Audio Branding typically refers to an immediate recognition of a piece of music and identifying it with a specific company. Think of NBC’s bell-like tones or the sadly unforgettable McDonald’s ‘I’m lovin’ it’ ditty. Now it’s time to open your mind to include podcasting in the Audio Branding mix (pun intended).
Put simply, a HUGE point companies are forgetting when it comes to utilizing audio/podcasting technology is that building an audio library of content provides vast new storehouses of intellectual property that can brand your firm as an expert in an industry, build connections with your audience, and make (or save) you money.
Podcasting allows you to establish yourself as a thought leader in an industry. And by virtue of interviewing experts for your podcast, (if you’re doing an interview show) listeners will automatically begin to trust your firm since you’re providing them free value-added information, no-strings-attached. It’s the same logic as writing an article for a magazine where you tray and prove you’re really smart without pitching your wares and leave your contact info in a byline. You’re essentially saying, “Of course I’d love your business. But I know I have to earn your trust and I’m willing to provide you with some content rich, pearls of wisdom for free. Hope to hear from you.”
One company that has done Audio Branding extremely well is BMW. On your next lunch break, give yourself a listening treat and check out BMW’s Audiobook presentation of, Master of The Storm. This business thriller is set entirely inside a BMW automobile and as author James Flint states in an interview about the series, “I tried to make the car a miniature theatre for the listener.” The effect works. Within moments of listening to the story you’re virtually enveloped in fine leather seats and a compelling yarn that delivers exactly what you’d imagine a BMW experience should sound like—sophisticated, romantically foreign, and expensive.
Likewise, IBM has created an extremely user-friendly and interactive Podcast in their IBM ShortCuts series that provides weekly tips on making the most out of email, IM, blogs and other online tools. Listeners can contribute their own comments or expertise or put questions to IBM experts. The show lends an approachable and playful voice to Big Blue that demonstrates why IBM stays at the forefront of innovation—they understand that products/services need to communicate to customers on a real level versus relying on business-speak.
Another organization that utilizes the mindset of creating value-added content for listeners is AIM Global, a leading RFID trade association based in Warrendale, PA. Their, Hear and Know weekly podcast features interviews with leading tech leaders on everything RFID. “Podcasting has literally added a new dimension to our communication’s efforts,” says AIM President, Dan Mullen. “Our audience can hear, first hand, the perspective of industry leaders from around the world. In the association world credibility is huge and our executive interview series separates us from other media outlets.”
‘Separates’ is an especially important concept in terms of the value of PodBranding. We all have too much to read. If you’re not producing content for your audience to hear, they’re going to listen to someone else.