We all know that brand awareness is critical for any company looking to have their product or service be instantly recognizable by their customers. Developing relevant and immersive brand experiences helps to integrate your brand seamlessly — and seemingly effortlessly — into their lives. As integrated marketing has become more omni-channel and immersive, marketers have begun developing brand experiences that are truly multi-sensory — creating experiences that are visual, tactile and aural. As part of this rapidly evolving approach to experiential marketing, sonic branding is becoming a more critical aspect of the voice of brands today.
What is Sonic Branding?
Think of sonic branding as an audio logo. Sonic branding uses sound to create an auditory connection with a brand. Many of the world's most visible brands employ sonic branding, including Apple, Intel, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Microsoft and NBC. Each has their own unique and immediately recognizable audio signature that has helped build brand awareness and equity with customers.
Why Sonic Branding?
Sonic branding allows brands to connect with customers in an experiential and powerful way. In a fraction of a second, customers experience your brand and create an emotional connection with it. Over time, your sonic brand can help customers recognize your brand experience from others and develop cues regarding how to relate and respond to your product or service.
Take Apple for example. Everyone knows Apple for their computers, iPhones, iPads and AirPods. Every time you turn your Macbook on, you hear a recognizable Apple sound — the sound that has come to mean that your computer is turning on. That auditory signal provides a subliminal message that helps to deepen your experience — and your connection — with your Apple device.
While sonic branding does not replace other modes and media of your brand experience, creating a recognizable and compelling sonic brand strategy can enable brands to build deeper connections with their audience by providing greater depth and differentiation through a multi-sensory brand experience. Through a more dimensional voice, your brand can become much more recognizable and ultimately, more valuable to your audience.
What Does it Mean for Marketers?
With the continued growth in sonic branding and the emergence of many cross-channel, voice-enabled technologies, marketers are looking for ways to leverage sonic branding in order to improve the customer experience. As we are still early in its emergence and use, marketers should continue to explore their approach and use of sonic branding with an ear toward creating better experiences for their customers.