What makes a sonic brand effective?

Sound is extremely effective as a branding device. "for emotional touch points within the target market." Based on the desired clientele, they create "a blend of sounds and mix some retro sound triggers that cater to that market, while making sure the client message is interwoven within that message." Sonic brands are inherently scalable. Therefore, "they can be manipulated to intensify consumer/brand interactions, from a website mouse-over to broadcast messages and beyond. The challenge is to ensure that the sound is harmonious with the product or brand.

The objective is to create a "memory trigger, intrinsically linking a product name, service or benefit with a pleasant memory." McDonald's and Coca-Cola have been successful in this field, using "fantastic composition with a message so intrinsically woven through it that, although they change it regularly, they hit spot on."

Much like the beauty of music, sound as a whole transcends language and cultural barriers, allowing easier delivery and reception of the message. This is complemented by the fact that the modern IT world is increasingly bordering agnostic. Therefore, whether you are Chinese, German or American, if you are a businessperson with access to modern communications you are certain to share commonly recognizable sonic brands with international peers.

Ultimately, there is the matter of keeping the sonic brand in harmony with the overall brand. As illustrated by Nygren, if you click on a website for an insurance company and are met with a lot of flash and bleeps, it does not make sense for the product. There are also numerous examples of institutional sounds, such as a Beatles song being used in commercials, bringing to question whether the sound is being transferred to the brand at all. Hence the needs for companies to look into creating original sounds that convey their own message.

The average eardrum out there may not be consciously aware that it is being bombarded by sonic brands daily. This is in large part because reception of aural presentations is subliminal in nature, and therefore, the message is processed on an emotional rather than rational level. Just as traditional media is looking toward non-traditional media for branding, and vice versa, aural and visual branding are becoming increasingly complementary. Striking the right equilibrium is the trick. Striking the right eardrum is the magic.

Sonic Branding is more than a piece of music or sound that a brand uses in marketing. When really analysed it is everything that the brand stands for in the audio medium. It encapsulates all the values and parameters that a brand uses in visual branding, which is more than a logo or pantone colour. The value of it's use can be measured so that brands can understand the impact that it has on it's ROI.

The success of the logo is due to several reasons. Firstly, it allows for unmistakable branding - confirming the identity of the brand in the consumer's mind every time it is heard. Secondly, it can be perceived almost subconsciously. This allows the advertiser to deliver the branded message without requiring the attention of the listener. And thirdly, it is recalled easily. Because it is musically evocative, sound operates continually at an emotional level. Repeated continually, a sonic logo can gradually alter brand perception in the minds of consumers - without them even realising this.

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