Sonic Branding at the Branding Link + Think

Hummingbird CreativeBranding Link + Think

AMA Branding link + think on Big Data

On Friday, October 27, Hummingbird Creative Group hosted their monthly Branding Link + Think for the Triangle AMA. This month’s topic was “Sonic Branding” and focused on an article discussing the customer experience when brands use sonic branding.


what is sonic branding?

When we first think of sonic branding, we think of jingles and tunes played in the background of commercials. But, in fact, sonic branding has evolved to be so much more. It can be videos as well and is now an opportunity to help tell the brand story.

Sonic branding is an extension of visual branding and is used to reinforce brand identity. We know, thanks to science, that sound– in particular, music– is very good at triggering memories. Sound and music can influence us and our emotions on a subconscious level whereas visual information has to be filtered and interpreted by the brain before we can divine the meaning. This means that music and audio are a very strong tool for brands; marketing materials will be much stronger when combining audio and visual components when possible.  

the power of sonic branding

Runners will often piece together a meticulous playlist to help them get the right cadence. They can spend a lot of time working on this playlist because when they can tell when the music is right, the run feels better and their pace works out better. But the wrong music can have a detrimental effect to their experience. The same goes for sonic branding.

“The music is often where you start,” said Bruce, one of the Link + Think attendees who works in video editing. “You listen to soundtracks that are appropriate for what you’re trying to say and the pieces just fit. Obviously, you do the music and then you fit the images into it.”

But sometimes, those pieces don’t fit as easily together.

“Music helps set the tone but it can also be distracting,” said Paulo Simoes of Brios Media. “Sometimes I give our editors choices and I’ll give them two or three options. And, when I look at [the video] I’m still not feeling it. But, then you change the music and it works.”

sonic branding as a choice

Sonic branding is all about the customer experience, there’s no denying it. Whereas it used to be all about the repetitive jingle, brands are moving away from that. Apple, Samsung and other commercials on TV are all about that experience. The music that goes along with their commercials fit the lifestyle they’re trying to sell and the emotions of the music help keep the sound and visuals in sync.

And, when deciding what music to use, it’s important to think of it from the listener’s point of view.

“How people hear what you’re saying is way more important than what you think you’re trying to say,” said Bruce. “It’s not what I’m saying, it’s what you’re hearing. The artist can get so self-involved that they don’t care what the audience is hearing but more so what they themselves are hearing.”


Join other Triangle AMA members for a monthly special interest group to discuss aspects of building and maintaining a great brand– from brand strategy and how corporate culture reflects branding, to building brand equity, implementing brand standards and more.

The Branding Link + Think is hosted by Hummingbird Creative Group on the fourth Friday of every month starting at 8am. Hummingbird Creative Group is located at 160 NE Maynard Road, Suite 205, Cary NC 27513.

Our next Branding Link + Think will be on October 27 and the focus will be on sonic branding. To find out more about next month’s Branding Link + Think, visit the Triangle AMA’s event page. To read about last month’s topic, click here.