What is Sonic Branding? Psychology of Sonic Branding

What is Sonic Branding?

Sonic branding refers to the sound of a brand. It is also known as sound branding, acoustic branding and audio branding. This type of branding strategy involves using sound so as to reinforce brand identity. Popular examples of sonic branding include McDonald’s, Nokia and Windows. Although these sounds are simple mnemonics, sound effects or jingles, they carry extensive emotional and exclusive value which connects them with the brand as much as visual elements.

Definition of Sonic Branding

Sonic branding refers to the use of a special sound so as to advertise and identify products that are associated with a particular manufacturer.

Sonic branding is becoming a strong vehicle through which companies convey memorable messages to their target audience. From catchy snippets of different tunes to non-lyrical sounds, sonic branding takes advantage of the most powerful memory of human brain – sound.

Psychology of Sonic Branding

The psychology of sonic branding holds the point that sound is as important as visuals or perhaps, it is even more. This is the most untapped branding aspect which can be very effective in making your brand stand out. There are several types of research which indicate that ultimate and best decisions are made through a non-rational way as they are made from the limbic part of the human mind and this part of the brain is aroused by sound or music.

The psychology of this type of branding is associated with several advantages which include:

  • It triggers emotions: Sound has the ability to trigger emotions more than visuals. If you watch a horror movie without sound you might not get that scared; however, if you simply listen to the sound without visuals, you might get scared easily.
  • Gets more attention: With the availability of huge information database, attention has become the asset which is most scarce. Adding in a sound or music option reinforces brand identity and will be very helpful in gaining more attention of the target market.
  • Enhances brand recall: There are studies which indicate that listening to sound or music helps in correlating with the message and helps in improving verbal memory of the audience and which leads to an improved brand recall.
  • Communicates clearer message: Music holds a direct relation with emotions. Every sound or chord triggers different types of emotions. Using the right sound for your brand will be very helpful in communicating your brand message with the target audience in a better, creative and effective way.

Sonic Branding Examples

Sonic branding is a very effective marketing strategy and helps customers remember your brand. Meaningful sound coupled with context ensures that your brand will be remembered for a long time. when audio version combined with another brand strategy, creates a stable image in the minds of your customers about what is your brand all about. Some examples of sonic branding include:

Example 1: Nokia Tune

The mobile handset manufacturer holds a longer audio logo and is synonymous with the brand itself. This audio was also used as the default ringtone of Nokia mobile phone sets right from the beginning of the brand and you will hardly find a person who does not recognize this sound.

Example 2: Intel Inside

Perhaps the most recognized audio logo or sonic branding comes from Intel. The audio was composed by Walter Werzowa and holds only 4 notes which are so powerful and memorable that every person can recognize it.

Example 3: NBC

The NBC broadcasting is popular for its three-tone chime and its viewers are well aware of what they are watching without even looking at its logo on their television screens.

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