Healthcare Marketing - Striking the Right Tone

Interview with our Managing Director Christoph Groß-Fengels for Healthcare Marketing magazine.


Topic: Relevance of audio branding for companies in the healthcare sector 

1. Why is Sound Important in Brand Management for Companies?



Incorporating sound elements in brand management is crucial, echoing Paul Watzlawick’s words, “You can’t not communicate.” This holds especially true in the auditory spectrum. Brands meticulously define their visual identity, from Pantone colors to corporate fonts, yet often overlook the sonic aspect. Decisions about musical elements for telephone loops or advertisements are typically made based on instinct or delegated to project managers without a strategic approach. This neglects the significant potential sound has for enhancing brand identity, differentiation, emotional connection, and positioning. Sound branding is essential in developing a strategic approach to fully leverage sound in reinforcing a brand’s identity. With the increasing prominence of audio-focused platforms like podcasts and Spotify, an effective auditory brand presence is becoming indispensable.

2. What Should Companies Consider to Make Sound a Part of Their Brand DNA and Add Value?


For sound to become an integral part of a brand’s DNA and add value, it’s essential to understand which brand values and attributes can be expressed through sound. Once the strategy is in place and the sound elements are implemented, it’s crucial to ensure their consistent and persistent use, similar to rules in visual design. A proper sound identity provides measurable benefits in terms of brand recognition, differentiation, positioning, and memory retention. Additionally, a standardized sound profile contributes to a more professional overall brand perception, while retaining the emotional influence of music.

3. What are the Must-Have Elements for a Brand’s Audio Business Card?


Determining the essential elements for a brand’s audio business card varies based on the brand’s specific requirements. An auditory customer journey is utilized to map out potential future sound elements. For example, Groves supports brands like Hevert-Arzneimittel and Olympus, tailoring the strategy to their specific needs. Key components often include a sound logo, brand theme, brand voices, and call center sound design. However, the range of sound elements can be more extensive depending on the brand’s requirements, such as custom soundscapes in e-health apps or designing product sounds for global brands.

4. How Can Brand Values Be Expressed in Sound?


To express brand values in sound, the process is made transparent and understandable, even for clients with limited musical knowledge. A clustering method is used to map brand attributes and values to musical parameters like tempo, mood, and complexity. After conceptualization, the production phase evaluates how these attributes resonate with the target audience. Market research then verifies whether the intended values are effectively communicated. Distinctiveness is achieved through a competitive analysis of sound elements used by rivals.

5. What is the State of Acoustic Brand Management in Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Companies?   In the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector, the adoption of acoustic brand management varies. While some companies have been proactively involved in sound branding for years, others lack even basic strategies. Opportunities exist in leveraging the therapeutic effects of sound, as evidenced by apps like Calm and Headspace, and in some cases, treatments via sound apps are covered by health insurance. The strategy of infusing all auditory communication with a “healing touch” offers immense potential for these companies. For instance, Lohmann & Rauscher’s new sound logo represents a move towards integrating healing soundscapes with acoustic brand management.
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