Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

Sonic Branding

Why is it important to have a brand “sound” that matches your brand “image?” Some food for thought: People can always shut their eyes, but they can’t stop listening. 

Can you identify the sounds? What do they make you think of? The sounds around us are produced largely unintentionally, but we still associate them with certain actions: if someone is typing rapidly on a keyboard, we might assume they are hard at work; honking horns signal a major traffic jam. If these unintentional sounds can trigger specific thoughts, what can intentional sounds, in the form of an audio brand, accomplish?

Creating an audio brand, also known as a sonic brand, means associating a specific sound with your business. Sonic branding can help to create a unified sound across multiple platforms: websites, office phones, mobile phones, and facilities. The “sound” of a brand should match the brand’s image, and can be incorporated into multiple areas of marketing.

Audio logos are the first step to creating a sonically branded company. There aren’t any concrete rules about an audio logo; they can range from a few musical notes (Intel), to a spoken or sung tagline (McDonalds), to a sound your product already makes (Harley Davidson). Listen below:

The point of an audio logo is that it’s a short way to get people thinking about your brand—it’s all about instant recognition and association, just like a visual logo. Once you have created an audio logo, there are endless places to "display" it, like social media accounts, podcasts, real-life store, and phone systems.

A well developed sonic brand also encompasses other areas. Website audio, IVR announcements, and in-facility overhead announcements all benefit from being cohesively branded. In these applications, using one specific human voice is an effective way to reach customers and clients on a personal level. People prefer to hear real human voices over synthesized speech; people can more easily form a connection with what is familiar to and akin to themselves. If your goal is to most effectively reach people, creating a unified, human-voiced audio brand is an important step.


Tags: resources, marketing, branding