(This article is co-authored by principals at ABND B2B Practice (an India-based brand consultancy) and Unmute (a Denmark-based sonic branding agency) and is part of a series to promote their joint mission to ‘Humanize B2B Brands with Power of Sound’.)
B2B brands have traditionally mostly operated behind the scenes. They have had limited visibility in the day to day mediascape as compared to consumer brands.
However, increasingly B2B brands, more than ever, want their brand impact to be felt among larger audiences rather than be restrictive and sales-oriented to a narrow set of buyer profiles. This shows a focus on building brands with future potential buyers in mind rather than simply using a lead-led ‘now’ approach.
This paves way for emotions to make an entry into B2B brand-building and marketing. Again, it is a clear shift from the focus on the why, what and how of the businesses – the technicalities and functional RTBs (reasons to believe).
Leaving behind this mechanical approach to brand building is how B2B brands are become more human. And today, when brands have ample opportunities and touchpoints to be more human, the multisensorial marketing approach is gaining good ground.
Sound, thus, is an obvious important factor for B2B brands. It invokes emotions in less than 0.05 seconds. This fact provides ample scope for the brand to create impact at touchpoints, digitally and physically.
Hitherto, sound and music have been used in advertising to support narratives and create a deeper brand connection. But when sound becomes an actual part of the product and user experience, opportunities multiply.
Beyond the unique opportunity for B2B brands to make sound and music part of their actual products or user experiences, they hold the ability to also transfer the same energy into marketing activities so that the complete brand experience becomes more consistent, memorable, and human.
In summation, sonic brand – as we should call it – is a better tool for humanizing a B2B brand. Not only because of the business impact and long-term brand-building, but because it also has an instantaneous and enhanced impact of other body senses. For instance, rhythm can not only impact ears, but it also creates a movement in the body, tug the heart and embed the sonic brand asset into muscle memory for future recall.
So, the impact of sound is not limited to the auditory sense alone. It can make B2B brands come to life and have a persona beyond the staid be ‘unboring’ and more engaging.