We live in a state of continuous partial attention, according to writer and speaker Linda Stone. We pay attention to a handful of sources of information at the same time—but only at a superficial level. To that fact, add that attention spans have been shrinking since 2000.

Now, you see the urgency of making the most of each consumer touchpoint.

As consumers tune out the excess stimulation delivered through the multitude of media channels, the competitive advantage goes to businesses that use multisensory approaches to emphasize and position the role of the brand in the customer's life.

One part of the multisensory approach is sound. Thinking of sound as filler or background music is a huge missed opportunity. When used correctly, sound has the ability to deliver a distinct branding message—and make it stick once it gets there.

Enter Audio Branding

Like visual branding, audio branding helps create a powerful brand influence. It gives a brand a chance to be distinctive and remarkable at every point of contact. By adding meaning and personality to the brand, audio branding connects with people on a profound level and acts as a relationship builder.

Audio branding goes far beyond jingles or licensing popular music; it's the discipline of using unique proprietary sound and music to create a brand's distinct audio identity, expressing its values at all necessary customer touchpoints.

The process of defining your brand's DNA requires a willingness to probe its structure and tease out those distinguishing qualities and identifiers making it unique. A company must be able to answer the following questions about the brand.

  • What does the brand stand for?
  • How does your brand differentiate itself in ways that are interesting to your customers?
  • How are your competitors differentiating themselves? What sounds characterize them?

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image of Colleen Fahey

Colleen Fahey is US managing director of Sixième Son, a unique audio branding agency with clients across the globe. She is also a contributor to The Get a Job Workshop: How to Find your Way to a Creative Career in Advertising, Branding, Collateral, Digital, Experimental and More.

LinkedIn: Colleen Fahey

Twitter: @Sixieme_Son_USA