21 Jul 2024 06:19

Leadership Perspectives

The Raise of Sonic (Audio) Branding

Over the past decade, we’ve lived in an over-saturated visual world, where brands have been competing for customer’s attention, either via images or video content.  However, since the introduction of Siri and Alexa, the world around us is transforming at an incredible pace, and Middle East and Africa (MEA) will be one of the key markets driving the growth of this space. Over the next decade, success will be driven by just two things, voice and brand and hence what brands sound like may become a crucial variable for success. 

Sonic (Audio) Branding was born in the Golden Age of Radio, with the first brand, NBC, officially registering its audio mark in 1950, since then, it seemed to be left overlooked. However, with the emerging technology and major growth of audiobooks, voice assistants and smart speakers, were heard by people for at least four hours every day, now is the time for marketers to invest in audio to remain competitive. 

Today Sonic branding has become an integral part of a comprehensive brand strategy, that creates an experience that builds an emotional connection. Just a few days ago, Mastercard announced its new Sonic Branding, a sound that will help users recognise the brand, either when making a purchase, or a watching an ad.  Working with agencies and artists, like Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park, Mastercard is now also expressing the brand via sounds, thus strengthening emotional connection with its target audience. 

According to several studies, Audio has an incredible advantage to trigger human emotions, significantly impacting our mood. Audio signals gives an effective cue to the brand’s image, thus allowing them to cut through the visual clutter of modern market, contributing to shaping strong associations and relationships with the brand, triggering emotions faster than visual stimulation.  However, what is missed out on, quite often, is that Audio Branding can be used not just externally, but also internally, thus having a direct positive effect on productivity. 

According to a research conducted by RED in May, 2013, More than 98% of participants agreed that playing music creates a better working environment, while making them more productive and motivated. With such a strong effect that audio has on human perceptions, marketers will need to start asking themselves “How does our brand sound like”?, while carefully analysing their target audiences.

By utilising Sonic Branding right, marketers will have a chance to build a stronger and more impactful atmosphere, enhance retail experiences, improve productivity, brand loyalty and engagement. 


Written by Yulia Klimacheva, Managing Partner and Head of Brand Strategy at Jpd Agency. 

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