How Sound Creates
Stronger Brands

Sound in Branding.. from Noise to Recognition

In branding, it's not only the visual aspects that play a crucial role. Sound and music are becoming increasingly important elements of strategies for companies aiming to create unforgettable experiences and build lasting relationships with customers. In this article, we will focus on the psychology of sound in branding strategy, delve into cultural differences, and provide examples of companies that effectively utilize sound in their branding.

Music is a language that transcends cultural and national boundaries. It serves as a conduit for emotions and feelings, which is why it's not surprising that many companies are beginning to recognize the potential of sound as a tool for shaping their brand image. Unlike other stimuli, sound is more emotional, allowing companies to evoke specific feelings in their customers.

The Psychology of Sound in Branding

Similar to color, sound has the power to evoke emotions and associations. Each sound or melody can trigger different sensations in people. Here are a few examples:

  • A melody with notes of joy: When used in advertisements, it can evoke positive emotions and encourage customers to take positive actions.
  • Soft and harmonious sound: It can symbolize calm and trust, which is important for companies aiming to build long-lasting relationships with customers.
  • Energetic rhythm: Suitable for promoting activity and action, which is why it is often used in sports ads or energy products.
  • Identifying sound: This is a sound or musical motif that is immediately associated with a specific brand, such as the sound of opening an Apple laptop or the Nokia ringtone.

Sound Selection in Branding

When choosing sound in a branding strategy, similar principles to those of color selection should be followed. The sound should be consistent with the brand identity and evoke the desired emotions in customers. It must also be appropriately tailored to the culture and context in which the company operates.

Cultural Differences

Similar to colors, the meaning of sound can vary depending on culture and region. For example:

  • Melodies that enchant Western listeners: They may not have the same effect on audiences from Eastern cultures, which perceive and interpret music differently.
  • Rhythm and tempo: Energetic sounds that are effective in one country may be too overwhelming or too aggressive in another.
  • Musical instruments: The choice of instruments and musical styles is of paramount importance. Instruments valued in one culture may be poorly received in another.

Examples from Practice

Intel Inside

The Intel brand's signature sound has accompanied the company's processors for years and has become an integral part of its branding identity. It is short, pleasant to the ear, and is associated with technology and innovation.


The sound that accompanies the startup of the Netflix application is subtle but exceptionally distinctive. It consists of pleasant, gentle sounds that are associated with the beginning of entertainment, creating positive emotions for users.


The THX sound is used in cinemas and on video media to ensure excellent sound quality. It serves as a powerful audio logo that informs the viewer about the highest quality of sound and image.


The distinctive sound of T-Mobile, known as the "T-Mobile Jingle," accompanies the company's telecommunications advertisements and campaigns.


The distinctive sound of the Volkswagen brand accompanies all of the company's automotive advertisements and campaigns.


The melody "I'm Lovin' It" has been accompanying McDonald's advertisements since 2003. It's an example of a well-chosen audio logo that not only enhances brand recognition but also evokes positive emotions and encourages people to use McDonald's services.

The Acoustic Challenges in Branding involve creating an audible identity for a brand, product, or service

The above audio logos are excellent examples of how sound can become an integral part of a brand's identity. They are easily recognizable and attributed to a specific brand, allowing for the creation of strong customer relationships and differentiation from competitors. An audio logo provides a unique way to communicate with consumers while also serving as a carrier of brand emotions and values.

Sound and music are becoming increasingly important elements in branding strategy. Sound has the power to evoke emotions and associations, enabling companies to create unique customer experiences. However, the choice of sound must consider the psychology of sound, cultural contexts, and alignment with the brand's identity. Sound is a new tool in the hands of marketers that can help in building strong and lasting customer relationships worldwide.

* All trademark rights are reserved by the brand owners and have been used solely for educational purposes.

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