For years you could identify NBC by the three chimes. But in today’s Amazon Echo and in-store experience, sound is becoming even more important. AdWeek calls “sonic branding” the use of sound to reinforce a brand identity. In the voice activated world, sound will become a critical part of your marketing.
Sonic sounds are audio logos that worm their way into your subconscious. NBC’s chimes, Nationwide’s jingle sessions, Intel’s signature to ads and ESPN’s hit all are easily memorable and add to the storytelling ability of the brands.
The NBC chimes (the notes G E C) was the first audio trademark accepted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It’s just one more sense used to enfranchise your brand. There are a number of popular audio trademarks:
- Intel’s five-note signature
- ESPN’s repeating three-note signature
- Pillsbury doughboy giggle
- Harlem Globetrotter’s “Sweet Georgia Brown”
- The white-noise opening of HBO’s original programming
Yet sound is used in all our experiences. For that reason, Visa has developed a sonic branded sound that makes their shoppers feel safe and secure during transactions. After using a Visa card, customers will hear a chime signifying a secure transaction. The sound of credibility and success—strong emotional connections that will aid Visa in all future marketing.
The best brands are using sound in new ways with new technology. What kind of sound are you making?