Audio Branding Is Part of Your Image

Your image is everything. It’s the first thing a potential client or customer learns about your company. When you advertise in print, clients and consumers see your logo and ad copy as a representation of your business. But in dynamic media, such as television, radio and Internet ads, you have more to offer people than just a solid image – you can give them audio, too.

An effective audio brand is synonymous with your company: think, for example, of the NBC chime sonic logo, or the famous roar of the lion from MGM studios. These audio logos are iconic, ubiquitous and instantly recognizable.


Benefits of Audio Branding

  • Creating a memorable brand identity – Original music in advertising is far more memorable than song parodies or original recordings of popular songs. So brands can use audio branding to help consumers remember their brand through signature music regardless of when or where they encounter the music.
  • Boosting brand loyalty – Choosing music branding that fits your brand values can positively affect how consumers feel about your brand and may even increase their loyalty towards your brand. On the other hand, using unsuitable music branding could have a negative impact on how consumers perceive your brand.
  •  Inciting certain emotions in people – Audio branding can help you induce specific emotions in consumers. Whether you want them to feel excited, sad, happy, or nervous; audio can have an impact. A study by Katz Marketing found that the theme music for FOX NFL Football was responsible for inducing excitement and anticipation in people. Moreover, 79% of consumers correctly identified the brand through the sound.
  • Impacting people’s moods in retail settings – Since music significantly impacts people’s moods, businesses can use music and sound to create a desired mood and even influence the pace of shoppers in a retail setting. For example, if you want shoppers to browse through your store more slowly, a relaxing tune might be the ideal choice. One case study found that playing gentle and ambient music designed to reduce stress was able to increase retail sales by 10%. The report highlighted how slow-tempo music induces positive responses and enhances people’s waiting experience in low crowd density. But, it had the opposite effect when people were part of a dense crowd. Playing loud music in bars, on the other hand, resulted in people drinking more beer and drinking it faster.
  • Impacting people’s willingness to pay – Another study showed that the number of tones that make up an audio logo can have an impact on people’s willingness to pay. In that study, six notes performed better than either three or nine. The scientists attributed the difference to processing fluency.


How audio branding works

Define your brand’s current positioning in the market, and characterize how it differs from that of your competitors. The audio audit will consider, among other things, whether any current sounds and music you are using: Are consistent with your brand values Are unique and original Leave a memorable imprint
Examine what audio elements competitors are using, as well as the audio themes, formats, or features that your target audiences are more likely to engage with. For example, if you are marketing a coffee brand, here are some common sector marketing themes that audio branding can enhance:
 Orchestrated in more or less a cinematic, romantic, or symphonic fashion, this has been a recurring and repeated theme in coffee marketing for many years. Musical sounds: A closely linked, romantic mixture of string instruments, a noticeable reverberation of the sound; the presence of a trumpet or other brass instruments; an intimate rhythmic base (muffled cymbals); a marked bass line.
The Family; The Everyday
Indulgent Pleasures:
Take a look at brands outside your sector that embody the feelings you want to convey with your audio brand — especially ones that could serve as inspiration for your own brand’s best audio practices.
Create a touch-point analysis: What sound, if any, is currently heard at each of your brand’s touch points? What does each sound convey? Does it carry a positive sounding message? Does it align with your overall brand positioning and values? Are there other sounds that might communicate these qualities more powerfully or more directly?
From there, an audio brand strategist can create initial “audio mood boards” — musical demonstrations of different ways to express your brand’s core values. These boards are developed by the audio brand team into sample audio DNAs that can then be selected, evaluated and refined to your satisfaction.
After the DNA is finalized, you can begin to adapt its use to suit each content marketing touch point it will be used in.

If you’re ready to bring audio into your branding, consider these tips:

  • Identify the key characteristics of your brand before deciding the music or voice that will represent your organization.
  • Keep your audio simple, remember people can connect with your brand with only a few musical notes or a distinctive voice. The music and the message don’t have to be complicated.
  • Identify where you can use audio to reach customers. Get creative! There are far more opportunities than you might initially think.
  • Create an audio branding guide, just as you have for your visual components.
  • Only use audio to enhance your brand. It’s not a filler – it has a purpose.
  • Make sure your music and voice choices represent the image you want your brand to convey. Don’t make choices based on your personal preferences, ensure your selection will appeal to your customers.
  • Consider hiring professionals for your voice and music needs. There are numerous services available at reasonable prices for this type of work. Remember, you can’t incorporate any audio (songs, voices, etc.) that you come across. Permission for use will most likely be needed or you’ll face stiff penalties (another reason to turn this portion over to the professionals!).
  • Give thought to how your music and voice selections will be received by your target audiences (for example, consider the variety of cultures and genders).

