Effects of sound logos – Setting expectation
Af: Jesper Ramsgaard
Like any other brand element sound logos can be used for setting product expectations. Audio/visual interaction and cross-modal correspondence are all phenomena, which can be used in aligning consumer expectation to the actual product or brand.
Modifying product/brand expectations using sound was not an integrated part of the ExSl project (as structured experiment), but still an important effect expected in sound branding. We are all familiar with how sound can modify expectations to story telling (e.g. movie sound tracks), and we have shown examples on how brand perceptions can be modified using sound.
Mental Workout’s sound logo provides a valuable example of how company name/logo and sound logo interaction can provide a more precise brand/product expectation. I usually apply this example when doing a presentation on the topic, and always with the same result.
I usually ask the audience to describe what service/product they think Mental Workout provides when only looking at the logo/name (as a top-of-mind exercise). They usually come up with words like exercise, chess, Sudoku, work etc. After having done this short word elicitation we asked them to listen to the companies sound logo while looking at the logo/name, and then describe what product/service Mental Workout provides. This time words like meditation, relaxation, and ease, is usually elicited by the audience.
Mental Workouts sound logo is produced around a slight tonal tension followed by a full ease and relaxed decay built around the sound effect of a human exhale. The result of adding the sound logo to the logo/name was a much more precise interpretation of the brand and service.
This is a good example of how sound logos and brand name can interact to create the right expectations to the brand and the service/product that they provide – simply by adding more meaningful and congruent information from a separate sensory modality. Scholars like Scott (1990) emphasize that an ad (in this case interpreted as any audio-visual representation of the company presented to a consumer) is similar to any speech-act, where syntax is important, meaning that the interaction between symbols like musical, visual, and verbal elements is basic in understanding and “reading” the message (Scott, 1990).
Consumer experience is highly correlated to expectations and fulfilling or surprising according to these. Use sound to set the right expectations.
-Scott, L. M. (1990). Understanding jingles and needledrop: A rhetorical approach to music in advertising. Journal of Consumer Research, 17(2), 223-236.