Sunday, March 21, 2010

A baby's giggle is the most addictive sound in the world -- or so author and neuromarketer Martin Lindstrom would have us believe. And based on what the science is telling us, it would be wise to do so. Lindstrom, author of the worldwide bestseller Buyology has released his second book Brand Sense and he's tackling the world of sound and how our brains just can't help but override our rational thinking when it comes to certain sounds. The 10 most addictive sounds in the world: Please note, 7 of the top ten are human-manufactured sounds. What you're not finding in this list are birds chirping, the ocean surf, or a babbling brook. And what is staggering is that most of these sounds are linked to branded products -- addictive sounds that tend to make us think of these products and/or feel emotionally attached to them. I asked Lindstrom what made a sound addictive. He noted three qualities:
  1. emotional engagement
  2. remembrance/stickyness
  3. the ability to continue to listen to the sound over and over
It occurred to me that these same standards of addictiveness apply across all levels of marketing and communications. Three critical elements we should always be striving toward achieving. Lindstrom just happens to point out that the integration of sounds -- the most powerful of the senses -- into our marketing could very well be a significant turning point in the near future of what makes a marketing message/icon pull better than the competition. So what does this mean for the average, every-day marketer? First, listen to my podcast interview with Martin to get the full picture for yourself. You can buy his book as well: Brand Sense, or his first book Buyology. You can read, listen, and develop your own plan. But I suggest you start with some simple steps:Identify what makes you unique.
  1. Brainstorm ways you can appeal to all the senses of your audience. Don't just work on the visual -- because your logo has oh-s0-little impact in the broader scheme of things.
  2. Create multi-sense experiences at all stages of your marketing stream -- upstream awareness and downstream sales (Buyology has great research in it identifying how Coke rules American Idol brand awareness without even running commercials during the broadcast).
  3. Pilot, test, and improve.
I'd love your feedback on Lindstrom's research and the impact to your marketing -- or the ethics of this as well.

-- David Kinard, PCM


Karl Wolfbrooks Ager said...

I count nine out of ten human-created sounds. Also, why isn't the sound of a vegas slot machine there? And what's the difference between a single sound "a vibrating phone" and a song, "Star Spangled Banner"? A lot, I think!

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