6 Success Drivers for a Sonic Identity


By Valentin Fleur

A sonic branding eco-system allows a brand to stake out a more emotional space in the listener’s brain. But what makes a Sonic Identity successful? Here are 6 factors that influence the performance of a strong Sonic Identity:

1. Transmission of brand values 

In less than 3 seconds your tailor-made earprint expresses your values in a language that’s universally understood. But you have to be specific. For instance, just being a “Human” brand in today’s world cannot be a go-to strategy anymore – there is more sonic potential in being “Humble”, “Inclusive” or “Caring” while being perceived as a human company. 

2. Distinctiveness, especially within an industry

Industries seem to get musically stuck, whether with overused heart beats (Nissan, Audi) and digital sounding sonic logos (VW, Hyundai, KIA) in the automotive category, or grand pianos in the energy sector (Exxon Mobil, Shell). A brand must aim for differentiation. Your brand values, legacy and aspirations are our biggest sources of direction. The ruts that sectors get mired in should not inspire your brand expression.

3. Ability to grab attention and trigger engagement psycho-acoustically

Our experience tells us that if a client hears a sonic logo for the first time and likes it right off the bat, it’s probably not distinctive enough. By looking for a unique sound texture, unexpected rhythm or other auditory oddity, you can build attribution that will lead to better recall in the long term. 

4. Flexible framework respected by all creators

A successful Sonic Identity is a successfully launched Sonic Identity. You have to introduce the work to your teams (internal and partners), and explain how it will impact the performance of the brand and facilitate their day-to-day operations. Clear guidelines lead to better brand governance.

5. Cohesive sonic brand footprint across touchpoints

Ears don’t have eyelids so always make sure that even if you’re not seen, you are always being heard in a cohesive and consistent way. 

6. Long-term executive commitment

The biggest threat to a high-performance sonic Identity? A new CMO. And there are 2 kinds of CMOs. One will consider all the brand assets and will support the ones that build brand equity, while the other will try to infuse her or his thumbprint in each of them. 

Photo by Christina on Unsplash.