Definition: A sound logo is an auditory representation of a brand, as it is a type of trademark that uses sound to identify the origin of commercial products or services. It can also be called an audio logo, an acoustic logo, or a sound trademark. An example of a sound logo is the Intel jingle — you’ll likely know it when you hear it.
Creating an audio logo is a great way to use sound to communicate your brand values and personality. It involves creating an original audio piece that reflects the qualities of your brand, such as a specific sound or jingle. This audio piece can be used across different marketing channels to make sure that your business stands out.
The audio 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 types of logos and is used to enforce the recognition of a brand in the market.
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What is Sound Logo?
A sound logo refers to a brief audio clip or effect, typically lasting between three to five seconds, that represents a brand and is considered an essential part of the brand’s sound branding. This way of branding is also referred to as sonic branding or audio branding.
The Sound Logos lead to 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 of the sound their brand can attempt to capitalize on its uniqueness and novelty.
A very good example of 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 touchpoints.
Why Branding Needs an Audio Logo?
Having a great visual identity is essential for any business, but it’s not always enough to make your brand stand out. That’s why many businesses are looking to add an audio logo to their branding strategy.
The importance of audio is increasing, as it is being used by most brands on their various touchpoints and digital platforms. Therefore, every brand will have some form of sound associated with it, which presents both an opportunity and a challenge. Regardless of your product or service, creating an audio brand should be a priority.
An audio logo provides a unique and memorable way to identify your brand. It helps you create an emotional connection with consumers, as it is often used to set the mood or tone of your brand. It is also very effective in creating a memorable experience, as it can be heard even when visuals are absent.
Having your own unique audio logo can set you apart from competitors and make your brand easily recognizable. It also gives you an opportunity to engage with customers in new and exciting ways, as audio logos can be used in many different ways.
What makes Audio Logos so effective?
A musical riff or melody is usually used to create an audio brand, creating a recognizable sonic signature. This gives your business more of an identity and helps you stand out from the competition. It also allows you to create original music tailored around your brand, as opposed to using generic music.
In addition to providing a unique sound for your brand, audio logos can be used for audio marketing. Music cues, jingles, and sound effects can all be used to draw attention to your brand and evoke certain emotions.
Creating your own audio logo is an important part of branding strategy as it provides a unique and memorable way to identify your business. With the right strategies in place, you can create an effective sound that will help establish your brand and drive customer recognition.
Audio logos are designed to be used frequently like visual logos to make consumers familiar with a brand simply by hearing the logo. Research indicates that people can remember sound patterns after hearing them only two times, unlike visual logos which require more exposure.
Only do our brains respond differently to sounds compared to other stimuli, but they also have a unique way of storing information. When we hear a sound, it gets stored in our echoic memory, which is a kind of short-term memory specifically for auditory information.
This means that the information is stored for a relatively short period of time, so the sound logos must be heard frequently to ensure it remains memorable.
Stages of Creating Sound Logos
1. The audio strategy development phase involves confirming the brand essence and other foundational elements by the parties involved in creating the logo.
2. The next stage is the audio touchpoint analysis phase where all places the brand will come in contact with customers and other stakeholders are identified and studied intricately.
3. 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.
4. The test and refine stage to where the combination of sound elements is optimized to ensure that they communicate the essence, core values, and promise of the brand.
5. The implementation stage is to create the adaptations for each of the customer touchpoints.
6. 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 Audio 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 a 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 sufficiently flexible to be used at the brand’s multiple customer touchpoints.
Many people are beginning to understand the importance of a well-made and curated Sound Logos that is coherent with the innate values of the brand.
How to Incorporate Audio Logos into Your Sound Branding?
You can include audio logos in your sound branding to create an unmistakable, unique identity for your brand. An original and good audio logo can add a memorable touch to your marketing strategy that can have a lasting impact on customers.
An audio logo is an essential part of creating a successful audio identity for your business or organization. It should be crafted with care and creativity to make sure it effectively communicates your message. Before you begin creating an audio logo, consider the following points:-
- What is the key message that you want to communicate to customers?
- How can sound capture and enhance this message?
- What type of sound or music will best represent your brand identity?
- Will a combination of sounds work better than a single tone?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start crafting your audio logo. You may want to consider using a combination of tones, textures, and musical elements that will help bring your message to life.
Be sure to also keep in mind the context in which the audio logo will be used. For example, if it is being used for a radio ad or podcast, then you will need to make sure it is clear and concise. If it will be used for a television commercial or website, then you may want to create something more dynamic that resonates with viewers.
Creating an audio logo isn’t a one-time process; as your brand evolves, so can your audio logo. As such, keeping up with trends can help you stay relevant and make sure your audio logo remains memorable.
Examples of Popular Sound Logos
Some of the notable branding audio logos are –
The first original audio 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 Audio Logo.
McDonald’s: I’m Lovin’ It Sonic Logo
McDonald’s created a memorable sonic logo that uses two distinct elements, the first being a vocal hook of “I’m Lovin’ It” and the second is an instrumental phrase. This iconic sound has helped to make its brand recognizable all over the world.
Intel audio logo
Intel’s original Sound Logo was designed to be a synthesis of all the product characteristics that represent Intel — innovation, intelligence, integrity, and performance. The result is a five-note audio logo as its signature sound.
Xbox audio logo
Microsoft’s Xbox brand has one of the most recognizable sound signatures in gaming. The Xbox Audio Logo uses four distinct notes that ring out at the beginning of a game or when navigating menus, creating a memorable sonic experience for gamers.
MGM Lion Sonic logo
MGM’s iconic lion roar is one of the most recognized sound logos in the entertainment world. It has been used since 1925 and continues to be heard before many of MGM’s movies, making it an instantly recognizable trademark. The signature lion roar packs a lot of authority and presence in a short timeframe.
Benefits of a Sound Logos
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 Mcdonald’s 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 a cost-efficient
Traditionally, TV advertising has been accompanied by various soundtracks from famous artists such as Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Tina Turner, and 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 are 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 audio logo constantly positions the brand in the market, and brand awareness increases continuously and consistently.
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