To many they are simply annoying jingles that stay in your head all day long; to others they are “sonic identities” that can be the difference between success and failure of your brand, especially among certain age groups.
So says a new study by specialist sonic branding and music production agency DLMDD, which reveals that one in three (33%) adults under the age of 35 feel more favourable towards brands with a sonic identity than those without.
The research, conducted by YouGov, claims to lift the lid on the purchasing power of sound within brand marketing, further revealing that almost 1 in 5 (18%) adults under 35 years are more inclined to actually choose or buy a product or brand with a sonic identity than one without.
With over 14 million adults in Britain under the age of 35, the use of audio presents a significant market opportunity for brands, the company reckons.
The survey of over 2,000 adults from across Britain found significant differences in attitudes towards sound within marketing among different age groups, with the younger generations more favourable towards brands that use sound as a core part of their architecture, than those from older age groups.
Adults under the age of 35 years span both the Millennials and Generation Z groups, and according to the Experian Spending Power Index 2019, Millennials make up a third of the UK population, and with many in this group owning their own home, starting families, and taking on senior positions at work, the Millennial pound is going from strength to strength.
Meanwhile, in 2020 Gen Z accounted for 40% of global consumers and has become one of the fastest growing consumer markets for brands.
As part of the study, respondents were also asked to indicate from a list of brands which they associated with having their own sonic identity. McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ it’ whistle topped the list, and then Coca-Cola’s bottle opening and fizz and Netflix’s ‘Ta-dum’. They were followed by Disney, Intel, Apple, Audi, O2, Aldi and Mastercard.
When asked to name any other brands with a recognisable sonic identity from those provided, the most referenced brand name cited by respondents was Asda.
DLMDD co-founder Max De Lucia said: “While there have been a number of studies that look at the relationship between sound and brand recall, this research is the first to explore how sound can actually influence consumer choice and spending.
“Millennials and Gen Z are a powerful economic force that consume a far more diverse range of media than older generations, allowing brands to deploy more sensory and interactive marketing tools, including music and sound.
“Looking to the future, this demographic will be the driving force of the global economy and is therefore a crucial market for brands to target. And with sound already playing a part in their consumer choices, now is the time for brands to make sound a core ingredient of their architecture.”
Professor Charles Spence, experimental psychologist at The University of Oxford, added: “Audio branding is finally coming of age, in part driven by the rise of voice-activated devices and in part due to a growing realisation that it is possible to connect more effectively with consumers by engaging them with their ears and not just their eyes.
“This survey highlights the increased engagement with sonic brand identity is especially pronounced among younger consumers – those under 35 years of age.”
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