The Sound Logo or the audio mnemonic can be defined as one of the tools of sound branding, along with the jingle, brand music, and the overall theme of the brand.
It is a short distinctive melody or other sequences of sound that is mostly positioned at the beginning or end of a commercial of a brand. It can be seen as the acoustic equivalent of a visual logo of the brand. It is often a combination of both the types of the logo and is used to enforce the recognition of a brand in the market.
The Sound Logo leads to the various learning effects on the consumer’s perception of a certain product offered by the brand. A melody is one of the most memorable sequences of the sound as when a melody starts, the human brain automatically expects an ending to the same.
However, some brands realize the importance the sound their brand can make an attempt to capitalize on its own uniqueness and novelty.
A very good example for the same is the motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson, which, in the year of 1994, filed a sound trademark application for its distinctive V-twin engine sound as It realized that if it could capture its own sound, it could distinguish the brand at every point of customer interaction and touch points.
Just like a visual brand logo, the most essential qualities of a sound logo are uniqueness, memorability in nature and feel, and relevancy to the brand promise and its core values.
The stages involved in creating a Sound Logo :
- The audio strategy development phase is where the brand essence and other foundational elements are confirmed by the parties involved in making the logo.
- The next stage is the audio touchpoint analysis phase where all places the brand will come in contact with customers and other stakeholders is identified and studies in an intricate manner.
- Next in line is the concept phase where an audio collage is curated to help define the overall texture, rhythm, melody, harmony, and instrumentation that best convey the core brand values and then the unique sound or piece of music is composed to convey the distinctive brand essence and values in the market.
- The test and refine stage to where the combination of sound elements are optimized to ensure that they communicate the essence, core values, and the promise of the brand.
- The implementation stage is to create the adaptations for each of the customer touch points.
- The handover stage is where an audio style guide is developed to help the supervisor or manager of the brand recommend, plan, and supervise the installation of the audio brand elements into the various devices, expo booths, displays, call centers, and other places where it will be used by the brand to attract the customers. Additionally, the licensing or ownership of the branding elements or all applicable usage rights, depending on the agreement are formally transferred to the brand and its cynosures.
The Sound Logo is also the audio equivalent of the traditional graphic logo of the brand.
It is usually composed of a brief, distinctive and innovative melody, approximately with the duration of 2-3 seconds up to a maximum of 5 seconds of time.
The sound should equally harmonize with the graphics components to represent and promote the characteristics and values of the brand.
It should be memorable in nature and be sufficiently flexible to be used at the brand’s multiple customer touch points.
Many people are beginning to understand the importance of a well-made and curated Sound Logo that is coherent with the innate values of the brand.
Example of a Sound Logo :
The first Sound Logo that has made history and a far-sighted marketing move that brought the sound of the brand into our daily lives is Nokia. It is an excellent example in terms of memorability and flexibility in nature. Below is the Nokia Sound Logo.
Benefits of a Sound Logo :
1) Sound branding develops a favorable brand personality
The brand will be able to create a sound and favorable brand personality that differentiates and actually brands the brand on a whole new level in the market.
2) Sound branding gives a powerful boost to brand recognition
When a brand has a sound personality it will be uniquely recognizable among other brands in the market in the same way as your favorite music may trigger memories associated with that specific track.
3) A sound personality is flexibly developed along with the other brand elements
The history of sound branding provides the best examples of flexibility in nature. For example, BBC2 and McDonalds have been working consistently with the creation of new versions of the same sound pattern in a very convincing and unique manner.
4) Sound branding is quite cost efficient
Traditionally, TV advertising has been accompanied by the various soundtracks from famous artists such as Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Tina Turner, or David Bowie which generate high licensing costs. With the unique corporate sound identity, there will be no repeated licensing costs for the company at all.
5) Sound branding saves the company’s money on airtime or other message repetitions
Instead of spending on 15 or 30 seconds television advertisement spots, you can cut the same to 2 – 4 seconds and the target group will still recognize the brand by recognizing the brand sound.
6) Sound branding takes ownership of the memory of your target audience
When the right and innovative sound is designed and integrated with your marketing and branding communication it sticks in the memory of the target group by the way of creating the mood and emotions that are conveyed in the sound design and music tracks which are employed for the overall sound branding.
7) Sound branding creates brand recall
With the right sound signature, you will be able to attain an immediate rational and emotional response from the target audience. Listening to the first few notes of your favorite track with your favorite music band creates no doubts as to why you love it and how it makes you feel even if you have no words to explain and the same effect may be employed in relation to the sound branding as well.
8) Sound branding maximizes the marketing impact
Without a good sound brand personality, you have no tool to position your brand in a fragmented and cluttered media landscape where all branding, advertising, and marketing products will be accessible on media devices where sound and video is already integrated as a preferred form of communication by the customers.
9) Sound branding maximizes long-term awareness
When a brand is consistent in its communication over the years, the sound logo constantly positions the brand in the market and the brand awareness increases continuously and consistently.