Sonic Branding

The Power and the Glory…sometimes.

Is it only old and bitter people who talk about ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ whenever experts try to re-define what most of us know instinctively from birth? 

Take ‘Sonic Branding’ for instance. Having a sonic brand ain’t a new idea folks – and slapping a short sound or random combination of notes on the end of your ad doesn’t give you a sonic brand that sets you apart from the rest of the herd. You just end up lumped in with lots of other brands which have short sounds and random combinations of notes at the ends of their ads. 

Any small child will tell you by their reactions, a successful sonic brand is all about recognition. We are comforted and rewarded by being able to make sense of the way a brand is presented, and recognise what the brand is (or more importantly, what we want from it) from all the audio and visual clues we’re given. 

In the Dark Ages before marketing became a qualification, we used to sing along to jingles…recite catch-phrases…and create multi-national success stories because the sonic identities said something we wanted to hear. If they didn’t describe the brand they represented, they created it – along with all the brand associations – from scratch.

We like to think that we’re now more enlightened, sophisticated and urbane – too savvy to fall for that old clap-trap – but to be honest, it’s just the same as it ever was. From Meerkats to pocket taps to whistled notes, we’re still lapping up stuff that we recognise for the right reasons – they make us feel OK about their brand, and we understand them. 

So, beware the courtier who comes to you with a marvellous new set of clothes – i.e. a short sound or a random collection of notes for the end of your ads – with the promise that it will be loved and admired by all, and make all of your marketing ‘more effective’. 

If it doesn’t enhance the way people perceive your brand, or help explain it better, or work positively on a very simple emotional level – it’s not a piece of ‘sonic branding’, it’s a piece of something very different. 

Why not let Get Carter Productions show you how Sonic Branding CAN and DOES work? 

And if it happens to mean using a short sound or a carefully selected set of notes at the end of your ads – it will be for genuinely good reasons…that a child could understand. 

Paul Carter