How B2B Can Use Sonic Branding To Drive Digital Engagement

Published: June 14, 2024

Think about the iconic ad jingles and sound signals that prompt automatic brand recognition: The McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” tune, the T-Mobile ringtone, the Uber Eats doorbell. B2C brands have mastered sonic branding and deploy it to give them an edge — and it’s time for B2B companies to catch up.

Although B2B brands have smaller budgets and need to make each point of contact work harder, they also have lots of chances to boost branding: Think web videos, customer service lines, events and expos. Each brand touchpoint brings a chance to convey brand values, differentiate from competitors and build audience familiarity.

Why B2B Brands Need A Sonic Identity

A sonic identity is the soul of your brand translated into music and sound. It does more than a jingle by conveying your brand values in many scenarios, cultures and platforms. A sonic system gives brands the power to distinguish themselves in the market and suggest their brand promise wherever their prospect runs into it.

A sonic identity packs a lot of punch in digital encounters. It can elevate content that may be dry, as well as prompt higher levels of user attention in podcasts, explainer videos, marketing materials and online presentations. Going further, the strategic use of user interface/experience (UI/UX) sounds in B2B software and platforms will blend user experience with brand recognition. Sonic logos bring a critical tool to aid brand recall — think the Apple start-up chord or the Intel audio signature. If you don’t have one, you’ll find it harder to stand out in a crowded market.

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In short, a consistent sonic identity that delights users and aligns with your brand values will foster trust and lead to more sales.

What To Think About When Crafting A Sonic Identity

How should B2B brands go about crafting a sonic identity that builds long-term relationships with customers? There are a few things to think about:

Let Your Brand Essence Shine

Design a sonic identity that reflects your personality. Sounds can convey distinct meanings, e.g., “We are a company that’s tech-driven and innovative” or “we bring you caring service from a supportive team” — you can imagine the way each might sound. Don’t take your lead from others in your industry; instead, base your music on the unique qualities of your own brand.

Create A Sonic System (Not Just A Jingle)

Sonic systems include a suite of assets, such as a sonic logo (i.e., the final sound element that signs the brand message), UI/UX signals, environmental sound designs and a branded music library.

Deploy Across All Of Your Touch Points

Brand consistency is key here, as studies show that it increases sales. A developed sonic system gives you the flexibility needed to infuse your sonic identity across digital marketing channels (TVCs, social media, webinars, podcasts) and even physical touchpoints, such as trade shows.

Create A Varied Library Of Branded Music Tracks

One music track won’t do the job: Sometimes you’ll want to make a huge splash for a product launch, other times you’ll want a subdued music bed in the background. Create a library of branded sonic assets that vary in mood for different needs (e.g., optimism, solemnity, triumph). Add a chapter to your brand style guide that covers sonic assets and usage recommendations.

Test & Measure Your B2B Sonic Identity

Finally, take the time to test your sonic identity to make sure it conveys your sentiment correctly, so it delivers the success you want. Be careful not to ask about the music directly, because when it comes to music, people often posture. Instead, explore how they feel about the brand itself, not the music.

Brand recall and awareness are critical goals of any sonic brand, so after you’ve been using it in the market a couple of years, plan to measure its brand fluency (the ease with which customers attach your sounds to your brand). How quickly do listeners recognize your brand when they hear your music?

And as always, don’t be afraid to ask your customers about your sonic identity. Plan to collect user feedback so that you can assess the degree to which your sonic system enhances the customer experience, both digitally and in-person.

Every brand interaction gives you an opportunity to build or cement loyalty. A set of sonic assets that support your brand excel at capturing those opportunities. In today’s visually saturated digital world, if you can’t be heard, you’re invisible.

Daina Todorovic is Chief Client Officer for Sixieme Son, a global sonic branding and sound design agency. She brings more than two decades of international branding expertise from working with some of the world’s largest brands. She believes sound holds the key to measurable brand impact and enjoys helping clients create transformative brand experiences.

Posted in: Demanding Views

Tagged with: Sixieme Son

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