What is Sonic Branding?

This blog explores the significance of sonic branding in the digital age. With the rise of sound and voice consumption, brands can enrich their identity by claiming the sonic space. Sonic branding builds trust, loyalty, and recall through sonic logos and melodies. It captures the emotional impact of music on decision-making, boosts brand persona, conveys clear messages, and fosters brand loyalty. The future is vocal, making it essential for brands to embrace sonic branding now.

When the streets were quiet and the parks were empty. Remember those songs of hope the people of Florence sang from their balconies and when a bar singer from Ireland serenaded quarantined people with parody songs?

It was an iconic time when we rediscovered our connection with sound/music. The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. While wearing masks and social distancing slowly eludes, our renewed bonding with sound/music is here to stay.

The rise of smartphones, podcasts, and smart speakers has marked a major shift in how we consume information. We spend less time typing and viewing and more time listening and speaking. This shift has created a significant opportunity for brands to enrich their identity by claiming the sonic space. Sonic branding builds trust, loyalty, and brand recall and is directly linked with consumer spending.

Let’s quickly look at what it is and why it is crucial for brands.

What is sonic branding?

Sonic branding is a comprehensive approach to a brand’s use of sound, melody, and jingle across all relevant touchpoints. It includes a brand DNA track and a sonic logo.

Audio branding is not a novel concept. Companies like Coca-Cola, Nokia, and McDonald’s have used sonic logos to help customers understand and remember their companies’ identities.

Music resonates with us on a human level and can impact what we say, wear, and buy. Businesses across the globe are now incorporating this into their social media marketing strategy. 

Here are a few sonic logos most likely to ring a bell. It sounds like this for McDonald’s, or this for Coca-Cola, and this for Nokia

What is the psychology behind sonic branding?

It is scientifically proven that music has a profound impact on decision-making. Studies show that subconscious decisions are made by the limbic part of the human brain, which is triggered by acoustic signals (music or sound).

 Also, scientists regularly emphasized the power of acoustic memory instead of iconic one. 

Thus the brands that opt for sonic identity create a unique experience for their customers and prevail in their minds for longer. 

Sonic branding: A popular marketing strategy

YouGov report shows that 20% of young adults are more inclined to buy a product from a brand with a sonic identity than those without one. 

Sonic branding is a significant market regarding millennials and gen z. In 2020, gen z accounted for 40% of global consumers. In the UK alone, more than 14 million adults under 35 have enormous economic power. 

Thus smart brands are thinking ahead when it comes to creating emotionally resonant and multidimensional brand worlds, ‘cutting through the noise’ of their competitive settings.

Here’s why sonic branding has gained popularity among businesses. 

1. It retains greater attention.

People react to sound faster than any other stimulus. Humans respond to sound in about 0.146 seconds.

Attention is your vital asset in a world full of information and options for consumers.

Sonic branding helps your brand get more attention and build brand recognition. Where the visual logo demands customer attention, a sonic logo penetrates their subconscious mind irrespective of where their focus is.

It retains attention
It retains attention

2. It triggers emotions.

Sound triggers more emotional responses than an image. Imagine watching a horror movie without sounds; it is less scary. However, you might get more scared by simply listening to its music without visuals.

Additionally, sonic logos build trust in situations where it is most needed. For example, you might hear the Mastercard melody as a point-of-scale acceptance of a transaction. 

It triggers emotion

3. It boosts your brand persona.

To interact with customers today, we rely largely on websites and social media. Unfortunately, while digital marketing is convenient, it loses much of the intimate aspect of one-on-one interaction. 

The Sonic logo can humanize your online presence and make it more attractive to your customers. The correct sonic identity will offer a greater dimension to your persona, preventing you from appearing as just another shallow corporation.

It boosts brand persona
It boosts brand persona

4. It enhances brand recall.

The brain’s frontal cortex is associated with memories that are more challenging to retrieve. However, music makes it easy to take us down memory lane. It is attributed to the strong power of music to recall. 

Customers learn to identify certain songs or sounds with your brand when they experience your brand through a sonic logo. If done correctly, your customers will immediately think of your brand when they hear the song.

It boosts brand recall
It boosts brand recall

5. It conveys a clear message.

If you want to help potential customers feel a certain way about your business, sound can help you get there faster. You can tell so much with sound and music that you might not be able to say with text and visuals. 

The sounds, melodies, and lyrics you use to mark your brand sonically should give an overview of your brand’s history and DNA. This way, they can hear your brand’s voice more effectively.

6. It builds stronger brand loyalty.

Have you ever found yourself humming McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it”? Music can be a powerful tool for encouraging people to engage with a brand. 

When people are repeatedly exposed to your sonic sound on different channels, you form an emotional connection with them on a deeper level. Stronger the connection, the stronger the brand loyalty.  

It enhances brand loyalty
It enhances brand loyalty

Final thoughts

Since its outset, voice technology has grown in efficacy and sophistication. So it’s no surprise that we’re seeing a considerable increase in sonic branding. In the virtual world of the metaverse, sonic branding is expected to expand even more. As sonic identity will be the key to giving users a more immersive experience.  

Developing a sonic branding plan for your company is easier said than done. Marketers can’t just slap a few notes together and hope for the best. They require a sonic branding agency as well as some knowledge.

The future is vocal. So now is the ideal time for brands to pause and reflect on how to carefully and efficiently introduce their sonic logo to the world because people are ‘listening’ right now.

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