Written by: Cristina García
In general when you think of your hotel’s brand you know for sure that the first thing you need to have is your visual identity. It seems the most important thing. But you can go further with your branding strategies.
When we talk about branding we always say that it is the strategy that has to build your corporate identity by defining the visual, emotional and communicative features of your brand. That is, branding is the creation of a universe that identifies how your brand is, how it is conveyed and how it is perceived. Within this universe, sensory branding is equally important.
One of the fundamental manifestations of sensorial branding is audio branding, the specialty that is in charge of the sonorous design of your brand. The sound of the holiday experience you offer. Therefore, your brand creation not only had to be understood as visual, but also, as an audio-visual communication strategy.
Audio branding works by awakening one of the five fundamental senses to attract your potential clients: the hearing one. Obviously producing the right sound is not an isolated work, but is taken into account throughout the whole branding process.
Probably the sound of many brands is coming to your mind right now. Brands of technological products, food, etc. Brands that you immediately associate with an experience. That is the goal of audio branding. The immediate emotional association, the generation of a memory.
Now could you associate any particular sound to any hotel chains? Not yet many hotels have incorporated audio branding as one of their branding techniques to define, differentiate and communicate. And why not set a trend?
Think that sounds and music began to be part of brands advertising and marketing when the first radio wedges were emitted. They’re not something new, and even if you don’t consider radio as a channel to promote your brand awareness, there are many other channels where sound is crucial.
Audio branding has to be coherent within a comprehensive strategy. Obviously you’re not going to think of channels that your potential consumers never use, but those channels you are more likely to communicate with them. Nowadays these channels may be social media networks, but they’re not the only ones.
Keep in mind that audio branding can be manifested for example through the same voice-over actors or singers in your corporate videos. Imagine that you always choose the same type of voice (masculine, feminine), with the same type of tone (low, high) and with the same type of speech according to your brand values.
Your hotel brand can also be identified offline if you always use the same music style (for example, accompany the spaces of your hotels). Or if you have a specific melody during the waiting calling second when a potential customer wants to solve any doubts, wants to book, etc. And online if you build a palette of sounds on your website, as if you would build a branded color palette.
A very striking example comes from Bahía Príncipe. This hotel chain has created a unique melody for their videos. Melody that you can also hear with lyrics when you call one of their hotels.
The same type of rhythm is used in a very funny farewell video although the letter varies. But this is not just for a video; they also use it in their hotels. And also, they have a logo-sound (the musical notes that accompany their logo) that appears in some corporate videos. That is, their audio branding proposal helps to engage their ideal consumers.
There are psychology studies that have proven that we can associate sounds we hear with certain memories. Therefore it is necessary to understand the repercussion that the sounds you include will have in the receiver. You don’t want them to express negative feelings. You want you sound even manifest positive moods. Since a mood is easily associated with a certain holiday experience.
For that reason, audio has to be a constant in your brand identity. If you choose to use it, it would be confusing if consumers hear to variety of sounds. That doesn’t mean you cannot include variations or different versions. You can. But bare in mind, you want your potential customers to identify you with a style, just like the visual.
Your brand must create emotions, awaken memories, and inspire actions. It must offer value. A brand is not just a logo, colors and typography. A brand is much more. Think that today’s consumers are supersaturated with the visual impact of the different brands. Nowadays we know how to discriminate this visual information, but we are not so trained in how to discriminate the sound. And so audio branding can highly help your brand.