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Why You Need Audio Branding

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Guest: Jodi Krangle

Hello everyone, welcome to the digital brand builder podcast today. Joining me is Jody Krangle, and she’s going to talk about something that I don’t have a lot of knowledge about but I’m very interested in and that is the power of branding, your business with audio and music and voiceovers and why that is authentically and deeply connected with your audience, or customers so Jodi Welcome to the show will you give us maybe 100 words or less background on yourself and experience.

01:53

Thank you for having me here. First of all, and yeah, my background is in music really if you get right down to it, I got into voiceovers in 2007. After doing some volunteer work for the cniv than 9596 I think that was. And the cniv is the Canadian National Institute for the blind so I was reading books onto tape, which really was taped at the time, and learned a lot about it really was intrigued was as interested with the tech as I was with anything else, actually, and it took me a while but I researched it and got into it, and went full time in 2007.

Mark Fidelman  02:33

Wonderful. Okay, so, you know, this might be a little strange for people to hear about audio branding, can you give us kind of a. I don’t know what background of what it is and why it’s important.

Jodi Krangle 02:46

Well, as a voice actor I was really intrigued by people using my voice to brand their companies, and so this is like one tiny little piece of the whole audio branding spectrum, but essentially it’s a really quick, easy shorthands to get right to your clients or customers your audience’s heart really quickly, because, audio, our, our sense of hearing is one of our strongest senses and it really reaches us on a, on a very deep level. And I think, not enough people use that in their brand voice and when I say brand voice I mean more broadly, your entire branding spectrum. Again, not many people use it to the advantage that it could be taken. If you’re more intentional with it I think it can really be used to good effect.

Mark Fidelman  03:37

Okay, and. Is this like, you know, really important that people, you know, start with this as branding or are there other aspects of branding I’m just trying to position it for them like, you know, in terms of branding people start to think about logos and colors and that to me is like not even close to the top of branding where do you position. Audio branding in that list of, okay, you want to rebrand or, or create a brand. Where do you position audio branding in that stack.

04:08

Well first of all, first off I think that if you’re not thinking about the audio portion of the whole branding aspect, you’re missing a huge piece. And if that audio doesn’t match your visual people aren’t going to trust you, and they’re not quite gonna know why it’s almost unconscious, there needs to be a connection between the two. So once you figure out your why. And you know what emotions you want people to feel that’s really how you can, that’s kind of the top thing. Once you know what your company stands for why you do what you do. And you associate that with brand colors and a logo, but you also associate that with how you sound so what what music you use what voiceover you use what sound effects you might use. Are you a casual or a formal company. If you’re casual you might use more contractions in your voiceovers, or you might be more casual music. If you’re more formal you might use classical music you might, you know, not use contractions in your vertising. There’s different feelings to different types of companies and what they do.

Mark Fidelman  05:20

Okay, so before we jump into how to do this. who do you know that’s doing it well. And maybe somebody that’s not doing it well that you’d love to work with to change that.

05:33

Well, the people I think are doing it really well are companies like Intel in particular I use them as an example because they have what’s called an ear con. So they use that duck, duck, duck down you know that that sound that you constantly associate with them, but what they did was they didn’t advertise themselves, they added their little you know quality inside logo sound to every technology company’s advertising to demonstrate that they had quality inside their product. So they were sort of the add on to, but they became associated with that quality, just by that sound. So if you hear that sound now it’s automatically associated with quality and tech. It’s just an automatic Association. Yeah, so, like, think of how you don’t even need to know what language they speak, it doesn’t matter. It’s worldwide. It’s a sound and language is no barrier. So it’s really kind of cool that way, as opposed to, I don’t know like who doesn’t use it, I. It’s hard to say because people who I would think would use it to great effect just aren’t really, as an example,

Mark Fidelman  06:49

is it because they, they don’t know any better. Or is it because they’re just don’t feel like it works, what’s the reasons and excuses you hear.

