The Sound a Brand Makes

by Jason Orme    September 12, 2013

Because sounds are strongly tied to memory, they can be used for positive brand reinforcement.

One of the most underutilized brand signatures has to be a sonic logo or jingle. Because sounds are strongly tied to memory, they can be used for positive brand reinforcement. From the first ever sound trademark, the NBC chimes, in 1947 to Harley Davidson’s desire to trademark their engine sound, large successful brands have been and continue to be in tune with the efficacy of this practice. Here are a few of my favorite: “Ding! You are now free to move about the country.” – Southwest has gotten some mileage out of the simple use of the seatbelt sign bell. They have even integrated “Ding!” into online promotions, email fare alerts, and their mobile app. “Click, Clack” – This Under Armor campaign made great use of onomatopoeia. Cleats on concrete coming out of the tunnel make a distinct sound. We are undoubtedly all familiar with Coca-Cola’s ability to capture the sound of refreshment through a popped top, guzzle, and sigh. And finally, what SportsCenter highlight reel would be complete without the “nanana… nanana” chorus? I wonder if for each of these examples, you can hear the soundtrack of these brands in your mind as clearly as I can. And I wonder if they also carry a strong positive connotation, as they do with me. What are some brand audio signatures you can think of?

One thought on “The Sound a Brand Makes”

  1. Cool. Haven’t seen this old sound brand before. But i willl definitely use this for my studys! Thx for that. Kind regards jassy

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