Examples of Audio Branding You Can Use

Consistency in your branding efforts isn’t just helpful: it’s imperative. If your branding efforts are all over the place, customers and clients are less likely to remember you and at best, will be overwhelmed and at worst, confused about who you are or what company the brand represents.

While not all of your audio branding efforts need to be identical, they should share a common theme. Take, for example, the successful branding and rebranding of Budweiser beer over the years. Although the different marketing campaigns run by the company have had different mascots, logos and even songs, they all feature similar elements: endearing animal companions and short, catchy ways to say the brand’s name.

Taking a page from Budweiser’s book, it’s possible to have variation among your audio branding by presenting your audio logo in different ways. A smooth jazz version that’s still recognizable as yours can play during your on-hold message as customers wait to speak to a representative, while a rock-themed version of your audio logo might do well in a high-powered television ad campaign.

Making the Most of Your Audio Branding'
Audio branding isn’t just a way to get clients and customers to remember your business: you can also use the power of music to make listeners feel a certain way about your product or service. For example, the McDonald’s audio branding that precedes their “I’m Lovin’ It” slogan uses tones that encourage the listener to feel happy, upbeat and positive. The snap, crackle and pop of the Rice Krispies audio brand evokes a silly, carefree feeling reminding adults of their childhood and encouraging younger consumers to embrace the fun of the cereal.

Making the most of your audio branding means knowing your target audience: what do they like? What makes them happy? What tones and songs appeal to them? Strong market research is already a part of successfully branding your business, but few market surveys think to ask about client listening habits.

Creating an Effective Audio Brand
Making a memorable, effective audio brand for your business requires a bit of research and effort. But a successful audio logo can elevate your company from one of many offering the same services or products to a household name.

Audio branding is a complex field and developing a sound that matches your brand as well as evokes the correct feelings from listeners takes work. It’s usually worth it to invest in professional help to create your audio brand and utilize it to its full potential in radio and television ad spots, as well as on your in-store playlists and on your telephone on-hold message. The experts at Retail Radio can help formulate a successful audio brand on par with the famous examples of NBC or Nokia, and can help you with placement to maximize listener response.

Brand strategy

  • strategic acoustic branding
  • developing and realisation of acoustic brand identity
  • developing multiple-channel-strategies: concepts for 1-to-1 marketing, poinf of sale, internet, mobile solutions, merchandising, product design or advertising
  • specialised market research for measuring the effects of music, sounds and voices on brand perception and recall
  • developing strategies for intellectual property: trademarks, contracts with collecting societies, title research and licence negotiations
  • music sponsoring, artist cooperations and product placement

brand design

acoustic brand design elements

  • brand theme
  • audio Logo
  • soundscapes
  • product sounds
  • earcons
  • brand voice
  • corporate song

brand management

  • implementation across all communication channels
  • enabling workshops
  • developing guidelines
  • developing sound databases
  • optimisation of existing acoustic brand identities
  • enhancements and monitoring
  • market research and desk research

Depending on your communication needs there are many application possibilities: advertising, telephone on-hold, corporate and product videos, website, webcast, events, fairs, conferences, ringtones. We offer you the most adequate solutions and act in consideration of the brand touch points that are relevant for you.


Audio logo

An audio logo is the most recognizable part of an effective audio brand. It is useful for any company that wishes to be heard apart from all of the clutter.

An audio logo is a sound bite that is about five seconds long. It is usually played with a visual logo accompanying. Most likely you will here it at the beginning or the end of a commercial advertisement. But, it also has many other uses. Just like its visual partner it can be used as a glue for the brand. It will help unify any sonic property that a brand owns.

Top 10 Famous Audio Logos

Using Sound to Build Your Brand

Create an audio language to support your brand identity with a step-by-step guide backed by real life insights and cutting-edge research.


Book Details

  • Edition: 1
  • Published: 3rd March 2017
  • Paperback
  • Format: 236x156
  • 232 pages
Advering Digital Marketing