For music producers, the story of 2021 will be the continued ascendance of sonic branding. Once synonymous with the audio logos of Fortune 500 companies, like McDonald’s, Apple and IBM, sonic branding has become essential to the identity of companies large and small. And it’s no longer just about a three-note tag that appears at the end of a commercial.
Signature sound is integral to every aspect of a brand’s identity and essential to its ability to connect with customers, whether consumers or other businesses. Our experience at Stephen Arnold Music shows just how widespread the phenomenon has become. We have created sonic identities for broadcasters, government agencies, a pharmaceutical giant, a niche financial services firm, a game developer and a national sports event, among others.
Technology is helping to drive the trend. Customized, instantly-identifiable sounds are woven into home entertainment systems, cars, appliances, websites, phone apps and a myriad of other devices and experiences. Sounds are engaging and memorable. They capture attention and stimulate emotion. The cleverly crafted “ear emojis” you hear when you use an ATM guide you through the process while instilling confidence in the bank.
As companies look for more meaningful ways to tell their stories, sonic branding may be their most powerful and effective tool.
Chad Cook is VP/Creative Director at Stephen Arnold Music (https://stephenarnold
music.com) in McKinney, TX.