Sonic Branding in a Sound On World

Jeanna Isham
4 min readSep 21, 2021


So you’ve spent a lot of time and energy on your logo. Maybe you’ve even done a full branding package with colors and fonts and margins etc. You’re proud of it. You should be!

Now what about your sound?


With smart technology, social audio apps, voice search, and the low touch economy going where it’s going, sound will eventually become 50% of the brand experience. Are you ready?

Sonic Branding

Sonic branding is the creation of a unique sound for a brand or company that can then be incorporated into all of the brands’ audio touch points in one way or another.

It may seem like a sonic logo or even a full sonic branding package is a luxury that you only hear with the big brands like Mastercard. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be.

Sound offers the opportunity for a small business to market at the same level or beyond what a larger business can do. It’s all about strategy and imagination.

With proper strategy and care, sound can add a level of emotion and depth to your brand that is hard to rival. With sound, you can reach consumers at a more guttural level, thus speaking to them individually within their own context and perspective.

Orange will always be orange and Times New Romans will always be Times New Romans. But with sound, you can alter and mold and manipulate one sound into another depending on its usage, intent, genre, demographic, and any other thing that might come up.

Sound Grows in Real Time

When you come up with a visual logo, you plaster that sucker everywhere. It’s all over your social, website, letterhead, packaging. When the time comes to re-brand that logo you have to go through it all over again. You have to take down all that hard work to create and upload your re-brand. Exhausting but definitely necessary.

With sonic branding, as you choose to graduate to a newer/fresher sound, the old sonic branding can still live on as you slowly filter it out or even as you play with a new iteration.

For example, McDonalds I’m Lovin’ It. In 2003, we all witnessed the journey of the ba da ba ba ba with Justin Timberlake. McDonalds sneakily launched the new “jingle” under the guise that it was just a new Justin single. Then after buzz was generated, the McDonalds campaigns launched linking famous singer to famous fast food through the now familiar and buzzy mnemonic.

As time went on, McDonald’s was able to extract the actual lyrics, extract Justin’s voice, turn it into a whistle, and bring back the lyrics with a new singer. I would wager the next step would be to bring in different singers of different backgrounds and genders dependent on the specific campaign.

McDonald’s iterates many versions of the same sonic logo at the same time giving exponential life to the creative.

Why Do It? Why Now?

“Well Jeanna, that’s still a lot of work and money. My visual logo is working great on its own. I think I’ll stick with what I have.”

Fair enough. But think of this. If you have no visual to support your brand; say marketing through smart speakers or social audio apps like Clubhouse or on radio advertising blasting through malls and other brick and mortars, how do you stand out from the rest of the noise?

In Conclusion

A screen-less and more mobile society is our present and our future. This is not a maybe; it’s a fact. Now is the time and opportunity for brands to explore and discover sonic branding within their own branding before EVERYONE has caught on and the prices get astronomically high and no sound agency has time for your sonic branding project.

Sound is a language we all speak and the consumer is just waiting to hear yours.

Little boys having fun and playing music.

To learn more about me and my research in sound in marketing, go to If you are a brand and you are looking to create a sound experience or need a consultation on sound strategy, go to and let’s chat further.

You can also find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Let’s make this world of sound more intriguing, more unique, and more and more on brand.