What is Sonic BrandingDec 19 2012 · 1 comment · Freq Wave, Jordan Reed, Services, Sound Design
Sonic branding, also known as audio branding or sound logo is a type of trademark where sound is used to perform the trademark function of uniquely identifying the commercial origin of products or services. It might be a short melody or other sequence of sounds positioned at the beginning or ending of a commercial and can be thought of as the acoustic equivalent of a visual logo. Often a combination of both types of logo is used to enforce the recognition of a brand.
Sonic branding is a powerful mnemonic and every business should use it to establish their brand presence
Some widely recognized trademark sounds include:
- MGM Grand and their iconic lion’s roar
- 20th Century Fox and their trumpeting fanfare composed by Alfred Newman
- McDonald’s five musical notes that accompany the slogan “I’m loving it”
- Intel’s “Intel inside” four chord progression composed by Walter Werzowa
- The Nokia tune
- The NBC chimes
- THX’s Deep Note
How to Reinforce Your Brand identity
Consider how a sound logo leads to learning effects on the consumer’s perception of a product. Our brains love familiar melodies because we love to anticipate the ending to a memorable sequence of sounds. Once a unique sound has been associated with a product or brand, consumers play the sound in their mind and re-live their perception of the learning experience. Some brands focus on a very unique sound that is intrinsic to their product rather than a musical composition. For example, in 1994 Harley Davidson filed a sound trademark application for its distinctive V-twin engine sound. It realised that if it could capture its own sound, it could distinguish the brand at every point of customer interaction.
To be most effective a sound logo should be unique, memorable and flexible
Until Next Time
Hopefully you have enjoyed the introduction to our discussion of sonic branding. I look forward to continuing this series because it is a fun and interesting part of commercial audio production, especially when it comes to the creative process. The next article in this series will discuss what you can expect from just that – the process of developing a sound logo and how to make it a part of your brand identity.
About the author: When Jordan Reed isn’t flexing his blog muscles he can be found lurking in the corner of his control room designing sound, writing music or just plainly making noise. As the founder of Freq Wave Studios and author of this article, he hopes to cast light on the wonderful world of audio production and all the adventures it can bring. Have a question or want to connect with Jordan? You can find him on Twitter under the assumed handle: @SoundsLikeJord