Finn Bohn, Assistant Strategic Assortment &
Purchasing Manager at FRILUFTS Retail Europe AB, and graduate of
the MSc in Marketing and Creativity.
It's tough to stand out as a brand. Especially
if you have to rely only on the visual aspects of your brand.
They say an image is worth a
1000 words, but what if people don't pay attention to it?
Q: Hi Finn & Kilian! What makes sound so important
for brands in general?
A: Hi Julius! First of all, brands have become more
important in general.
In times of overflowing information and decreasing differences
between the functional attributes of products, customers are mostly
looking for two things: trust
Strong brands represent mental short cuts - instead of
constantly comparing products to find the one that objectively has
the best features, we rely on our previous experiences and our
associations towards brands. In other words: nowadays we buy
brands, not products. Brands need to create and reinforce a
particular 'positive attitude' in the customer; and for us it's no
secret that melodies, sounds and certain frequencies have exactly
this effect: they trigger memories.
Think of "Zott Sahnejoghurt" - the spot is over 20 years old and
we still know the melody, if not even the lyrics. The same applies
to "Nichts ist unmöglich..." - repetition and a distinctive tone
interval have etched this jingle into every German's memory who is
older than 25.
Of course, these examples seem ridiculous from today's point of
view (none would use a singing monkey to promote their cars
anymore). But you can't deny what it is showing: music and sound
are able to deeply embed brands and their messages in our
And sound has even another effect on us, which makes it so
valuable for brands: it adds emotion. If you ever watched a horror
movie without sound, you'll immediately understand this. Whether
you want your brand to be perceived as cool, trustworthy, or dreamy
(just to name a few possibilities) - sound sets the mood and
context of your brand. And it does it subtly and universally
understandable. One very good example for this is Vodafone, which
has even managed to add a particularly good taste in music to their
So, in our opinion, if used in today's context with our modern
understanding of branding, advertising and sound aesthetics, sound
offers a great potential for brands to stand out, be more
emotionalized and become really memorable.
Q: Most small and mid-size businesses think that having
a sound logo is for big corporation only. But last decade media
consumption changed. Tell us, why especially nowadays all business
ideas should use sound as part of their brand set up?
A: We are not saying that sound should be generally added
to everything (sometimes silence can be powerful as well). But we
believe that limiting a brand and its communication only to its
visual dimensions is a waste of potential - and this is of course
not only true for big corporations. They say an image is worth a
1000 words, but what if people don't pay attention to it?
We are living in times of second screen media consumption and
youtube pre rolls, where attention spans are decreasing and less
and less people actively watch ads. This is a particular problem
when media budgets are limited. If your share of voice is small,
your message will get lost in the visual clutter of today's
On the flipside, this is a great case for sound. The great thing
about sound is, that you don't need to listen actively in order to
- at least subconsciously - understand a message or recognize
previously heard melodies or sounds. This allows you to create
acoustical links between your different messages and touch points.
And all of a sudden a lot of small fragments become one coherent
Q: If Kilian and you start working on a sound logo, what
do you need to translate the brand (company) into sound or
A: In order to be able to find the right sound or music for
a brand, it is necessary for us to thoroughly understand the brand
What is its core? Your brand, for example, is closely related to
you as a person. That's why we started by interviewing you. We
needed to understand not only WHAT you do, and HOW you do it, but
also WHY you are doing it. What is your motivation? What drives
you? What do you want to convey?
In addition, we analyzed the context, which the sound logo will
appear in: the look of your website, the content of your lectures
and presentations, your way of talking.
All these aspects needed to be taken into consideration in order
to define a sound that reflects the personality of your brand. The
sound logo should not only make people recognize your brand, but
also evoke the most important aspects and values of it.
Q: When working on Brand Aesthete - what did you hear
first and what was the bigger picture?
A: Working on a brand from someone who knows so much about
the topic was really exciting for us. While talking to you and
looking at all the different touch points of your brand, we could
clearly see your vision and idea behind your work.
Since you are constantly questioning the status quo and your
work is always a process, the sound logo also needed to convey the
feeling of evolvement. It needed to tell a story. It is a metaphor
for your work: the drop that triggers a fundamental change
(symbolized by the wave sound), which evolves to a bright and open
Additionally, we specifically chose extremely clear and distinct
high-class sounds. The logo portrays confidence, without being too
dramatic at the same time - for us a perfect introduction for your
Read the original post and listen to the audio logo here: Julius Geis.
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