BrandMusiq Founder, Rajeev Raja talks about the company’s new platform ‘BrandMusiq LABS’ and the future of sonic branding

We’re in a content-eats-content world where social media has brands fighting to be seen and heard. Yet, most haven’t cracked the code on what builds brand loyalty and memorability.

Rajeev Raja, founder of BrandMusiq talks about the future of sonic branding, the new platform ‘BrandMusiq LABS’ and the importance of building strong brands today. 

So Rajeev, how would you describe BrandMusiq LABS?

BrandMusiq LABS is going to be a platform that essentially explores the fundamental nature of sound and music and its impact on human behaviour and emotions. As a sonic branding agency, we want to get an empirical understanding of how different scales, harmonies, rhythms and instruments impact human beings. And we apply this knowledge in our day-to-day building of sonic identities for brands.

“Consumers will respect brands that aren’t shouting to be heard. And sound is going to be essential in building brand love and intimacy”

How does BrandMusiq LABS explore the nature of sound in relation to branding?

BrandMusiq LABS serves as an innovation funnel for brands. At one level we’re talking of how sound affects human behaviour and emotions. We then apply that FOR THE BENEFIT OF BRANDS. We’re also saying that there are so many innovations happening in the world of sonic branding. The convergence of technology, sound, customer behaviour, ecommerce, notifications, alerts, apps and how consumers interact with it… all of this will be a subject of study in BrandMusiq LABS.

How does adding a sonic dimension enhance our current understanding of brands and consumers?

With different explorations of music and sonic experiences, we explore sound in a whole new dimension. BrandMusiq LABS will essentially have an academic mindset. It will not be linked to any revenue objectives. It will be a pure exploration of sound. 

Can music move beyond its role in branding? For eg, what impact does music have during war? Can music be used to de-stress people? What about the whole area of wellness music and therapy? We’re building knowledge about brands and consumers in an environment where the approach is scientific.

How does sound change our perception of things?

For instance, we’re exploring how the sound affects your tasting experience. What role does music play in a food tasting environment? Does it actually influence taste? So, if you’re in a fine dining restaurant, and you play rock ‘n roll, is it incongruent with your experience? We’ll be looking at various aspects, all of which have implications for brands, and beyond. We could be looking at social projects, using sound, to change social behaviour. So, that’s really what BrandMusiq LABS is all about.

So, does BrandMusiq LABS redefine our understanding of sound? And why is it relevant today?

I’ve been in the corporate world for many, many years where there’s a far greater degree of predictability and comfort. Now, having founded BrandMusiq and having steered it for the last 10 years, we felt the need to give back to the industry. Ergo, BrandMusiq LABS.

Things are moving so fast, that the present and future are very often interacting with each other. What you think is the future, is suddenly your present. The whole idea is to be proactive rather than reactive. We need to prepare for the future, even while managing the present. So, BrandMusiq LABS is really about giving us a window to the future.

“The way I see the future of sonic branding, that it’s going to evolve from branding to non-conscious brand experience. From mere recognition to unlocking brand emotion”

What do you want your audience to ultimately take out of the BrandMusiq LABS sessions? 

We want them to be more informed about the power of sound, the potential of sound, and how important it is as a strategic and long-term brand asset and not just a sound mnemonic. It’s a ground where science meets art.

There’s a scientific temper to our thinking (BrandMusiq LABS) which gets translated into an artistic expression (BrandMusiq). 

What do you see as the future of sonic branding?

The way I see the future of sonic branding, that it’s going to move from branding to non-conscious brand experience. From recognition to unlocking brand emotion. We’re saying the opportunity is to use sound strategically. Used well, your brand will not just be recognised, but will be felt. With a sonic identity, you’re bringing a sensorial dimension to brands that has never been harnessed, hitherto, in a strategic, measurable way. So, another aspect of BrandMusiq LABS is going to be the whole exploration of ROI (return on investment). So brands can track how impactful their sonic spend has been.

“Sonic branding can be a very important aspect in bringing in brand love and intimacy” 

What ways should brands use this knowledge to build themselves better?

Branding is going to move from overt and in-your-face to non-conscious branding. 

Let’s call it ‘UNbranding’

Because, the consumer today is basically saying, “I’m not sure I’m in love with brands anymore”. And sonic branding can be a very important aspect in bringing in brand love and intimacy.

Consumers are going to respect brands that are not in your face, that aren’t shouting to be heard.

Brands will move from selling to serving. That’s the BIG change. Therefore, everything points to much more subtlety, more sincerity in branding. And we believe that music can achieve that for brands. It is our firm point of view that if we create the sound of a brand responsibly, true to the brand’s essence and DNA, then you’ve got a very strong sensorial that you can imbue your brand with, wherever your brand is heard, across the digital media ecosystem, online, offline or on-ground. 

BrandMusiq LABS launches on 6th April, 2022 only on Linkedin.

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