What Is Audio Branding? (Process, Cost & Best Examples)

In this article with me are Gabriel and Mauro from Drop Music Branding, a specialized audio branding agency that builds emotional connections between brands and their audiences by creating unique and effective audio identities.

I really believe that this is a wide-open space and one that will become increasingly important in the coming years. Meaning it’s a great opportunity to explore this world, which is exactly what we’re going to do in this article. We’re going to discuss

  • What audio branding is and why it’s increasingly important.
  • The difference between Sonic and audio branding
  • That distinct audio branding, assets, and environments they’re used in.
  • How the audio branding process works, (how professional brand builders can offer this service as an agency).

So if you want to stay ahead of the branding game and explore the world of audio branding and stick around for this article.

In this article with me are Gabriel and Mauro from Drop Music Branding, a specialized audio branding agency that builds emotional connections between brands and their audiences by creating unique and effective audio identities.

I really believe that this is a wide-open space and one that will become increasingly important in the coming years. Meaning it’s a great opportunity to explore this world, which is exactly what we’re going to do in this article. We’re going to discuss

  • What audio branding is and why it’s increasingly important.
  • The difference between Sonic and audio branding
  • That distinct audio branding, assets, and environments they’re used in.
  • How the audio branding process works, (how professional brand builders can offer this service as an agency).

So if you want to stay ahead of the branding game and explore the world of audio branding and stick around for this article.

What Is Audio Branding? (The Podcast with Drop Music Branding)

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Sonic Branding vs Audio Branding

Stephen Houraghan

So let’s get educated a bit. First of all, is it audio branding or is it Sonic branding?

 

Drop Music Branding (Summarized)

They’re kind of the same, you know, we actually did an Eastern ground post about it, like addressing the elephant in the room because we didn’t know how to call what we did.

We found out that, that it’s like a theory, definition sound Sonic is like every sound.

There is an audio of every sound that has been recorded.

Electronically or like, you know, with electricity and rapid replayed. What’s the difference? Is it sound from your body, from nature or is it sound from the speaker? So it kind of it’s the same. 

The only way it would be Sonic branding and not audio branding is if I say a name of a brand and you listen to me. Like the people in the street, you know, and selling, I don’t know, yelling, you know, that would be maybe that’s how we evolve. 

Sonic branding or audio branding is the evolution of shingles and advertisement through sound.

We coined it. I love to think about that we coined like a definition of audio branding. We call it on your brand. 

First of all, to answer your question, we found out that 

Sonic branding is more used on a corporation level, like B2B 

Audio branding is like a more casual, casual way to refer to our specialty. It’s kind of the same.

So that is the answer.  Short answer would be.

We are still defining it. Maybe that is the same. 

What Is Audio Branding?

Stephen Houraghan

I’m going to call it audio branding and let’s push on with audio branding as, as the, uh, the main discipline as we go through.

So tell me exactly what your definition is of audio branding?

Drop Music Branding (summarized)

I consider audio branding the brand expressions through sound, the design of the brand expressions through sound. I found it like it’s the parallel of visual branding needs just another medium. So that’s our definition.

With that definition, if you know, and you have a branding background, you immediately understand why is it important? Why it’s brand expressions could be communications. I’m not saying just communications because communications have like one message, but it could be a sound icon. You know, everything that goes through sound.

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How Audio Branding Has Evolved

Stephen Houraghan

I think because I speak a lot about brand associations and brand perception and essentially what we are trying to do with a brand is: 

Create a perception in the marketplace.

What we mean, and we do that through associations and these associations can evoke different kinds of emotions and how all your branding might tie in with that is creating audio sounds that align with the associations and the attributes that your brand has as a perception in the marketplace. 

So it’s just another extension of brand expression and creating those associations that create that memorability. So I definitely see it as this evolving field and in the commercial. You know, in the coming years, it’s, you know, we’re going to learn a lot more about it.

We’re going to hear a lot more about it. I saw that same article that Gary Vee wrote about the rise of audio branding and the way search is coming in and the world is changing and we’re going to rely more and more on that. So I definitely see this as an evolution of worth at  the very starting point.

