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Audio branding and recruiting

Dan Lafferty, director of voice and music at PHMG

The sound of a brand is just as important as how it looks.

Take, for example, technology giant Intel. Its signature audio jingle has helped the company become one of the most recognisable brands in the world with it being every bit as identifiable as its logo.  

Yet it’s not just large, global organisations with a disposable budget who can benefit from audio branding. The largest application is actually on the telephone – a key tool for inbound recruitment enquiries and liaising with clients and jobseekers.

A powerful tool

Hearing is one of our most dominant senses, capable of having a profound effect on a person’s subconscious. In business terms, it is particularly effective in portraying a company’s desired brand image and values while strengthening the existing visual branding.

The problem, however, lies in how it is implemented. Using inappropriate voice and music will convey the wrong brand ideals, creating a perception in the customer’s mind that is difficult to shake.

Given a study of 1,000 British consumers by PHMG discovered 42 per cent of respondents would still rather have enquiries answered over the phone than look online, being faced with inappropriate sounds could prove off-putting and prompt hang-ups.

Lottery of previous experience

Music comes with emotional baggage. For example, one person’s favourite song might be disliked by another. Similarly, a song could remind the listener of happy memories or, alternatively, prompt thoughts of a negative time. Each person is different so by playing a piece of commercial music in your audio brand can be risky.

Equally, using generic voice and music is bland and can be perceived as irritating so it pays to look to an audio branding professional to implement a unique track that takes into account the existing visual branding to find the most suitable style, tone and overall sound of the organisation.

Hit the right note

When it comes to choosing music, each element of the track, from instrumentation to key, should all be considered to accurately portray the desired brand image and values.

For recruitment companies, it can vary depending on what industry the organisation is targeting. For example, a business recruiting for the construction industry is generally more geared towards live band set-ups with electric guitars and powerful drums whereas the music for more corporate industries tends to lean towards more electronic sounds.

The common theme, however, is a track with a very motivated feel, upbeat tempo and catchy, memorable melodic lines to reflect the energetic and driven nature of recruiters. 

The voice of the business

As with music, there are a few variables to consider when choosing the voice of your business, such as gender, pitch and whether an accent should be used.

Research has found that the typical voice of the recruitment industry is animated and upbeat in delivery but with a very professional tone. This reinforces the attributes already in place from the music track while conveying the expertise of the business.

Both a male and female voice are used in a recruitment agency’s audio brand, not only helping to appeal to the wide customer base but also because they have different associations. For example, a masculine voice is generally perceived as authoritative so could be used to express knowledgeability. On the other hand, a feminine voice is considered soothing and understanding, emphasising a commitment to good service.

Recruitment businesses also tend to use a voice with a neutral accent rather than a regional dialect. This is perhaps, once again, due to their large target market – both in terms of job seekers and those offering the role – being based all over rather than in one certain area.

The benefits

For recruitment agencies looking to increase revenue and grow their business, professionalism is key. Customers want to know they are dealing with a company who has the knowledge and skill to find the perfect candidate to an organisation or oversee a job seeker’s next career move.  

Sound can help bolster the brand image already put in place by visual branding and further boost the company’s reputation as a professional, reliable organisation. It makes sound business sense for recruiters to consider audio branding as part of their marketing strategy.   

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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