Sonic Branding: The Underrated Role of Sound in Design
The concept of sonic branding is not a new one, we’ve always had it around but only a few people understand how important it can be. A lot of different brands have created a unique sonic identity and can be recognised with just their sound, like the Intel bong or the Netflix "ta-dum”. We’ll be exploring how to craft a unique sonic identity for your brand in this blog.
The concept of sonic branding is not a new one, we’ve always had it around but only a few people understand how important it can be. A lot of different brands have created a unique sonic identity and can be recognised with just their sound, like the Intel bong or the Netflix "ta-dum”.
What is Sonic Branding?
Sonic branding is an art where various different auditory elements are used to create a unique identity and express the brand. Well, now it’s important to understand that this does not only end with jingles, nowadays, audio logos, thematic brand music, carefully selected brand voices, the signature sounds of products, and the ambient soundscapes in branded environments.
The primary objective of sonic branding is to ensure a brand recall and to bridge a connection between the consumers, by tapping into the link between sound and memory, sonic branding serves as an extremely powerful tool for making brands more recognisable.
The Psychology Behind Sound and Branding
Before diving into the ‘how’ of it, we need to understand the psychological connection between sound and branding!
1. Profound Impact of Sound
Sound deeply affects the mind in more ways than one, sometimes it can create even a better connection than visual stimuli as it comes across as much more sudden.
2. The Connection Between Emotions and Memory
Specific sounds can bring a certain emotional response and memories to the mind. This is primarily because the way our brain processes audio is linked with emotions and memory.
3. Evoking Nostalgia Through Sonic Branding
Creating a sense of nostalgia can help a brand resonate with their audience in ways that one can’t possibly imagine. Brands who are able to evoke a sense of nostalgia through their sonic branding, can create a long term relationship with their audience.
4. Branding Through Sound
Brands have started to use sound in order to associate themselves with a specific auditory identity which could in turn trigger emotions, memories and even create a sense of nostalgia, which helps them connect with their audience much more closely.
How To Craft Your Sonic Branding?
There are a few steps that can be followed in order to curate the perfect sonic brand for your brand!
1. Understanding The Brand’s Essence
Just like any other branding activity, sonic branding also requires a wide understanding of the brand and its essence. The mission and vision statement along with the core values of the brand is a great place to start!
2. Know Your Audience
Knowing your target is always the best way to curate anything about your brand. If your target audience does not feel connected to your brand, any activity that is followed through is a incompetent.
3. Formulating a Sound Strategy
Strategising is a core element of any activity in any organisation. Sonic branding is no different. Listing down your objectives like, improving your customer experience, building an emotional connection, triggering a brand recall or creating nostalgia could be some.
4. Creative Journey
Getting a sound designer on board who aligns and understands your brand is very important. You need to experiment with various different sounds through different notes, instruments, tempos etc. Creating a moodboard of various audios can be helpful.
5. Linking Visual and Sonic Branding
Making sure that the Sonic Branding is aligned with the Visual branding is key. If the connection is lost within the brand’s identification elements, it would be really difficult for anyone to form a real connection with the brand.
6. Composing and Producing
This is obviously the most important stage, where your vision is brought alive through the magic of music production. The concepts on your sound mood board are transformed into the final product.
7. Testing and Implementation
The final stage is to test your audio amongst your audience, make the edits and changes based on the feedback you’ve received and finally implement it in the various areas that you can.
Predicting the Sonic Future
The future of sonic branding is poised to become more personalised and integrated into daily life, especially with advancements in voice-activated interfaces and AI-generated music.
Brands will likely leverage AI to create dynamic sonic branding elements that can adapt in real-time to consumer interactions, context, and preferences. Voice-activated devices will offer new platforms for sonic branding, with brands developing unique 'voices' and sounds that enhance user experience and brand presence in homes and on personal devices.
As technology evolves, we can expect sonic branding to become an even more integral part of the brand identity and customer engagement strategies, providing seamless and interactive brand experiences.