What is audio branding?

Audio branding is the trasmission of brand values through acoustic means.

Music, sounds, voices too: everything that can be heard can be used to transmit your brand values.

But: what’s the process?

The process

The first process is to, obviously, complete a branding briefing. After everything that the brand has to be is clearly laid out, the next step is to study the scenarios in which the audio branding will be used. Averagely speaking, with these 3 main factors in mind:

  • audience
    (who’s the target of the audio branding)
  • devices
    (what device will reproduce the audio branding)
  • attached media
    (together with what media is the audio branding going to be reproduced)

Here’s a quick example of this:

A YouTube preroll video logo for Playstation users in Italy

Having this clear, you can really start working on the audio branding.

The knowledge required

Audio production of audio branding is a peculiar endeavour: it sits at the intersection of many different fields – in detail:

  • Sound design
    Required to create sounds and reproduce them, so to make sure the audio branding will sound perfectly in all the required scenarios (e.g. Smartphones, PCs, notebooks, cinema screens, etc…)
  • Music production
    You can guess this one.
  • Marketing
    Audio branding is, after all, about translating marketing ideas into sonic ones – hence, you’ll also need a healthy amount of marketing knowledge so as to not lose anything during the translation.
  • Psychology
    Psychology and a very specific branch of it, named psychoacoustics, are necessary for an effective audio branding. Because marketing is, after all, the use of psychology for communication purpose.
    Psychoacoustics is, instead, a niche field of psychology that studies how the brain interprets acoustic signals – that, I think, is pretty explanatory as per how useful to this endeavour.

All stocked up in knowledge? Time to fire up the sequencers.

The audio branding production

Being an acoustic environment, a completely intangible realm, there’s no “manual” to be consulted about how to do it: it’s music composition and sound design. Both fields in which, yes, there can be some guidance – but most of the effort, and by most I truly mean it (95%), has to come from your artistic inspiration. Which, getting technical, is nothing but a mix of interactions between the cognitive side of your brain (neocortex) and the subconscious one (lymbic system). With most of the outcome due to your lymbic system – but only if fed with the right information, which comes from your conscious part (neocortex).

So, long story short: a process crowned with success when a very well made briefing meets a talented artist.

Examples of great audio branding

Windows XP

Tell me a better audio branding – I’ll wait.


This one has to be immediately after Windows XP as per greatness – both from a composition and technical standpoing: have you ever tried this one in a neutral audio sound system???

20th Century fox

Pretty good this one too, right?