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Aligning your audio and visual brand
28-06-2021

Aligning your audio and visual brand

When it comes to how a business is perceived, there has likely been a considerable amount of time and effort spent curating the perfect visual brand; from selecting a colour palette or font style, to creating an engaging website or attractive business cards, a visual brand is comprised of carefully considered components, and for good reason. 

There is no denying that successful visual branding is a vital tool of communication between you and your customers; not only does it make a good first impression, but it also increases the chances of customers making a connection with your business, utilising your products or services, and maybe even referring you to others. 

So far, so good… but what about communicating with customers in a non-visual setting? 

What is audio branding? 

Akin to an eye-catching logo or a carefully written company ethos, audio branding allows you to communicate the identity of your business via the medium of sound. Whilst you’re likely to associate this with well-known ‘audio logo’s’ such as the unmistakable McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ It’, youtube.com/watch?v=SE1B3N_a7fE the infamous Windows start-up sound youtube.com/watch?v=7nQ2oiVqKHw) or the instantly recognisable ‘Ta-Dum’ created by Netflix youtube.com/watch?v=GV3HUDMQ-F8 in the context of audio branding, this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Parallel to its visual counterpart, audio branding is also a multi-faceted marketing tool. It can encompass anything from branded content in a radio ad or podcast, to a company video or telephone on-hold audio. Unlike visual branding, however it is often (and unfortunately) overlooked by businesses.

Why should businesses implement audio branding?

The first thing to mention here is that you have already invested time, money and effort into curating your visual brand - so why not utilise this investment? Whilst audio can be a hugely undervalued marketing tool, customers are in fact much more receptive to visual branding when there is there is accompanying audio branding. 

Moreover, audio branding is also a great way of reaching customers of all ages - especially those who spend less, or perhaps no time at all online, thus missing those clever ads or brilliant social media campaigns. Audio branding is also much more contextually flexible than visual branding; when compared to visual content, it is much more easily consumed when people are engaging in other activities, such as driving, cooking or exercising. Interestingly however, it also appears to be an effective means of advertising when consumers are in ‘audio-first’ environments, with 70% of Spotify listeners reporting that because they are attentive to streaming audio during their commute, they remember the ads they hear (Spotify Advertising, 2020).

Why now?

In a typical day, you consume far more audio content than you perhaps even realise. With the rise of mediums such as podcasts, digital radio, audio streaming, and smart speakers (in both your home and the car), audio is more prevalent than ever. In other words, we are living in what can be described as ‘The New Golden Age of Audio’ (Spotify, 2019) or an ‘Audio Revolution’ (radiocentre.org). 

Commercially too, this trend is clear to see. According to DAX, (2019), 86% of advertising agencies now see digital audio as a key part of their strategy, with 85% of advertisers set to increase their investment in digital audio. 

And there’s a reason for this… advances in technology has allowed for a vast improvement in visual advertising and brands have inevitably utilised this. It’s no wonder then, that over the past 10 years in particular, we have become increasingly saturated by visual marketing and as a consequence, lots of us are experiencing ‘screen exhaustion’. This is of course perpetuated by increased ‘screen time’ in both our professional and personal lives. 

So, whilst we already know that visual branding is vital, it has never been more important to strike a balance and begin to invest in your audio branding. Put simply, great visual branding is no longer enough to make your business stand out from the crowd.

How do I create an audio brand?

The good news… Having invested visually, you are already half-way to creating your audio brand. What we mean, is that you have most likely researched your target audience and their preferences (at least to some extent) and subsequently put your findings into action. If for example, you have curated a polished, authoritative visual brand aimed at business professionals, you would of course translate these characteristics audibly. Put simply, it isn’t logical for a business to look a certain way and sound completely different. 

Ultimately, you want to replicate the emotions evoked by your visual branding, in your audio brand – in fact, emotion is even more significant here given the proven link between music and the activation of the limbic system of the brain involving memory, motivation, learning and emotion (Abbey Road Institute, 2019). So, how can a business communicate this emotion audibly?  On-hold audio is a great place to start…

What is on-hold audio?

Whilst the use of online platforms today cannot be downplayed, the humble telephone is still very much at the heart of business communication (insert stat on telephones) - and this is where telephone on-hold audio from Sound Marketing comes in to revitalise the caller experience and reinforce your brand standards. 

On-hold marketing is a vital tool in helping businesses sound professional and transforms their telephone into a flexible marketing facility with a range of audio options…

  • Auto-attendant: As well as setting the tone for your business with a welcome message, auto-attendants are the ideal solution for the modern business with a number of departments, ensuring that callers are directed to the correct place before they are connected, avoiding unnecessary waiting time and frustrated callers. 
  • Out of Hours: Whilst we would all love to be able to answer customer queries 24/7, this is of course not possible. Businesses can utilise Out of Hours prompts to advise callers of alternative means of contact in a professional, yet friendly manner.
  • On Hold Production: This is comprised of professional voicing and the accompanying music bed that callers will hear when they are placed On Hold or transferred. On a marketing level, it is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your audio brand and communicate with the most important people in your business.

At Sound Marketing we have almost 25 years’ experience in helping businesses maximise the power of their telephone and build professional audio branding. Thanks to our very own script writers, award-wining Voice Artists and state-of-the-art studio, we can provide dynamic On Hold audio to bring your business to life.

Our dedicated Account Managers are ready to help you create your very own audio strategy – give them a call on 01225 701600. 

Play with our sample builder and choose any background music track combined with a Voice Over Artist sample.

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