Sound may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of brands, but it will be.
Sound is a powerful tool that can trigger memories or emotions. It has been a staple for marketers who have used jingles (think, Folgers "The Best Part of Waking Up") to connect emotionally with consumers. As smart speakers become more commonly used, it's increasingly important for brands to create connections with only sound.
Research published by The Harvard Business Review illustrated that “the strategic use of sound can play an important role in positively differentiating a product or service, enhancing recall, creating preference, building trust, and even increasing sales."
"The power of music and sound transcends language, culture and all things visual, which makes sonic branding a huge part of the promotional game for many companies." - Patrick Coffee, Senior Editor, Adweek
What is sonic branding?
Cue sonic branding—the use of sound to help reinforce a brand’s identity. Sonic branding isn't a new concept, but its importance is growing quickly.
You may be unfamiliar with the term "sonic branding" but you're definitely familiar with the concept. Think about some of the sounds and jingles that you already associate with brands. I'm guessing at least one popped into your head, right? That's sonic branding in action. Here are a few more that you might recognize:
Intel's infamous sonic brand is one of the first that comes to mind. In fact, it's estimated that the audio mnemonic is played once every five minutes. The Intel "bongs" were composed by Walter Werzowa in 1994 and is one of the most widely recognized brand sounds
In early 2016, Coca-Cola announced their new "Taste the Felling" campaign that included a new audio signature inspired by the sounds of enjoying a Coca-Cola – from the pop of the cap to the refreshing fizz.
“The most important takeaway for us is to get a consumer who hears [this sound and then gets] really thirsty for an iced cold Coca-Cola. We want [them] to identify the sound of a Coke instantly.” - Joe Belliotti, Head of Entertainment Marketing in North America, Coca-Cola.
AT&T, the communications giant, has been working with strategic music and sound studio Man Made Music to rethink their sonic logo. to transform their sonic identity.
“We even evolved the expression of the four ‘notes’ that define the brand experience across the range of product, sponsorship, and experience assets to be inclusive of entertainment,” said Joel Beckerman, Founder, Man Made Music.
In a screenless world, jingles might not be enough. Today's marketers need to identify what their brand sounds like in order to compete in the new world of voice.
Before you go, we'd love to know what you think about sonic branding. Does your company have a sound identity? Chat with us on Twitter!