Musical tastes are nothing if not eclectic.
Did you know that emo rap, ringtone, and brega funk were three of Spotify’s fastest growing genres in 2018? Not exactly the most well-known categories, yet it testifies to the fact that there’s something for everyone.
What’s more, music has been shown to trigger emotional reactions in listeners. From transporting listeners to a memorable time to helping people with brain injuries to recall personal memories, sound has an indubitably powerful effect on the human mind.
So why aren’t businesses using it more to their advantage?
While visual branding is commonplace amongst dentists, audio branding is a relatively new concept, so it offers dental practices an as yet untapped opportunity to promote brand recall and reinforce brand values in a novel way.
In fact, research clearly shows that making better use of audio can help businesses to gain a competitive edge. An independent study of 1,000 consumers in the United States commissioned by PHMG discovered that 67% of respondents believe music is more memorable than visuals when used in marketing.
Using sound in marketing also helps better equip dental practices for future success. Millennials place greater importance on music in marketing, so incorporating sound now ensures businesses are catering for the consumers of both today and tomorrow.
Make Customers Smile
Although we are in an era of digital communication and often non-personal interaction, it doesn’t mean traditional means of customer contact should be cast aside.
The telephone still remains a key appointment scheduling tool for dentists, so it is important to consider the caller experience in achieving customer service excellence.
If sounds heard over the phone aren’t reflective of the business, it communicates the wrong company image and values, damaging the overall perception of the brand and ultimately impacting on profitability.
However, an audio branding production that features creative script, professional voice artistry, and exclusive music can improve customer service and boost sales, all while providing another valuable customer touchpoint.
A Calming Influence
Six in ten American adults are reportedly scared of visiting the dentist, so it is essential to make the booking process as stress-free and calming as possible.
Dental surgeries have been found to use feminine voices more often than masculine ones in their audio branding, perhaps as the former are typically perceived as soft and soothing, which is a good fit in an industry where calming sounds would prove beneficial. Masculine voices, in contrast, tend to convey a sense of authority and experience. It’s simply a matter of which suits the ethos of a business better.
The age profile of a voice is also important. Dentists tend to employ voices in the 30-to-40 age range, with the older voice helping to ensure the professionalism of the business shines through and reassures customers that the dentist has the knowledge and skills to do the best job possible.
Whether the voice has an accent is another consideration for businesses. For companies operating in areas with a particularly strong sense of identity, a dialect can connect with customers on an emotional level and influence them to pick one business over another.
Hit the Right Note
Voice, however, does not work in isolation and should be combined with the right music to have the best possible effect.
Often businesses will use a popular music track to play in their practice or over the phone, assuming it is the best way to keep listeners entertained while waiting.
By doing this, however, companies run the risk of losing custom. Songs can trigger emotional responses through past memories. If listeners hear a track that reminds them of a negative moment in time, businesses are then in danger of also being associated with that negative feeling.
A piece of commercial music can’t be made to convey a message it was never intended to either. Instead, dentists should work with an appropriate specialist to create a brand new track unique to their business—one without preconceptions.
Subtle changes in style, key, instrumentation, and chord progression can substantially alter perceived emotions and brand values. A PHMG research study discovered that strings playing short, sharp notes in a major key made 91% of listeners feel happy or excited. Simply by switching from major to minor altered the listener’s response, with 81% experiencing a feeling of sadness or melancholy.
Unsurprisingly, dental practices tend to use music of a slow to mid-tempo with an overall relaxing feel to help comfort the listener. Electronic instrumentation is also used, reflecting the advanced technological aspects of a dentist’s work. This is underpinned by pianos or acoustic guitars to ensure a human feel is still communicated.
A Valuable Addition
When voice, music, and script are brought together to form one brand-specific production, it can add significant value to the marketing mix. Dentists would do well to take advantage.
Mr. Lafferty is the director of voice and music at PHMG, which has more than 32,000 clients in 39 countries. He has been with the company since 2010, helping businesses across the globe to harness the full potential of audio branding. Drawing on his extensive background in music, psychoacoustics, and the influence of sound on human behaviour, he leads finely tuned bespoke music and voice workshops with organizations, enabling them to understand and explore all of the elements of their brand to create a unique Brand-Sound-Track, the exclusive piece of music that encapsulates their company’s identity.