Musical Branding!


Jay Badiyani
R.K. College of Business Management

A brand is the symbolic embodiment of all the information connected with a product or service. A brand typically includes a name, logo, and other visual elements such as images or symbols. It also encompasses the set of expectations associated with a product or service, which typically arise in the minds of people. Such people include employees of the brand owner, people involved with distribution, sale or supply of the product or service, and ultimate consumers.

Branding involves many decisions like family branding, individual branding, name decisions, logo and graphics decisions, positioning etc. It also includes how to present that brand in media. The presentation part involves various things, which affect positioning of the brands in the minds of consumers through various senses of consumers.

Music is an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner. Music is a powerful medium that can bring the emotional qualities of products and services to life and help activate a Brand promise. The beat of the music can literally connect with the heartbeat of the consumer. For example, when you listen beats of music of Titan, you suddenly recall titan watches and its ads showing various emotions of your own life. If you listen the tune of Nirma, you suddenly recall a girl moving round with Nirma packet and much more. In the television world, music may become brand identity too. Recall the previous ads of Lifebuoy. You will always recall the jingle "Tandurasti ki raxa karta hai Lifebuoy". Many examples can be there from the ad world.

The power of music and how to use it to achieve greater success in the brand arena, however, is currently misunderstood and undervalued. Many organizations do not depend on producing good music for its brand. They feel only visualization with good celebrity or good colours will work for them. That may work. But if good music added here, the chances of success almost doubles. It even decreases the cost of advertising and several times, even substitutes the celebrity needs.

The researcher here conducted a survey of 60 M. B. A. students about brand recall. The students are from urban and rural areas and even almost spread throughout the Gujarat state. After listening to specific tunes, students could recall brand name almost 3 times better than the recall without tunes. Even, the recall rate was higher than the visual ones. Surprizing! Music overcame the graphics too! Brand recall was much more when music is added. Benefits of music branding came out are as shown below.

o Music recall is more liked by consumers.
o When emotions are added in music and words, it creates magic.
o Majority of consumers like to buy those products with good positioning with music.
o Music ads can be recalled in any area of country or globe.
o Music can't have language barriers etc.

But, some challenges (as described by the students in the survey) against music as a part of brand recall. They are as given below.

o Brand recall at the time of purchase depends more on visualization of package or brand in any form.
o Producing music everywhere is not possible.
o Eyes move faster than ears. Within some moments, eyes can see many hoardings or brands, but at a time, listening can be one.
o Without desire even, vision works, listening can't.
o Music time period is more than the vision time period.
o Producing good music is not an easy task.
o For different consumers, liking for music is different.
o Music can be for shorter period etc.

Music can be a good enhancement for bran recall and brand identity decisions. One has to put extraordinarily crafted movie with music. Then surely, it can create wonders. But, music even must be liked by all segments of market. Putting that effort, any marketer can say, "Kya swad hai jindagi meinů"


1. Aaker, David, "Brand Leadership," (New York: The Free Press, 2000)
2. Bedbury, Scott, "A New Brand World," (New York: Viking Penguin, 2002)
3. Branthwaite and Ware "Music In Advertising" (50th Esomar Conference 1997)
4. Gobe, Marc, "Emotional Branding," (New York: Allworth Press, 2001)
5. Kelley, Tom, "The Art of Innovation," (New York: Random House, 1995)
6. Heron, David "Music in Advertising: An Analytic Paradigm"(Music Quarterly Vol. 73 No 4 1989)

Jay Badiyani
R.K. College of Business Management

Source: E-mail July 22, 2006


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