June 4, 2019

How Brands Can Adapt to an Audio-First World

Carrie Kerpen

Do you know what your brand sounds like? According to Pandora CMO Aimée Lapic, that’s a question more and more marketers need to be asking themselves.

On a recent episode of my All the Social Ladies podcast, Lapic shared with me her thoughts on how our increasingly audio-first world will impact brand marketing.

As of October 2018, 21 percent of U.S. internet users owned a smart speaker. An estimated 73 million Americans (or more than one-fifth of the population) listened to a podcast last year, with that number expected to rise to 76.4 million in 2019. As consumers begin to interact more and more with brands from an audio perspective, rather than through textual or visual communication, brands need to adapt.

“It’s really critical to meet consumers where they are,” says Lapic. “As this advent of connected devices and audio-first happens, brands have to be able to be recognized. You want to be able to immediately stress your value proposition to consumers.”

That’s precisely why Pandora has started to advocate for sonic identities. Earlier this year, the brand unveiled its first sonic logo as part of the new “Sound On” campaign.

“Within 1.5 seconds, you should be able to recognize that it’s Pandora,” Lapic explains. “As we go out into the world as our brand, we want to be known as Pandora first.”

In a marketing ecosystem that’s becoming increasingly influenced by audio and voice, Lapic believes that sonic identities will soon become the future of all branding. In fact, Pandora has started to create sonic logos for many of its advertising partners as well.

In many ways, this innovation in marketing isn’t all that revolutionary. Anyone who instantly associates AOL or Intel with a sound will tell you that jingles are nothing new. But in today’s saturated media landscape where consumers have shorter attention spans than ever, brands can’t afford not to make their mark with audio.

Or, as Lapic reasons, “Jingles have always been popular, but now they’re critical.”

Want to learn more about sonic branding? Listen to Aimée Lapic on All the Social Ladies.

Tags: Consumer Insights, Creative, Niche Networks, Strategy, Trends

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