How sound influences consumer behaviour

Dan Lafferty of PHMG explains the importance of sound to a business

28 Nov, 18

Head of voice and music at audio branding specialist PHMG Dan Lafferty talks about the importance of audio to business and how sound influences consumer behaviour.

How sound influences consumer behaviour 1

The look and feel of your brand is vital – but you should never forget about how your business sounds.

Working alongside its visual counterpart, audio branding acts as a powerful subconscious tool for brand recall and shaping a customer’s perception of a company.

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In fact, a recent study by PHMG discovered 60% of people think music is more memorable than visuals when used in marketing.

Just as with a visual brand, audio should be designed to reflect the specific values of the individual company using three key elements: music, voice and content.

It’s easy to choose a popular song as the music for your business, thinking it will entertain the listener; but this isn’t always the case.

Not only does everyone have different musical tastes, but songs are powerful emotional triggers for memories – and not all recollections are positive.

It’s far more effective to create a bespoke track, unique to your company, with each distinct part reflecting a different aspect of your brand personality.

This is something that Porcelanosa has recently undertaken, as the company has rolled experiential marketing out across its stores.

Creating a track

You need to think about the main characteristics that define your business and the services you offer, and then choose the elements of voice and music that reinforce this image.

In our experience, kitchen and bathroom suppliers tend to use tracks with a blend of live and electronic instrumentation, often favouring those with an acoustic-led melody.

Piano and acoustic guitar feature most heavily, providing clean and clear melodies above an often straightforward rhythmic backing.

Electronic percussion is often used by bathroom suppliers as it mirrors the clean, white and chrome aesthetic which their visual branding often features.

By contrast, kitchen firms seem to prefer live drums, and a more guitar-focused production, adding credence to the friendly, approachable and ‘heart of the home’ associations of that particular room.

Find your voice

Identifying the ‘voice’ of your business is equally important, and the elements should be considered to match different brand characteristics.

For example, masculine and feminine voices will each convey different meanings and values, and so will elements such as pacing, age and accent.

Voiceovers which best match the brand personalities o  kitchen and bathroom suppliers are almost always within the 20-35 year-old age bracket, with a neutral accent (depending on each territory) and a friendly yet professional tone.

You can avoid message fatigue and keep customers engaged by changing your promotional messages regularly to highlight seasonal offers like ‘buy now, pay later’, recent accreditations or new showrooms.

Interspersing these with useful advice and top tips can also help to reassure callers of your expertise and customer-centric approach.

We also spoke to sales and marketing director of PHMG Mark Williamson about the marketing importance of call handling.