Living in a Sound-On World: Sonic Branding Is Key for Brand Identity

A sonic strategy must be baked into the creative process from the beginning

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Have you ever thought about what your brand sounds like?

If you close your eyes and listen to your comms, do you sound consistent? Do you sound familiar? Or are you currently taking your consumers on an audio-emotional rollercoaster, unsure of the ride they’re on?

A sonic strategy isn’t a “nice to have” or optional extra. It’s an idea that needs to be baked into the creative process from the beginning.

In a sound-on world, it’s never been more important to establish a consistent sonic identity. When building your brand, marketing teams know that a visual identity is more than just a logo. It’s the blend of elements, from the color palette to typography, brand voice and user experience.

But while they’re happy to make a song and dance about the visuals, marketers remain reluctant to let sonic branding share the limelight, which ultimately goes beyond the sonic logo and the “bing bong.”

Not to sound like a broken record, but there’s a vast audio landscape that brands can leverage. It just takes a few people to change their tune.

Not a checklist item

There remains a gap in understanding the full scope of what sonic branding entails.

MassiveMusic, a Songtradr Company, crafted the sonic identity for TikTok.

When it comes to a brand’s sonic identity, a cohesive and holistic approach is essential. Because before, only one or two of your marketing touch points would make a sound; now, they all do.

A full sonic strategy underpins your entire marketing offering. It’s not a last-minute sound chosen as filler. It’s not disposable. It’s a carefully crafted and curated sound experience that can help cement your brand’s identity in every space it shows up.

Stand out through sound

Once you’ve closed your eyes and listened, what happens next? A sonic strategy is built through collaboration, understanding and research to get to the heart of what the brand really is, and the message it’s trying to tell the world.

You need to understand your brand’s position in culture, and how music and sound can help drive a meaningful, emotional connection. You want your sonic strategy to play out wherever your consumer interacts with your brand, and to be remembered long after they’ve heard you. In the same way one can recognize an iconic artist in a few seconds of a song, a brand should be no different.

TikTok, whose new sonic identity we created, had a whopping recall score of 82.5% when its appeal, recall and brand personality fit were tested across four key global markets. The team was fully immersed in TikTok’s brand experience during the process in order to create the sonic identity for both the brand and its community to engage and play with.

How effective do you sound?

Brands can now embrace bleeding-edge new music and sound research tools using implicit methodologies to discover maximum impact and effectiveness. An effective sonic strategy allows for the avoidance of a sea of sameness.

How many bing bongs sound similar? How many do you remember? Possibly only a few. But you do subconsciously remember how brands made you feel, and this is where a cohesive sonic strategy truly delivers.

Music is a highly effective tool when it comes to enhancing the emotional storytelling power of your brand. A sonic identity is part of an overarching sonic strategy that flexes and adapts to your movements. It’s how you communicate, who your audience is, how your brand moves with shifts in culture and fashion, how often your brand refreshes itself. It’s not simply a fixed, standalone bing bong. And it doesn’t sound like everyone else.

The smart approach is combining data with human expertise, facts with feeling; art meets data meets technology. Test and iterate as you go, and be prepared to create something flexible that can adapt to different markets and moments.

When it comes to a sonic strategy, we need to think beyond the bing bong. Build a brilliant brand and deliver creative that actually sells stuff. Considering the investment vs. the reward, it gives remarkable ROI.

And it sounds pretty good along the way.