Whether you’re swiping your credit card, stepping into a store or watching a commercial, sound is everywhere. And more often than not, those aren’t random noises or music that you hear; they’re intentional choices—the company’s sonic brand.
And that’s the case for Promax, which recently underwent a brand refresh of its own in collaboration with creative agency Loyalkaspar. The entertainment marketing association partnered with Man Made Music—whose founder, Joel Beckerman, serves on the association’s board of directors—to create the sound now associated with Promax’s identity.
But how does a company or product “sound?” It’s about creating an experience, one that begins at the core of the brand itself, says Danni Venne, EVP, global head creative for Man Made Music.
“With Promax, we started by [asking ourselves]: how’s it going to stand out? How is the conference going to make people excited about being among this group of creators who are very passionate? That way we understand the brand, its personality and what we have to bring to life,” Venne said.
Similar to building a visual brand—which encompasses visual elements such as color palettes, iconography, style guides, fonts, etc.—sonic branding has its fair share of elements that come together to bring a brand to life. It starts with an anthem—the long-form piece of music that creates emotion, captures the company’s mission statement, and develops a palette of thematic material that includes melodies and hooks within a piece of music.
“There’s real music being made that influences something as short as a two-and-a-half-second sonic logo, which might just be that melody played with a couple of instruments,” Venne said. “But it came out of something that is more emotionally resonant and becomes easier to boil down into shorter assets.”
And it’s those smaller assets—the sound of your computer turning on, the validating sound when you swipe your card, and, in Promax’s case, the sound you hear in videos and at special events—that create an identity that audiences recognize in the long run.
“Just by replacing the music with something that feels more innovative or forward leaning, the company feels more innovative and forward-leaning,” Venne said. And the average viewer of this content is not even really going to be aware that the music is doing that alone. [Whether it’s] brand, rebrand or brand shifts, music can be very effective.”
Man Made Music will continue developing Promax’s sound during this summer’s annual Promax Conference, held June 4-6, 2019 at the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE. Man Made Music, in collaboration with creative agency Loyalkaspar, also is creating the event’s opening sequence.