06:59

I think it’s likely that they’ve never heard of it, and they didn’t know it was the thing. They’re all very conscious of the logos and the colors and the feel of their advertising. Visually, but they’re not quite aware of how much of an impact that sound can make. And that’s, that’s kind of disappointing to me. I know a lot of companies for instance switch their voiceover artists on like a regular basis like everything they do. It’s a different voice actor. and I don’t you know I get why people do that they have different feelings for different types of promotions I understand how that works. But at the same time. Once you get an association with a type of sound. Getting rid of it and changing it multiple times means that consistency isn’t there and you can’t get the associations that you might otherwise get. So I think they’re missing out on an aspect that could be really powerful for them.

Mark Fidelman  07:56

Are you do you kind of go in and look at okay what current sounds Do they have associated with them and then you make recommendations like what if I were united airlines and I came to you and Beethoven, I use a lot of Beethoven, I think, and other classical music in their ads and onboard. Is that a good fit for them and how do you know.

08:19

Well honestly I am not an expert, per se, and this, I’m someone who studies it, just like you know anyone else who has a podcast. I’m interviewing people who do this on a regular basis but I’m not actually implementing it for other people. So, I am learning at the feet of other people who do this for a living. I’ve interviewed Steve teller who is the sonic branding fellow for Pandora. I interview audio engineers and people who do sound design people who teach film in universities and colleges, all sorts of different people who talk about this on a regular basis, but it’s not something that I go into accompany and advice on.

Mark Fidelman  09:01

Okay, got it. So, before we jump into the how, what is it that you do specifically.

09:08

I am a voice actor, so I like i said i’m one small portion of that audio branding spectrum, and I see that little part of what I do, and intrigues me enough to want to see the bigger picture.

Mark Fidelman  09:24

Okay. And so, you still only focus on voice acting you’re not getting into these other aspects.

09:31

Yeah, no. Okay,

Mark Fidelman  09:32

okay, but you do have an opinion on them.

09:34

Yeah. Oh, I definitely. Yeah, and I can totally direct people to other companies who might be able to help them if that’s something that they were interested in. I’m always interested in learning more, I just don’t claim that I’m the expert. Right.

Mark Fidelman  09:49

Right. Well, we’d love to hear your opinion so let’s talk about a company that doesn’t have any audio branding at all. What is the first thing that they should they should do.

10:01

Well, I actually have a kind of PDF I guess which asks, some key questions. It’s, it’s like any marketing. I mean, as a marketer, you ask certain questions to get to the meat of what the client the company. The brand is trying to accomplish, who are their audience, who are they selling their product to creating their service for and what do those people care about where are they. So a lot of your audio branding is going to be sort of predicated on where these people are, and what is important to them. And you need to know your why, and who you’re trying to reach and where they are before you can even start.

Mark Fidelman  10:47

Okay. So you start with a why, and let’s say you figured that out. And you’ve got a good branding message, and you know what you’re doing, and who you’re doing it for. How do you then tie that to voiceover and music and audio cues like Intel’s done

11:05

well your columns are a different thing, uh, you know, it depends on how big your company is and how consistent you can be over time, you know things like the Taco Bell Bell or the NBC logo you know some things that are definitely associated with the brands that created them. And that’s happened over time, McDonald’s is another famous, you know, dah dah dah dah right we all know that, right. So, that kind of thing is, it’s something that happens over time, as, as you use something consistently. And it’s funny but I don’t think these days, a lot of people use things as consistently as they could. I know for instance, MasterCard, just maybe two years ago maybe a little more made a whole soundscape for their brand that they’re translating depending on where people are in the world. So, it’s a series of, I think, three notes basically that changes depending on where you’re hearing it. And depending on what musical instruments they’re using. And what piece they’re using like is is someone doing a transaction on a machine or are they on the computer, or, you know a whole bunch of different things that you said in advertising, but again it’s consistent use and, and they paid millions of dollars for this to be developed for them so you know it you can spend a lot of money on this but at the same time, you don’t necessarily have to. Once you know the why. I think the most important thing is to figure out where your audience is and how you want to reach them. So if they’re all online then maybe you want to make a pre roll ad, like a YouTube ad, maybe you want to make a Facebook ad, Maybe you want to go on Instagram. You know, maybe you just want a brand anthem on your website that you can promote to various people. And in that case, it’s building the video but it’s also building the music behind that video and the voice behind that video and any sound design. So, you can work in those audio elements, depending on what your needs are and who you’re trying to reach.

