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The Role of Music in Your Brand

Research on the concept of embodied cognition, the idea that the mind is not only connected to the body but that the body influences the mind, suggests that our bodily sensations contribute to decision-making without our conscious awareness. (Scientific American)


Creating well-thought-out multiple sensory experiences for your audience will allow you to better connect to them. In this article, we explain how you can become more intentional with engaging hearing in your brand to enhance your visuals.


Sound use in marketing can range from traditional jingles and slogans to signature sounds and ambient music. Associations with the arrangements, pitches, notes and noises can influence our emotions. Songs gain popularity due to the catchiness and the feeling that is evoked in tune. These same songs can get stuck in our heads for days, if not months. We also associate our favourite songs with notable moments in our life when that song was playing. TV, film, and advertising have integrated this concept. For example, McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" jingle is one of the most recognizable pieces of music paired with advertising. Regardless of the rendition, when you hear the tune, you remember the McDonald's brand and whatever personal associations come with it. This same philosophy of music recognition applies to your brand.


Association and recognition are significant components to take into context when deciding what sounds you want to use in your brand's advertisements and organic content. In our current social media landscape, video content is essential, so it is more relevant now than ever to have a clear strategy and intention for the sonic experience of your brand. Continue reading as we walk you through the process of branding yourself sonically and implementing music in your brand.


Finding Your Sound


When clarifying what your brand's sound is, the foundational step is to acknowledge your brand's vibe. You should be clear on how you'd like your target audience to feel when they interact with your brand. For example, Nike will often use Hip-Hop or EDM in their advertisements to set an empowering and energizing culture. Chanel incorporates the classic genres like Doo-wop, or uses modern covers of old songs which pairs perfectly with their timeless and mature brand image.


Think about the styling of music that would align with your overall aesthetic. If the sounds do not exude the emotions you would want your customers to have then it is not the right move. Once you have clarified your sound, exercise consistency to build up recognition and expectation around what your brand puts out.


A Modern Day Jingle


Jingles feel nostalgic. In the 1950s, jingles had a golden era as advertisements had hit cable television. When we think about the cute songs that accompany an ad, a flood of childhood memories accompany the tine, creating strong associations through music, memory, and feelings. The purpose of jingles was to get stuck in your head and keep a brand and its product top of mind, and they did just that. In our current era, a traditional jingle may feel corny for your brand, but you can still leverage similar strategies. Crafting an earworm can have an immense impact. Sound selection should rely heavily on catchiness, timelessness, and emotional connection.


Licensing Tracks


Browsing through music libraries is an excellent exercise for pinpointing a feeling and sound. Databases are typically organized by mood, genre, tempo, and instruments, so you can find a well-suited set of soundtracks for your brand that are available for you to purchase a license. Many music libraries are available online, for example, Bedtracks, Nagamo Publishing, and Epidemic Sound.


The Role of Custom Compositions


Having exclusive compositions for your brand's marketing could set you apart. If you have ever created a video that will be uploaded on any platform, you understand the challenge of finding royalty-free music that is not cheesy, overused, or misaligned with your brand vibe. Licensing popular songs is often completely unaffordable for the average business. If you have become too familiar with this adversity, it may be a fruitful investment to contract a composer. Find an artist who already creates music in the style or genre that you would like and they will help you tell your brand's story sonically.


Social Media Sounds


Social Media sounds enable you to use music that might have otherwise been unavailable to your brand without a proper license. Using sounds that are trending or popular on TikTok or Instagram can increase your post reach, assisting with your brand awareness marketing efforts. Within this, you get to use hit songs that artists have permitted for segments to be used on social platforms. Something to keep in mind is that trending sounds may be protected under copyrights. You should practice caution when repurposing your videos across platforms and ensure you are not against the terms of use of where you're posting when carrying over the content.


In selecting which trends to participate in and which to skip, consider the earlier points around finding a sound that fits well into your overall brand aesthetic. Though funny content often goes viral, perhaps humour isn't something that fits well within your brand, so re-enacting that trending audio clip could do more harm than good. Or maybe you do not swear in your brand, so a more explicit sound would feel misaligned with your messaging. It is better to create a well-curated atmosphere than to hop onto every trend. Practicing discernment in the use of social media sounds will help you attract an intentional audience, rather than an expansive one who might not cultivate the community you'd like. Remain current and flexible, but do not appeal to the masses at the expense of your values and long-term vision.



Would you like to discuss your sonic branding with our team? We are a group of brand strategists, designers, and multi-media producers. Contact us at atelier@oluwatosin.net to start the conversation.

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