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Whatever is Golden, it usually isn’t Silence

Can you hear me?

You are a good driver, right? I’m sure you are diligent and attentive and you always have your mind on the road and its other users. Always. And yet, I could probably reduce the level of attention you are giving the road to a fraction of what it usually is by doing just one simple thing. Any ideas what it is?

I could simply play your favourite song. Even better if it is your favourite song from your late teens. Because what will happen is your brain will be flooded with memories of ‘that person’ who made your heart race, you will be recalling your first dance with them or the snog at the end of that film you went to see. You will be transported back to a different time, place and maybe circle of friends. Time will stand still…all whilst you are still doing 68mph (well done you!) on the motorway.

Music can do that to us. It transports us and stimulates memories and emotions without us even trying. And so can many of the sounds we are surrounded by and bombarded with on a continuous basis.

Let’s do a quick test. Wherever you are, just read through this list of some of the most recognisable sounds, and see how many you can conjure up in your mind. Ready?

  1. a baby’s giggle
  2. a vibrating phone
  3. a supermarket till
  4. a fizzy drinks can being opened
  5. waves crashing on a beach

How do they make you feel? What about if the baby was crying instead of giggling – I bet you would have felt differently then? You see, these sounds are embedded within our brains and can sit there dormant for years just waiting to be needed. So, here is their moment. See how many of these you can conjure up from the depths of your memory too:

  1. the theme tune for the ‘Rainbow’ children’s TV programme
  2. the ‘Finger of Fudge’ song from the advert
  3. the sound of the Green Giant’s laugh
  4. the music the red phone/car used to come into on the Direct Line advert
  5. the Intel processor sound

How did you do? The power of strong audio brands can last a lifetime. But more than that, the sounds which accompany us as we go through our day have a direct impact on us to. Do you know that if music played in a restaurant has a beat which is slower than your heartbeat, you will eat slower and eat more? Or that if you remove the sounds from slot machines in Vegas, their revenue drops by as much as 24%?

So, if you are seeking to create a strong and distinctive brand, make sure you include sound in your plans. Sounds can grab our attention in ways few other senses do.

Through attention and repetition, sounds and phrases become part of our very fabric. “You are the Weakest Link…Goodbye”. I bet you didn’t say ‘goodbye’ properly did you? I bet you clipped it just the way Anne Robinson used to do. And since Len Goodman, how many of us still say ‘seven’ normally?!

Words, phrases, music, sounds. Their power is far reaching…even back to your childhood!