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What can be better than combining two of your passions to launch a new business?
That’s exactly what David Meerman Scott did when he opened the doors of Signature Tones, which he describes as a “sonic branding studio” that he started with his partner, musician Juanito Pascual. The agency, which lets Scott apply his marketing skills to his love of music, creates sonic logos and original music designed to become as recognizable when heard as logos and trademarks are when seen.
If the idea sounds (no pun intended) a little wishful, consider the Intel Inside tone, the NBC tone, and the sound Skype plays when you get a call. Even the Harvard Business Review has talked about the notion of what your brand sounds like, publishing in 2014 that the practice is also known as “sound branding” and “acoustic branding. According to the article, “Audio branding entails the creation of an entire audio language for the brand based on its essence, values, promise, and personality — a language that gets expressed across all touch points, from the web and apps to trade shows to TV to the retail environment and even the product itself.” The article also notes that the French national railway, SNCF, which cared “an audio DNA with the goal of communicating their leadership along with the comfort and caring that distinguished the brand.”
With audio consumption on the rise — through podcasts; audio digital assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana; and the rise of smart audio like the Amazon Alexa and Google Home — the opportunity to make an impression and create an instant connection between a sound and a brand is growing more and more important.
In this FIR Interview, host Shel Holtz talks with Scott about his inspiration for the company, the process he and Pascual use, a case study from one of their early clients, and some of the uses for sonic branding that probably haven’t occurred to you yet.
FIR Interviews are sponsored by Thornley Fallis, the public engagement specialists. If you are looking for tools and up to date techniques to engage with your community, Thornley Fallis can help. Find them at thornleyfallis.com.
About Our Conversation Partner
In 2002, David Meerman Scott left big company life and began writing books, speaking at conferences and events, and serving on advisory boards of organizations including HubSpot, where he also servse as Marketer in Residence. His current portfolio of advisory clients also includes Mynd, Expertfile, YayPay, RISEcx, Set The Set, VisibleGains, SlapFive, and GutCheck as well as non-profits including the Grateful Dead Archive at University of California Santa Cruz and HeadCount. He is the author or co-author of 10 books – three are international bestsellers. David is best known for The New Rules of Marketing & PR, now in its 5th edition, which has been translated into 26 languages from Albanian to Vietnamese, with over 375,000 copies sold so far. He also authored Real-Time Marketing & PR, a Wall Street Journal bestseller, and his newest, The New Rules of Sales & Service.
David Meerman Scott says
Shel, it was great to speak with you about sonic branding! (And a little Grateful Dead too).
Many thanks for having me on the show.