3. Sonic Branding: An Introduction

13 years ago my colleague Daniel M Jackson wrote a book that marked a seminal moment in the history of sonic branding. The book is called ‘Sonic Branding: An Introduction’.

This week I am sharing an extract of the book that introduces the fundamentals of sonic branding and encourages the strategic management of music properties, no matter what they are....


The opportunity knocks

Though we categorise touch-points, in reality, each time we work with a new client we find a completely new set of challenges and an enormous realm of opportunity for brands to convey their emotional messages and build belief and trust amongst stakeholders. The theme that runs through every sonic branding project, however, is that no matter what the fundamental touchpoint, all touch-points should be brought into line to generate a consistent sound and feel. Only by achieving this communications multiple is a brand really able to make the most of its sonic opportunities.

The number of sonic touch-points available and the complexity of the stakeholder’s journey through his or her day, mean that the world of sonic branding has never been more diverse and potentially confusing. As a result, this new discipline is currently being interpreted, creatively, in many different ways by many different companies. A large proportion of the businesses and individuals who have jumped upon the bandwagon are composers who assert that if they write music for a brand, it must be sonic branding. Though they are undoubtedly working within the industry, the creation of music is not in itself sonic branding.

It is vital to remember that the essence of sonic branding is twofold: the creation of brand expressions in sound and the consistent, strategic usage of these properties across touch-points. Sonic branding choices must be informed as much by the strategic approach as by the creative execution and the salient points when assessing the offerings of sonic sonic branding suppliers should be strategic and creative. It really does not matter whether the brand expression proposed is a symphony or a jingle as both may sometimes be appropriate, the primary opportunity is in the strategic management of the right creative property, no matter what it is. This is the approach that sets sonic branding apart from those who have gone before and use the terms with little understanding for their meaning. 

Daniel M Jackson, CEO - CORD