Feb 8, 2009

Brian Gainor on "Sonic Branding"

As a follow up to our recent post about the Garth Brooks song in Kansas City, here's a piece on "sonic branding" by Brian Gainor on his excellent Partnership Activation blog:
Sit back and take a quick moment to think, what is the sound of your brand? How does the "sound" of the Dallas Cowboys differ from that of the Miami Dolphins? How does Miller Lite differ from Heineken?

From classical to country to hip-hop, brands across the globe connect with consumers with different sounds. What I am talking about is Sonic Branding, the use of a special sound to identify and advertise products associated with a particular manufacturer. Sonic branding is becoming an increasingly powerful tool for brands to convey memorable messages to consumers... Why? Marketers are now starting to combine music and sports to hit their target consumer base's multiple passion points...

How are professional organizations starting to capitalize on this phenomenon? They are starting to take ownership of their music by integrating corporate partners more heavily in their online content/in-game music (i.e. offering team/player music via iTunes integration online) and are taking greater strides to understand how they can win over more consumers by creating products/events that incorpoate both music and sports (i.e. Nike Plus).

From an outsiders view, which teams have done a great job capitalizing on the passion that fans have for both music and sports? Consider the ways that Celtic Glasow, Liverpool FC, the Boston Red Sox, and the New York Yankees incorporate music into their game experience. Can these organizations do a much better job leveraging these sounds as assets? Of course... Which is definitely something that we will start to see all teams expound upon in the near future as consumers take greater control of their music and sports...

There plenty of examples of teams with a song that fans have adopted -- for example, the "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" tradition at the Chicago Cubs. Here are some other ones: