Audio Branding: Creating a Unique Sonic Identity for Your Business

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Some brands have sounds that are easily recognizable.  Take the State Farm Insurance jingle. It’s easily recognizable.  This type of instant brand recognition through audio is known as audio branding.

In today’s crowded and noisy marketplace, this can be a powerful way for companies to stand out, connect emotionally with customers, and reinforce their core brand identity.

“With so many brands and so much advertising out there, sound is one of the best ways a company can differentiate itself,” says Jodi Krangle, a voice actor and expert on audio branding, on “The Business Storytelling Show.”

So, what exactly is audio branding, and why does it matter? Here’s a closer look at how to create a unique sonic identity for your business in the age of multimedia marketing.

What Is Audio Branding?

It’s the strategic use of sounds like music, voiceovers, sound effects, and more to reinforce a brand’s identity and evoke certain emotions or associations in customers. It goes beyond just having a catchy jingle or slogan.

All in all, it aims to create a cohesive sonic identity that conveys what a brand stands for. When you hear sounds uniquely tied to a brand, like the State Farm jingle, you instantly recognize them.

According to audio expert Shez Mehra,  sonic branding comes down to “consistency in product sounds and how a brand communicates across all touchpoints.”

Why Audio Branding Matters

So why does audio branding warrant serious consideration as part of your overall brand strategy? There are several key reasons:

1. Emotional Impact

Humans are wired to respond emotionally to sound. As Shez notes, audio has an intrinsic ability to “make a difference” in how audiences perceive a brand on a subconscious level. Audio branding done right can elicit strong, positive associations that visuals alone may not achieve.

2. Media Fragmentation

Today’s marketing landscape offers countless ways to reach customers – podcasts, in-store messaging, digital ads, social posts, and more. Having an identifiable audio brand cuts through the noise no matter where your customers encounter you. As Jodi says, “There’s a lot more accessibility to audio than there is to the visual aspect.”

3. Distinctiveness

Audio branding gives you an opportunity to carve out a unique space for your brand. Instead of licensing the same stock music as competitors, you can create signature sounds that signal your brand to audiences in a crowded marketplace. No one will confuse the Intel jingle for Apple’s musical branding. Make your brand sound as distinct as its visual identity.

4. Flexibility

An audio branding strategy built around original compositions or soundscapes offers more flexibility than licensing popular songs that competitors can also use. As Shez explains, “It’s flexible and adaptive enough to apply to whatever is coming your way without knowing what’s around the corner.” Your branded audio assets will have longevity instead of being tied to a single ad campaign.

5. New Platforms

Emerging platforms like TikTok have proven the power of audio-centric content to drive brand awareness fast. Users engage with trending sounds on TikTok, while brands have seen their longstanding jingles gain even more traction. Having identifiable audio brand assets pays dividends as new audio-driven platforms arise.

6. Memorable Storytelling

Audio can make boring brand content come alive through compelling storytelling. Instead of just crafting sharp visuals, bring scripts to life through branded voiceovers, sound effects, and music using emotive voices that are authentic to your brand. Storytelling also builds meaningful connections between audiences and brands.

7. Consistency

Consistent use of audio assets across marketing touchpoints, events, products, and spaces fosters better brand recall. She advises examining “how we can take audio and move it to the top of the strategy discussion.”

8. Accessibility

With the rise of voice search, voice assistants, screenless devices, podcasts, and more audio formats, sound enhances accessibility for all users. Voice-activated technologies especially help visually impaired consumers or those less adept with technology – an opportunity to build goodwill through audio innovations.

Creating Your Sonic Brand Identity

So, how exactly do you develop an audio branding strategy? While a catchy jingle never hurts, there’s more to consider when engineering your brand’s “sound.”

→ Set Objectives First

Any branding initiative starts with clear goals. Do you want to drive more sales? Increase brand awareness? Emotionally engage customers? Boost share of voice?

Get specific so you can measure audio branding success. This also helps determine appropriate audio strategies – an upbeat anthem for brand films vs. a soothing ambiance for retail spaces. Set objectives before getting creative.

→ Know Your Audience

The key to audio branding is knowing your target audiences emotionally as well as demographically. What kind of music and sounds appeal uniquely to them? How do they want to feel when interacting with your brand? Where and how will they most likely hear your branded audio?

Fully understanding your audience’s audio preferences allows you to develop on-brand sounds tailored specifically to resonate with them. Analyze psychographic and behavioral data beyond surface demographics alone.

→ Develop an Audio Style Guide

Like your visual brand style guide details approved fonts, colors, and logo usage, create equivalent audio branding guidelines around sound. Establish permitted musical styles, soundscapes, and voice-over talents for your strategy.

Outline exactly how and where custom audio can be used across channels – videos, ads, podcasts, events, spaces. Consistent guidelines prevent disjointed applications from weakening your audio brand over time.

→ Use Emotive Voices

Living up to your brand personality doesn’t just apply to visuals and written content. Ensure branded video scripts and podcasts leverage authentic voices, communicating in emotive ways consistent with your identity. Invest in professional voice-over talents capable of aligning with your brand style guide for continuity. You may even consider cloned AI voices in certain instances – when permitted!

→ Compose Signature Sounds

Define what makes your brand “sound” special, then translate it into proprietary audio compositions or soundscapes conveying your identity creatively. Though an undertaking, branded music investing in memorable sonic logos pays dividends, driving emotional connections over time.

→ Audit Brand Touchpoints

Conduct an audit identifying every consumer touchpoint to assess if current applications undermine – or fail to maximize – your audio brand. Analyze spaces like retail, ads, on-hold messaging, playlists, notifications, and conference content and examine current audio.  Assign accountability to ensure long-term continuity at all touchpoints.

→ Merge Sonic With Visual Identity

Only using branded visuals while the accompanying audio remains generic weakens continuity in the long term. Synchronize custom music, sound effects, voiceovers with videos, and other content to wholly reinforce your identity visually and aurally in a seamless way audiences instantly attribute back to your brand across contexts.

→ Measure And Refresh

Gauge audio brand awareness over time through consumer surveys and other tools capturing attribution and sentiment. Adjust compositions as needed to keep branded audio timely. Give aging compositions a “refresh” if they no longer resonate or fail to distinguish your brand as effectively anymore.

The AI Audio Frontier

Advancements in AI also offer intriguing audio branding opportunities that brands are beginning to explore. AI-powered voice cloning by companies like Speechify allows anyone to recreate almost perfect digital copies of real human voices using just a small sample recording.

From AI voice cloning to hyper-realistic voice synthesis, AI enables uniquely branded digital voices, unlike the robotic voices traditionally associated with text-to-speech apps. Brands with sonic identities can experiment with AI voice cloning to generate custom voiceovers or narrations at scale that sound authentic and on-brand but with virtually infinite creative flexibility.


Rising above the din of disruptive marketing takes an audio branding strategy, making your brand sound as distinct as it appears visually. Achieving the same emotional brand recognition among customers that audio logos like the Intel chime enjoy starts by engineering a strategic sonic identity in sync with – not out of sync with – your DNA.

“Now more than ever, it’s a very important conversation that brands are having with themselves [around] what is our brand sound and why does it matter,” says Shez.

The memorable sounds and voices uniquely tied to your brand ultimately reinforce who you are more meaningfully in today’s multimedia, tech-driven environment.

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