content – the plot of a commercial, for instance. It also means that we no longer need to spend time on finding and paying for music that could never represent us nearly as accurate as our own sound. It is tremendously effective that we are always guaranteed to sound and look like Velux."
Velux has a flexible library of different variations of their core sound identity, which can be used in all internal and external communications. However, Velux is not alone in having discovered the benefits of a customized sound design. International market giants like Apple, Coca Cola and McDonalds have been reaping them for years, and an increasing number of Danish companies such as Maersk Line, DFDS, Faxe Kondi and Danske Spil also swear by their own soundscapes.
Owning all rights to their visual and auditory output enables them to consciously control all brand communication – from customer service to sales and brand communication.
"Our new sound identity is an important asset in several ways. It allows us to be very consistent in all our communication, and, in the long run, it causes us to save both time and money on the purchase of music and sound. Also, being able to instantly pick the exact sound elements needed to create new content means that our production process becomes much more efficient. To put it briefly, it lightens our workload as well as our expenses," says Jesper Schmith Kampmann, CEO of Nupo.
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