Financial Harmony – Connecting with clients on a deeper emotional level in the financial industryFebruary 12, 2024
We Feel Before We Think
Audio branding has increasingly become a gateway to creating emotional connections to clients in Finance and Insurance.
In the realm of finance, we are witnessing a noteworthy trend — the increasing prevalence of audio branding among banks and insurance companies. In an Industry where intangible products are increasingly prevalent, yet still have a significant impact on individuals — establishing an emotional connection and a sense of belonging with recipients has become essential.
We live in a world where distractions are everywhere, and sound represents the best, quickest and most undisturbed pathway to enter the recipient’s consciousness. And since we rarely visit an ATM anymore, and the plastic card has vanished into our phones, the need for new ways of engaging recipients has become increasingly crucial in the rapidly evolving landscape of digital finance.
We Feel First…
And Think Secondly
Purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content (and did a little better than those that mixed emotional and rational content).
“ … only 30 percent of consumers’ decisions are rational; the rest are entirely based on emotions” (Passikoff, and Shea, 2008, p. 11)
Source: IPA dataBANK
The financial and insurance industries are inherently rational and data-driven, relying on statistics, analysis, and logic to make decisions. Customers often perceive these sectors as complex and detached from personal emotion due to the focus on numbers and risk assessments. Integrating music and visual imagery helps humanise these industries, making them more approachable and relatable to customers.
Therefore, in the dynamic landscape of finance and insurance, the traditional paradigm of logical and rational product selling has undergone a paradigm shift. The necessity to appeal to human emotions in branding strategies has turned the conventional approach upside down. Despite being a realm dominated by logic, this emotional turn in branding is a strategic response to the innate human tendency to feel before thinking.
In this example you hear an uplifting UI sound from the online investment platform IG.
We rely on our senses and intuition more than we would like to think.
In an era where digitization has rendered the world more intangible and transactional, financial institutions must forge connections on a new level. Audio branding has emerged as a powerful tool to reach a broader audience and establish an identity that transcends the visual realm. By appealing to the senses, particularly the auditory sense, banks and insurance companies open the door to a deeper and more emotional connection with their customers.
Routine interactions with your bank now occur through a mobile application, which is why we see an increase in branded UI sounds. The sonic branding of banks has evolved from the typical audio logo and music in commercials, into broader audio identities.
The Rise Of UI Sound Design
As we engage with banks and insurance digitally through apps and websites, we step into a realm of User Interface sounds (UI) and Sound Design. This digital interaction unveils a new dimension of audio branding, where sounds become integral to the user experience (UX). Every ping, click, or notification isn’t just a technical function; it’s a part of the identity the bank aims to convey. This not only enhances user-friendliness but also boosts the opportunity to strengthen brand connections through sound in the digital sphere. This auditory dimension plays a pivotal role in constantly fortifying the bond with customers, sustaining emotional connections, and appealing to their subconscious minds.
A strong sound identity contributes significantly to a seamless and enjoyable user experience. Well-designed UX sounds can guide users through complex processes, providing auditory cues that enhance clarity and ease of interaction, thus leaving the recipient with a good feeling and enhancing the bond to their bank or insurance company.
Consistent and distinctive UX and UI sounds contribute to brand recognition, just as a logo or colour scheme would. A unique sound identity becomes synonymous with the brand, aiding in recall and reinforcing the brand image in the minds of users.
Sound has a profound impact on the subconscious mind. By leveraging carefully selected sounds, brands can tap into both emotional and psychological aspects of users, creating positive associations that go beyond the explicit functionalities of engaging with their product.
Audio As An Identity
A well-integrated sound landscape complete with audio logo, different types of brand music and UI sounds, contributes to a holistic brand experience. When the auditory elements align with the brand’s values and messaging, they create a unified and immersive environment that resonates with users on a subconscious level. This, in turn, builds trust and reliability, crucial factors in an intangible industry where customers seek assurance in their financial and insurance decisions.
In industries driven by rationale and logic, where products may seem similar on the surface, a unique audio identity becomes a distinctive feature. It sets a brand apart in a competitive landscape, helping it stand out in the minds of consumers.
In conclusion, the integration of a strong audio identity, coupled with thoughtful UX and UI sounds, serves as a dynamic tool in the intangible world of this rational and logical product. By addressing the subconscious and emotional dimensions of user experience, brands can fortify their relationships with customers, create a lasting impression, and establish a competitive edge in industries where differentiation can be challenging.
Overall, the growing adoption of audio branding within the financial sector reflects a desire to create more than just transactions. It’s about forging a unique identity that resonates with the recipient’s emotions and leaves a lasting impression.
In a time dominated by digitization and intangible values, sound is not merely a supplement but a key resource for establishing meaningful connections between financial institutions and their customers.