Sonic branding, a fad? Really?

Kerry Schofield
May 8, 2019

New research suggests that when sonic identities and music are used (within an effective strategy and used consistently), they are major drivers of purchase intent, whilst also creating brand differentiation. In fact, when measuring the purchase intent difference between pre and post-exposure of sonic logos and music, the propensity to buy grew to as much as 146%. That is a lot. A lot.

So I have to disagree with Christopher Ruvo’s most recent article for the Advertising Specialty Institute. Sonic Branding is not a new fad or a ‘trendy marketing tool’. Sonic logos and strategies have been part of soundlounge’s conversations with brands for nearly three decades. Today we are not alone; there are now academic courses that specialise in these areas. Goldsmiths, University of London, runs a music psychology and neuroscience Master’s degree course lead by the celebrated Dr. Daniel Müllensiefen, Dr. Diana Omigie & Professor Lauren Stewart.

The time for brands to have separate conversations about branding and what music they should choose as a is over. Forward-looking brands are thinking about sound as part of their whole brand equity. How, when and what they use to enable brand recognition and brand identity for a chosen target market is now part of the conversation. They understand that a well thought out music strategy liberates creative decisions and delivers engaging content, creating brand affinity which in turn increases propensity to buy.

A sonic strategy is crucial to getting it right with the actual target market and not just those present in the editing suite. To be fair, this is one of the points that Christopher does make in his article. It really isn’t just about having talented musicians or audio engineers. A brand now needs to be working with people who have expertise and understand what auditory cues a brand has used in the past, what their competitors are using, how to implement and most important actually measure the effectiveness of the sound/music is now a critical part of the process.

Although Christopher does say that feedback is essential, he is not specific.  Measurement of effectiveness cannot be drawn from subjective opinion, it must be tested objectively to quantify performance of the sounds or music used.

So when you are looking for advice on how to succeed using sonic logos, sonic strategies and sound branding, make sure you choose music experts that know how to make music work harder for you.