So, we know everyone is out to make money and most people are always figuring out how to make more money. Doesn't matter if it's shoes, ramen noodles, software, films, video games...whatever. The ultimate goal is to release products of value into the market place in exchange for $$$. The more value given to the marketplace, the more $$$ you'll get. That's how trade has worked since the days of bartering and it's how it'll work till kingdom come.
Most of the time, people will add all sorts of stuff to increase the perceived value of their products and in turn will get a handsome return in their investment for doing so. However, many don't realize the true potential of certain high value adding elements such as AUDIO. And as a result, their products suffer from not being able to reach their full earning potential.
This article is for those who'd like to know how audio can make you not just money, but a lot more of it. I welcome you to read on.
Just imagine for a second: You walk into to a store like this....
And maybe another like this...
You walk in browsing for something you may want...or maybe you're just there for fun. Like or hate their products, you gotta admit the stores look super awesome. Just by walking through the store will make you feel elevated into another dimension. Even if you end up not buying anything, the idea of the store itself will stick with you and the next time you think of buying a similar product, chances are you'll think about those particular stores and will be attracted to returning and drop some $$$.
The Power Of "EXPERIENCES"
Why is that? It's actually really simple human psychology: Products aside, certain businesses know the importance of providing an amazing EXPERIENCE to their customers. And by doing so, you capture their attention and embed the seed of your business so deeply into their senses. They will sleep, dream and talk about your product and associate your business with whatever labels you want: Classy, Swag, Cool, Hip, Sophisticated..etc. You get the point.
If you think about it, many industries are selling their products by way of EXPERIENCES. Think about the most successful retail businesses/products with very high price tags and good profit margins - Apple, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Hugo Boss, Beats by Dre for example. Most people from an outside view think that they are merely selling a product with cotton, linen, exotic animal skin, electronics and geeky tech specs. What they don't realize is that they're really selling the experience and emotion that comes with buying and owning one of these products.
I mean...would anyone in the right mind really drop $300,000 JUST for a handbag? Of course not! But it's what comes with the handbag that gets people head over heels to get them. People like the identity, the status, the feeling of otherworldliness and exclusivity that comes with the brand of that product. No one really cares if that bag was made up of 98% cotton, 1.2% polyester and 0.8% kryptonian alien silk.
Now, maybe you're asking, how the hell does all this relate to audio helping your products make more money?
People Don't Buy Products, People Buy Experiences
Doesn't matter if you're making Records, Films, Video Games, TV, Ads or even a Theme Park. What most content creators don't realize is that we're primarily in the business of creating and selling experiences, and we're delivering these experiences via the products that comes with it.
In my field of Visual Media(Film, TV, Games, Ads), the experience we deliver comes in 2 parts: AUDIO(What people hear) and VISUAL(What people see). These 2 elements are extremely intertwined and they need to match so seamlessly that it transports the audience into another dimension immersing them in a one of a kind experience. But when it's not done well the audience will immediately get thrown off the experience and will subconsciously think it's subpar even though consciously speaking they may not have the technical knowledge to know what is going on.
In layman terms, think of it this way: Why do people go to Disneyland? To go on rides? See their favorite characters? Relive their childhood? Bring their children to a magical adventure on a beautiful weekend? Yes, it's all of that. But all of it can be summed into one word: EXPERIENCE. Disneyland's main selling point is not the rides, structures, plays and all that. It's the EXPERIENCE they are selling. And because they are so good at selling experiences, people would pay a high price tag and fly halfway across the world to experience it.
But imagine this...imagine if you went into Disneyland and...the structures look like they are about to fall apart, the character costumes look discolored and the people behind them seem downright unfriendly. How would that affect your experience?
This is a video about BMW's team of sound designers and acousticians who're doing the painstaking work of ensuring every auditory detail in the car from engine sounds, car lock, signal indicators to even the sound when you slam the door shut sounds amazing. All this attention to detail gives the user an experience of operating a product from a brand that represents excellence and sophistication.
BMW doesn't just look good, it also SOUNDS GOOD...not to mention it smells pretty damn amazing too. It's an all-encompassing EXPERIENCE - Hence the price tag
Using Audio To Make Money By Designing Experiences
So, I don't design cars. I design High Value Audio Experiences(HVAE) for Visual Media and audio experiences can come in various forms - Music, Sound Design, Ambiences, Mixing, Editing, Recording or a combination of all. Technical information aside, what's most important is the understanding of how to utilize audio to create outstanding experiences for the audience.
For song writers, it's how the message in the lyrics are conveyed by way of melodies and relates with the listener on a subconscious level. It's how the arrangement reflects the emotion and acts as the prime vehicle in captivating the imagination of the listener for the duration of the song. For a film music composer, it's how the music underscores the visual information on screen, the unspoken emotion in the expression of the actors, and to immerse the audience into the world of the film. A mix engineer will artfully take all the audio elements on hand and cook it into a cocktail mix of perfection that allows the audience to absorb the audio information with comfort and immersion.
Everything in the above is the true definition of a High Value Audio Experience, that when paired with other visual mediums such as Film, TV, Video Games, Ads can significantly increase the value of the product, because of the delivery of high value entertainment experience.
What You Reap Is What You Sow
If you think about the greatest films/tv/video games of all time, it's so great because of the amazing experience it gives us. For highly successful films/tv/video games it's almost never just because of one thing ex. Story/Screenplay/Acting etc, it's an all encompassing experience. You can't think of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings andCinema Paradiso without silently humming the theme song. You can't think of Inception and Interstellar without being awestruck at the sound design and how believable the fictional world is when things are seemingly crashing down on you in the theaters.
That, my friends, is the power of experiences and audio can help you achieve that. The fact is, the greater the experience, the more value you create for the audience, the more money you can make. If you took notice, these high value entertainment experience products are the ones that are making the biggest profits.
Great audio experiences are certainly not cheap, but If you truly want your product to deliver an amazing experience to your customers and earn a handsome reward for it, the smart thing to do is to invest well in audio. If your product is already doing great without an amazing audio experience, congratulations to you. But imagine how much better the returns will be if you had incorporated more value into your product with audio? You guys are smart people, I'm sure you'll get it. :)
Article originally published on linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/heres-how-audio-can-help-your-products-make-more-kian-how-yoa/
To understand how you can utilize audio to generate more revenue for your product, contact me at: (w) www.kianhow.com (e) [email protected]
Kian How - Audio Specialist for Visual Media