Sonic branding: the future of brand identity in 2024 and beyond

Discover how sonic branding is revolutionizing brand engagement, with over half of top brands adopting sound as a key component of their identity.

Sonic branding: the future of brand identity in 2024 and beyond

In recent years, the concept of sonic branding has taken the marketing world by storm. Sonic branding refers to the use of distinctive audio elements, like jingles, tunes, or voices, to create a unique identity for a brand, enhancing recognition and emotional connection with the audience.

According to Amp Sound Branding's Best Audio Brands report, an impressive 139 out of 250 brands now boast a sonic logo, with seven of the top 10 sonic brands being newcomers. This trend is not just about creating catchy jingles but developing a comprehensive sonic strategy that encompasses all brand touchpoints.

The value of sonic branding lies in its ability to enhance brand awareness, equity, and authenticity. It serves as a potent driver of emotion, enabling brands to convey their identity in a more immersive and emotive manner. However, the process requires careful consideration and effort to ensure the sound aligns with the brand’s essence and audience expectations.

However, the path to effective sonic branding is fraught with potential pitfalls. an inappropriate sonic identity can lead to cognitive dissonance among consumers, harming brand perception. Thus, a careful, considered approach to developing a sonic identity is crucial.

Nevertheless, the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) in sonic branding presents new opportunities for brands to achieve authenticity and efficiency. AI can expedite the creation of branded music, analyze sonic moods for authenticity, and even help construct immersive soundscapes, enhancing the creative process while ensuring brand consistency.

Looking ahead, the role of sonic branding is set to expand further, driven by the preferences of Gen Z consumers and the proliferation of "sound-on" platforms like TikTok and podcasts. Brands are now challenged to integrate their distinctive sounds more seamlessly into content, moving beyond traditional commercial formats to capture the fleeting attention of younger audiences.

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Sonic branding’s success

Last month, Standard Chartered Bank unveiled a distinctive sonic identity, setting a precedent in the financial sector with its comprehensive approach to sound branding. This sonic identity encompasses a sonic logo, a suite of brand soundtracks, voiceovers, and UX sounds, all designed to solidify the Standard Chartered brand's personality across its extensive network of 52 international markets. This move illustrates the bank's commitment to leveraging sound as a medium to enhance its brand's global presence and connect with consumers on a deeper emotional level.

Bjorn Thorleifsson, head of research and insights at Amp Sound Branding, highlights the growing momentum within the sonic branding industry, noting that 2024 promises to be a landmark year. He points out that sonic branding transcends industry boundaries, with companies like Grab and Lux embracing sound to distinguish their brands and communicate their core values. Grab aims to set its notification sounds apart from the crowd, whereas Lux uses sonic branding to amplify its mission of celebrating women's beauty.

Thorleifsson emphasizes, "An increasing number of brands are recognizing the value of investing in owned sound," adding that "by incorporating sound and music, potent drivers of emotion, brands gain an additional medium through which to convey their identity." This reflects a broader industry trend where sonic assets are increasingly seen as vital tools for enhancing brand awareness, equity, and authenticity across various touchpoints.

Implications of sonic branding in the media landscape

The rising trend of sonic branding is transforming the media landscape by providing brands a fresh way to connect with and engage their audiences emotionally. By adopting unique sound identities across various touchpoints, brands can achieve consistent and emotionally resonant communication with their target demographics. The advent of tools like Sonic Identity Platforms and AI Music Composition Software has also made it easier for these stakeholders to efficiently craft and implement sophisticated sonic branding strategies.

This approach opens up opportunities for marketers and freelancers to integrate sonic branding insights into their content strategies, thereby offering specialized expertise and services to brands seeking to refine their sonic identities. Significantly, the incorporation of AI in this process not only makes the creation of sound identities more efficient but also ensures that these identities are genuinely reflective of a brand's values and resonate well with audience expectations, heralding a new chapter in brand marketing.

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