How Sound Design Affects Customer Response and Action

If you’ve spent a small fortune on graphic designers, search engine optimizers, social networking experts and still find that your website conversions are low, then perhaps your website suffers from the marketing equivalent of Capgras Delusion, a failure to make a connection between your online content and your emotional value proposition.

You’re Not My Wife

A woman phones her husband who’s in the Soundsmiths hospital after suffering a head injury. The man recognizes his wife’s voice when she tells him she’ll see him in an hour. An hour later she arrives at the hospital, enters the room, and attempts to kiss him on the forehead. The man looks up at his wife startled, and says, “Who the hell are you?”

The man recognizes the woman in front of him as someone who looks like his wife, but he is completely convinced that she is an imposter even though he recognized his wife’s voice over the phone only an hour earlier. This is a classic case of Capgras Delusion. The part of the brain responsible for visual recognition is functioning fine, but the part that makes the connection between his wife’s appearance and what she means to him emotionally has been severed.

Without An Emotional Connection Marketing Appears Fake

The brain is made-up of various systems that operate both separately and in unison with each other. The brain’s interpretive emotional mechanism, the Limbic System, is what gives meaning to the objects, images, sounds and people we encounter. Without this emotional connection things have no meaning and in fact can be regarded as fake.

Observations of Capgras Delusional patients illustrate how fundamental the sense of sound is in giving meaning to the world around us. Sound, it appears, is even a more important sense than sight in terms of attaching meaning to what we experience, a fact website owners and marketing executives need to consider when developing a Web video presentation or in any brand imaging effort.

Sound: The Final Frontier

Sound is fundamental to our survival as a species and our functioning as successful communal creatures both in our private and business lives. Sound is one of the most complex and least understood tools marketing people have, but at the same time it is probably the most important, especially when associated with video imaging.