Mark Fidelman  13:19

Okay. Is it a testing type of thing no are you like me.

13:25

I would imagine you test out things and see what works and what doesn’t.

Mark Fidelman  13:29

Like I work with clients and we do a lot of videos, and you know I’m always looking for Intro music and outro music and if it’s a podcast you know a voiceover artist, and it’s it’s trying sometimes because, you know, there’s literally millions of tracks, you can choose from in terms of music, and you can kind of narrow it down with key words but there’s still hundreds of thousands, it’s really challenging to get something, you know, our clients like it’s usually me just saying here your three choices. That’s it. But I do try to match the music to what I think the personality is it I almost think of it as okay. The brand is a personality you’re sitting in a car. What is the expected music, they’re playing in the car and that’s typically what it comes down to for me in terms of a voiceover artists like you are I struggle with that I don’t know how to relate the two Is there any, you know, shortcuts that you can give us on that.

14:27

Well, again, I think the first question to ask is how formal or informal is your brand. Because the voice and the music as well are probably going to be influenced by that decision. So if you’re very informal you might want a more urban hip kind of voice, you know, if you are a little more of a luxury item or, you know, some travel hospitality stuff, then maybe you want a smoother voice you if you have like a young hip kind of brand you might want a higher voice that is maybe the voice of your demographic, the people you’re selling to. It really depends on what it is you’re selling and, and whether you’re trying to convey the message, as someone who is your clientele, or someone who your clientele might admire.

Mark Fidelman  15:19

Okay and so where would you position yourself if somebody were coming for voiceover artists, where would you kind of position yourself in that regards.

15:30

Well, myself, I have a pretty smooth voice so I would never ever claim to be urban and hip or cool or nature so

Mark Fidelman  15:41

I don’t know if you have kids but they would laugh at that one but go ahead.

15:47

Yeah. So, like Nike would not come to me for a voiceover right Gatorade wouldn’t come to me for a voiceover. But I do do a lot of healthcare I do a lot of financial industry stuff. I’ve done stuff for Dell for high tech companies. You know, these days actually with the whole pandemic going on, people have been coming to me for a lot of the reassuring comforting authoritative but still approachable kinds of reads. Right, so it’s been interesting, I used to do a lot of hospitality and travel industry, because I can convey a certain amount of excitement, as well. Right, but that of course has sort of closed down right now so it’s kind of switching into insurance companies and finance and healthcare and all the things that need that reassuring warm, it’s going to be okay kind of voice.

16:47

Um,

Mark Fidelman  16:47

yeah i mean that makes total sense to me. And, and we put up links to where people can find you if they want to work with you. By the way, how do you know because I you know we’ve got mostly marketers that are listening in. How do you know when you’ve got a good audio branding connection with your customers or audience is there is there a way of measuring it, or is there a way of determining that it’s not working.

17:13

I’m not sure if there’s a way to measure it, unless you’re selling more, you know, accomplishing more with your branding. I think one of the best ways to gauge this though is are people remembering you. So, if you do a commercial and the commercial is really clever but no one remembers who the commercial was for that’s failed advertising. So, you know, you want to make sure that you’re remembered, and the audio, coupled with the visual can really help with that because it makes an emotional connection. Whereas, we’re so inundated with the visual these days, that it’s really hard to be memorable. When all you’re seeing is what you’re seeing

Mark Fidelman  17:58

and branding is so amorphous and it’s really hard to measure branding, I think, product recall company recall are important. And a lot of that’s carried out through surveys, and through other other means. I think the same thing can be done with audio branding where you, you can ask people about the Intel ding for example everyone’s gonna know what that is. There are things that you could probably measure it by and or on the spot, just ask them. Is this a voice that appeals to you or doesn’t appeal to you or is this music that appeals to you or doesn’t appeal to you I think you could do it that way I struggle with how you’d be able to pull out each piece of an advertisement and just say that’s the that’s the reason why it didn’t work or that’s the reason why it worked, it’s all going to work in concert.

