We live in a connected world, and consumer appetite for entertainment content across devices is driving many of the technical advancements we enjoy today. I’m old enough to remember adjusting the rabbit ears on the family black and white TV. Not long ago I watched an NFL Playoff game on my phone while in line for a bus tour of the Kennedy Space Center, and the advancement of the technology still amazes me. The Kennedy Space Center was pretty impressive too.
It was the Space Age after all, that spawned the Information Age and all the communications technology and connectivity that puts instant access to media, gaming and communications at our fingertips. In this article we look at the Audio signatures of the Consumer Electronics and Media brands of the Veritonic Audio Logo Index. That group is made up of Intel, T-Mobile, AT&T, LG, Netflix, HBO, XBox, and Playstation (Listen below). I’ve grouped these together because they overlap in providing service, technology or content to screen-based devices. They also happen to share a common approach to audio branding.
Unlike the audio branding of other sectors, notably insurance companies, these eight audio logos use no spoken words or mention of their brand, with the lone exception of Playstation.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Despite the lack of verbal cues, Intel and T-Mobile are two of the best performing audio logos in the Index: Intel tied for 1st overall with Nationwide & Farmers Insurance, while T-Mobile finished in a 3rd place tie with McDonalds. That’s some impressive company! Intel & T-Mobile have nowhere near the longevity of Nationwide or Farmers Insurance, but they have clearly found their way into consumers collective consciousness.
Melody vs Sound Effects?
What’s driving the success of Intel and T-Mobile, and the relative underperformance of the others?
The audio logos of these 8 brands clearly fall into two categories:
- Those that are musical or use melodic tones (Intel, LG, AT&T and T-Mobile), and
- Those that can best be best described as utilizing sound effects (Netflix, HBO, XBox, and Playstation)
Comparing the emotional engagement, likeability and recall rates of musical audio logos vs. sound effect logos, the musical logos of Intel, LG, AT&T and T-Mobile consistently outperform HBO, Netflix, Playstation and XBox. In fact, in almost every way we slice the data – gender, age, income and geography – the 4 musical audio logos outperform the 4 sound effects.
Consumer Affinity Driving Results? Nope.
You might expect the broad and deep consumer affinity for services like Netflix & HBO would positively affect their overall audio logo rankings, particularly against brands with lesser known audio logos like LG and AT&T. But Netflix maintains a solid hold on last place among this group and a ranking of 20th out of the 25 audio logos in the broader index.
Game over? Not quite, because Netflix & HBO produce the two highest scores for Excited (shown above) not just in this set, but in the entire Audio Logo Index. There are lots of ways to win with audio branding, and an Entertainment brand triggering excitement, even without recognition is certainly one of them.
Industry & Brand Association – Right Church, Wrong Pew
The Audio Logo Index data for industry and brand identification reveals some interesting but not unexpected associations. Our findings indicate that people generally make an accurate association between the logo sound they hear and the industry it comes from, but not a specific brand.
In this case, the Consumer Electronics & Media and Entertainment Industries were accurately chosen from a list of 19 possible categories more than 50% of the time. Five of these eight brands had industry association rates of 50% or higher. T-Mobile had the highest industry recognition rate with 59%, LG lowest with 37%. The other two brands with Industry association below 50%: HBO 49% and Netflix 46%.
This is the power and beauty of sound. It creates a mood or emotion very subtly but effectively. Watch a televangelist broadcast, and you’ll notice that the music and singing is constant throughout and outpaces the time spent preaching by 100 to 1. It’s a sing-a-long concert that relies on a full band and multiple vocalists to inspire the congregation and keep emotions stirred up. It doesn’t matter which pew its experienced from, only that the feelings and emotions are associated with church.
Your industry is your church, and music and sound can be a key to opening the wallets of the congregation. Don’t ignore it. When the congregation is singing your brand anthem you’ve made a permanent emotional connection that you can’t put a price on.
Consumer Electronics, Media & Gaming Audio Logos