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Using music has the power to influence sales and consumer decision

Role of sound in branding

Role of sound in branding is directly related to the impact of sound on human psyche. And audio logos are designed to achieve just that by creating a short distinct sound pattern. It could be music or words or anything brand-able.

We can trace back the knowledge on how music impacts humans to as far back as Plato and Confucius. When they laid emphasis on the need for musical training for statesmen. On the other hand Indians were well aware of the healing property of music. The Hindu classical music is testament to that.

The branding marketing efforts are all designed to create a memorable impact on human mind. The strong visuals are what most brands go for as vision is our most prominent sensory apparatus. But we can not deny the fact that hearing plays a crucial role in how we remember things.

Like a logo, if done right, the audio logo, sound logo or sonic identity or signature sounds, whatever you want to call it, can become a huge asset in our branding strategy.

With the advent of social media platform, it has become so much easier and cheaper to brand our business with sound, we don’t need to buy expensive ad slots on TV or Radio, just need a sound media strategy and access to internet.

Sound has the power to reach an audience without them looking at our marketing, it can leave an impression in ways visuals can not.

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If it is not what I like, I don't care
If it is not what I like, I don’t care | Illustration by Freepik

How sound is important in branding?

Sound create a deeper connection between a brand and our senses. Sound adds emotional appeal to our brand identity. It creates a heightened brand experience for our audience.

Sound and smell are sense that can make us travel in time and distances. Remember how some smells can trigger a childhood memory? The sound has the same effect in our psyche, don’t believe me? Try listening to music from your childhood or teen age and you will see what I mean. An audio logo can trigger the same effect if done right.

We can sync our brand identity and our brand’s sound to culture, history, emotions or even a message.

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Audio logo creation process

Let’s see how we can create an audio logo that represents our brand the way we want.

Consider Brand Culture

You can not start creating or even planning an audio logo if you do not have a brand direction. Audio logo is a part of a brand system. So consider the brand culture as a whole. Consider brand’s Core Values, Story, Attributes, Archetypes, Target audience and competition while creating an audio logo guidelines.
Consider what message you want to convey through sound.

Audio Logo connects with people
The process is not really very different than designing a logo,

The process is not really very different than designing a logo, you need to define your brand message and find ways to convey it in audio form.

Qualities of an effective audio logo

  1. It should be short. Three to Five seconds is the sweet spot, but some famous one are even longer
  2. Keep it simple
  3. It should be unique and memorable
  4. An effective audio logo is impactful
  5. Grab attention of your audience and is enjoyable

Make sure your audio logo becomes one with your visual identity. It will be most effective when it’s used consistently alongside your visual logo.

Using sound with your brand

The best and cost effective way to use your audio branding is online, you can integrate your audio logo into every aspect of your marketing effort.

Make it a part of every video and ad, use it with your mobile application, ringtones, on your website and social media.

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Three examples of some of the most famous audio logos

01. Intel

Everyone has listened the three second long audio logo of Intel. The iconic sound clip which has become one of the most well know in history was created by Austrian musician Walter Werzowa in the 1980s, It is a simple five-note mnemonic.

02. MGM Lion

Who doesn’t know about the classic MGM film intro, featuring a lion’s roar

The intro was originally created in 1916, as a piece of silent film,by Howard Dietz . It was first played for the debut of the movie White Shadows in the South Seas.

03. The Nokia tune

A simple ringtone made Nokia an household name. It is so pervasive in UK culture that it has become part of many movies and television series. It is a perfect example of role of sound in branding.


Hopefully you you now have an idea what Role of sound in branding is and how you can enhance your brand with the use of an audio logo. Just make sure your new audio logo is in sync with your brand message as a whole after all they are part of your Brand Experience.

Like there is a different Raga for different situation and times, the choice of audio logo depends on various brand factors.

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