18:48

Well, I think what you can do is have some elements in one and take them out in another, and see what happens. So, in one for instance if you made a video for a company you could you could just have the visual, you could add music, then you could add music and a voiceover you know like you could see which one, the audience responded more to. Yeah, and I think that would be an interesting test. Yeah,

Mark Fidelman  19:15

right. So, if anyone’s done that test please reach out to us and let us know. I can be fine. Okay, so we’re gonna wrap things up now, with my our final two questions that we ask everybody and the first one. and I find your answer kind of amusing is, what is the hottest digital marketing technology that you recommend, others use.

19:37

I don’t know if this is the hottest but it’s the one I use every single day, and it’s Gmail. It’s as simple as Gmail, I have so many folders in this thing, it’s probably not even funny.

Mark Fidelman  19:52

So if Gmail went out of business, you’d be in trouble. Sounds like

19:56

I honestly guess. Yeah, I would totally be in trouble. Like, I even pay for G Suite, I just, I went, the whole nine yards with it because I just, I use it every day in it, it kind of replaces my CRM, because I’ve tried multiple CRMs and I just haven’t been able to continue keeping them up. But all I have to do is do a simple search in my Gmail and I can find anything I need.

Mark Fidelman  20:19

Yeah,

20:20

and I can schedule things to appear on the day that I need them to appear so I can remember that I need to know something next Monday I need to be reminded of this particular thing, and I can just have that email appear in my, in my inbox. On that day,

Mark Fidelman  20:36

and you know what the snooze feature. Yeah,

20:38

you can do that, I go through reminders there.

Mark Fidelman  20:41

I like to tell tell people that email is a victim of its own success because it works so well and it’s cross platform that you know you got spammers you’ve got all sorts of charlatans that are sending emails out because because it reaches people it works. One of the things I point out with Gmail is I you know there’s ancillary services that you can attach to it at the browser level like revamp and nimble. And that really enhance that Gmail experience and turn it into something that it originally wasn’t designed for. So, Gmail is a big winner, I think, nobody’s ever mentioned that before but I could see why it’s so critical to your success.

21:21

I used to use something called mixed Max, which was a another plugin that you could put into it and again it was a little more of a complicated sort of scheduler type thing. Yeah. I have removed it since because I went from Gmail to G Suite, and I just sort of got rid of everything to sort of start from scratch and and I’ve just not reintegrated it just yet, but I’m finding that the scheduler works just fine as it is.

Mark Fidelman  21:45

Okay, well good. Now, the second question. Who do you feel is the most influential person in marketing today.

21:53

I find, Donald Miller, to be a really interesting influencer because I really love the idea of story brand, I don’t know if you’re familiar with

Mark Fidelman  22:04

it a little bit, maybe you can outline it for everybody.

22:08

Well the the idea of story brand, basically is like to keep it simple stupid type you know type thing. We all have a story to tell, but that story needs to be very simple and it needs to be one one concept at a time, basically I think is mostly what I got from what he was saying, if you make it too complicated people don’t know what to do. Yeah. And, and you need to make your message very focused and very simple. And so telling people on your first page, what your backstory is isn’t necessarily what they’re after they want to know what you can do to solve their problem. And you phrase that in a way that makes you feel like you’re the guide, helping them to be the hero.

Mark Fidelman  23:02

Wonderful. Okay, well, Donald Miller, I’m gonna put some of the links in the description so please be aware of that. So, Jodi we’re going to wrap things up but before we do, where can people find you.

23:18

voiceovers and vocals, calm, or my audio branding podcast is at audio branding podcast.com pretty simple.

Mark Fidelman  23:27

Excellent. You’re probably the smoothest voice we’ve had on this, this podcast so I appreciate that. And I look forward to talking to you in the future.

23:39

Likewise.


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