Posted by: soundlounge | August 6, 2009

Birds and Brands


The Distinctive Sound of Birds and Brands

With the highly critical ear of a female bird, you would think she could easily distinguish males of her own species from males of another bird species. But some research is showing that this may not always be the case, especially in lush environments like rainforests, where many species coexist and compete for the airwaves.

Zoologist Nathalie Seddon studied the songs of male Amazonian antbirds and found that various subspecies of antbirds sing differently to make it easier for their female counterparts to identify them (Seddon 2005). These results are fascinating, because birdsongs were previously thought to evolve and diverge because of a separation effect. In other words, birds develop different “accents” by being isolated from each other, like North Americans and Australians. But instead, in Seddon’s study, these birds are all in one place. Her findings promote a relatively new theory of birdsong evolution, that different songs develop out of a necessity to be uniquely identified among a rainforest full of noise.

This finding may come as no surprise to marketers, who make it their duty to ask, “What makes our brand unique?” It’s incredibly important to have an answer to this question before setting foot in the commercial jungle, where brands with a confused sound will be “outsung” by more clever marketers. Noel Franus and Martyn Ware’s presentation “Demystifying Sonic Branding and Identity” makes the point that in the natural world, as well as the advertising world, “those that innovate to be heard will thrive.” It’s true – sound can be an excellent tool for setting your brand apart from competitors. But careful decisions must be made along the way to ensure the customer hears the company’s core values in all sound and music choices.

If your brand is struggling to find its unique sound, contact us at soundlounge. We’ll help your brand sing above the rest.

Charlie McCarron
Sound Consultant

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