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What is

Sonic Branding?

In short, a Sonic Brand is the entire spectrum of sounds that is connected to a brand, product or service. In most modern cases, this connection has been intentionally developed to help an audience associate those specific sounds and musical elements with said brand.

All of this with the goal of connecting companies and consumers on a deeper, emotional level. Sonic branding is an important layer of a modern brand’s experience that draws in potential customers and helps make a brand memorable.

96% of consumers are more likely to remember a brand if it is paired with music that fits the brand identity.

A study conducted by Leicester University professors Adrien North and David Hargreaves showed that 96% of consumers are more likely to remember a brand if it is paired with music that fits the brand identity. And 24% are more inclined to purchase items linked with music they remember and enjoy. It is for that reason that brands choose to spend more time crafting their sonic identity in order to create a better connection with their target audience and get the most out of their marketing budget.

What is Sonic Branding?                     

What is Sonic Branding?                     

What is Sonic Branding?                     

What is Sonic Branding?                     

What is Sonic Branding?                     

What is Sonic Branding?                     

Pavlov’s Bell

The term Sonic Branding may sound modern, but the psychology behind it has been around since the earliest forms of human society. So let’s kick off with a few historical examples. Think, for example, of the way a bell is often used to capture the attention of people and urge them to assemble. Like when students are called to class or churchgoers are called to prayer. And what about national anthems that have been composed through the centuries to fortify a national identity, and are imprinted upon people's minds through their use on national holidays and major sporting events. But the effects of sonic branding are not limited to humans; Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov famously conditioned dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell by always feeding them directly after he’d rung it. These examples show that sound is a powerful force, and can trigger physical and emotional responses in people (and animals), ultimately inspiring them to take action.

Loving it?

But let’s take it to the modern day. In this era of digital transformation, brands and agencies are capitalizing on the effect of audio for marketing purposes. Some of the most recognizable instances of sonic branding of the past 50 years include the ringtone on the Apple Iphone and the classic 5-note McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ melody. It’s the Microsoft Windows startup sound and Netflix’ ‘TUDUM’. These examples are commonly known as sonic logos. They are often at the centre of a sonic branding campaign and consist of a short, memorable hook that is meant to represent a brand’s identity and message. However, sonic branding is still at its best when it reaches across multiple brand touchpoints.

Understanding Music & Brand Values?

Music has a very specific power to trigger emotional responses in people. Therefore it is a good idea to be familiar with the various effects that come with different instruments and their timbres. Strings can evoke feelings of nostalgia, the trumpet can make people feel courageous, the rhythm of drums can bring forth something more primal, and a human voice can make us feel comforted. Different melodies, keys, tonalities and chord progressions also influence the way music makes us feel. A thorough understanding of these different aspects and musical qualities is the reason that sonic branding agencies exist. To help brands translate their message and vision into a targeted, integrated approach.

Are you looking to enhance your brand with a sonic identity? Click on 'Learn More' to learn about our REDI-Model™ for Sonic Branding.

About Clear Music Amsterdam

We are your professional partner in Audio Branding, Advertising Music, Sync Licensing that pop song that popped into your head and creating bespoke soundtracks for film, campaigns, TV and streaming series. We license and promote artists, we create audio identities for brands, film and podcasts and we assist in dealmaking and the legal aspects of music and media from A to Z.

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