Drop Music Branding (Summarized)

It is really funny because what you’re saying associated with sounds with the brand. It’s not just music, but even the way the wave shapes of sound, you can relate to them. Like when you open a, can you immediately know the sound that it’s going to do. 

So you associate that actual sound because the feedback and interaction of that action and it stays on your memory for forever. 

And I bet I’m a hundred percent sure you are going to tell me that you remember and advertisement that jingle from your youth. It’s sticks in your memory like chewing gum.

9 Most Memorable Audio Branding Examples

Stephen Houraghan

I think this is a good time to talk about some examples here, right? Because we’re, making some assumptions that everybody has a general idea of what all your branding is, but I’m guessing there are a couple of people gone put, what is it? Tell me what it is. 

So. Let’s have a few examples of audio branding so that we can all relate.

Drop Music Branding (Summarized)

Let’s have a few examples of audio branding so that we can all relate.

Super Mario

Netflix

20th Century

HBO

IPhone

McDonald’s

Intel

Skype

Windows

We can all relate to these examples that’s why you can forget about that era sound because that’s ingrained that is ingrained and evokes all kinds of frustrating emotions. If you’re an Apple because of that sound. Absolutely. That’s why I went the other way, so it works both ways. 

All of those sounds, it just goes to show that, you know, they get imprinted, they get imprinted on your brain.

The Power Of Audio Logos 

Stephen Houraghan

What I noticed about the audio logos. The difference there would be it’s a very, very short sound. It’s not like the 20th century Fox where it’s an introduction or the Disney music, which is an introduction. It’s more a tiny snippet and what I really like about those is how simple they are and how short. 

And again, it’s all about that uniqueness, so we can relate that to logos to visual logos but it just goes to show how powerful they really are.

Drop Music Branding (Summarized)

The whole purpose of audio branding is to strengthen and support the message of this, the communication, you know, so things evolve, communications, evolve, different formats of communication.

So if you’re in the movies, like the 80’s, 90’s, or early 2000 you heard a lot of audio logos, but there were like 15 or 10 maybe in which they’re harnessing the power of the theater. Now you’re listening to them through your phone and you need to make them clean as a whistle, like a super characteristic melody, so evolve and we need to evolve with it.

We found ourselves in a world of branding with where everybody comes from, a visual experience. So we understood that we needed to develop a system of audio branding assets. We call them audio assets and develop in the same way everybody develops and visual identity. So we understood that a brand needs certain amounts of assets, audio logos. 

It’s a short snippet, no more than six seconds, called an Audio signature.

You’re not just looking at something from the outside, but the music is all around and what we do is we use that lame motif, that audio logo and develop it through the different assets which cover a different audio twice of a brand, you know, developing these audio, audio signature, and you’re listening to that throughout all the brand touchpoints.

That’s when the music sticks in your brain and you associate that brand with that melody, and you don’t even need to look at the communication every time you listen to that.

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The Audio Branding Process Breakdown 

Stephen Houraghan

So break down the process for me a little bit, the audio branding process, what process do you go through to define the audio branding for client?

Drop Music Branding (Summarized)

How’d you brand the process? Specialists ourselves, we do everything tailor-made because we are against libraries. We’re not against it, but our business depends on not doing library stuff. Everything must be unique. So what we generally do is we try to make this process the most similar to parenting we can because we are usually working side-by-side with branding agencies that come from a visual background. So what we do is:

First we have a workshop or a research phase about the market, about the brand, how it’s perceived, if there’s something we usually land on. 

Second phase after brands tend to do a rebranding then do the visual branding

Then we come in. 

So there’s generally a brand book. We do the research, we do workshop with people from the brand, how they learn the vision, once we get all our questions and the profile of where we want to go, how we want to communicate. 

We start working on what we call Sonic DNA, which is like maybe two options, three at the most of music pieces that we consider, they have enough for the client or the agencies to understand what, where are we going to go?

So everybody agrees upon the creative direction of the process. The project we’re like open factory as to doing it, audio logo, brand song, social media library, IVR music.

Also, there are some very big asset brand voices. You know how we are talking? Who is the brand or is it mainly female? Is it young? Is it the old guy everything needs to be considered, because of psychology and strategy be jammed behind it. It’s our job of translating to our customers and they tell us we need to be bolder.