Most people do not even consider it: sounds as part of the brand experience. It just happens. Martin Lindström and co did a so-called scientific study about it. Here are my comments

This article is an excerpt from a somewhat misleading article by Martin Lindström. It was published on Fastcompany under the title “The 10 most addictive sounds in the world”. Martin Lindström has a way of twisting facts to make them suit his purpose. And that’s what he did for this article too.

So before you read on, know this;

  • The study did NOT identify the most recognizable sounds in the world, but merely sounds that are highly recognizable in North America.
  • Only 50 people participated in the measurement (which was done using neuroscience based research methods)
  • Take everything you read quoting surveys and research with a grain of salt as most research these days tends to be based on very small samples, which in turn means it is not very reliable

Having said that, I should also say that I do respect Martin Lindstrøm for the work he does.

Here are some excerpts from the article. At the end of the article you can find a link to the original article.

Sound is powerful – here is what Martin Lindström says:
There’s no doubt about it, sound is immensely powerful. And yet 83% of all the advertising communication we’re exposed to daily (bearing in mind that we will see two million TV commercials in a single lifetime) focuses, almost exclusively, on the sense of sight. That leaves just 17% for the remaining four senses.

Think about how much we rely on sound. It confirms a connection when dialing or texting on cell phones and alerts us to emergencies. When the sound was removed from slot machines in Las Vegas, revenue fell by 24%. Experiments undertaken in restaurants show that when slow music (slower than the rhythm of a heartbeat) is played, we eat slower–and we eat more!

Is this just coincidence, or does sound make us buy more, want more, dream more and eat more? Any 50-year-old American can sing a whole range of television jingles from the 1970s–they are all well stored in the recesses of our brain. Yet if you were to ask the same of those who have come of age recently, you will find them stumped. Has the magic of a television tune disappeared, or has the advertising world lost sight of the fact that people do indeed have speakers at home? I decided to put these questions to the test.

And here are the top 10 most addictive branded and non-branded sounds in the USA (not the world)

1. Baby giggle (non branded sound)
2. Intel (branded sound)
3. Vibrating phone

4. ATM / cash register
5. National Geographic
6. MTV
7. T-Mobile Ringtone
8. McDonald’s
9. ‘Star Spangled Banner’
10. State Farm

See the top 10 branded and non branded addictive sounds in the article at Fastcompany

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