Are your sounds becoming brand assets?

Are your sound elements becoming brand assets? I found an interesting blog post by Jenni Romaniuk on Randall Beard’s Blog which is describing how you can understand, identify, and build distinctive brand assets.

She states that music, jingles, and sounds can become distinctive assets, just like logos, colors, shapes, characters, or fonts. As examples she uses the Aflac duck, the Nike Swoosh, and Mastercard’s priceless advertising. For Europeans or Germans Milka‘s purple cow or Telekom’s “di-di-di-dii-di” are equivalent examples.

For these elements to become a real asset for the brand it is not enough to be used as part of the brand identity. The specific element has to be unique and prevalent. Only then this element can help to support brand identification or even replace the brand name in communication efforts. 

Interesting in this context is Romaniuk’s Distinctive Asset Grid. Here the whole article changes from mere theory and information to a recommendation of suggested action. The grid is supposed to help to identify and to establish unique and prevalent brand assets.

This can be helpful in the process of analyzing old sound branding elements. Is your old jingle a golden nugget or should you get rid off it? Romaniuk’s Distinctive Asset Grid can help you in the process of understanding your company’s acoustic footprint.

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6 responses to “Are your sounds becoming brand assets?

  1. Karlheinz–Thanks for the pick-up of Jenni’s post on distinctive assets. I agree that music can be a powerful and distinctive brand asset that many brands do not take full advantage of. You might also want to check out my post on “Why Your Brand Needs an Acoustic Identity” at:
    http://randallbeard.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/brands-need-acoustic-identity/. Nice work on your blog: I like the focus on sound and music as this is a space marketers need to get much better at. Randall Beard

    • Hi Randall, thanks for your comment. I just read the post you mentioned on your blog and I can highly recommend to read it! It’s a great introduction why Sound Branding is becoming more and more important.
      Thanks again for your input and great blog!
      Karlheinz

  2. Hello,

    indeed it is an interesting question, of whether or not a brand symbol (or “Markenzeichen” in german) can become an asset for the brand itself.
    One can discuss whether or not the Audi heratbeat – an important element of the car brands corporate sound – has become an acoustic asset already.

    Still , the implications beyond the replacement of the brand name are also relevant for the field of sound branding, Because sound can trigger a brands name in the listeners memory – but it can also do so much more…

    Cornelius Stiegler

    • Cornelius, thanks for your comment. Sound can and does trigger much more than just the brand name. That’s why it is so important to evaluate whether your sound elements are just “sounds” or whether your sound elements strenghten your brand and are Sound Branding elements. These days it is so easy to implement sound in your on- and offline communication, however; the crucial question is: does the sound express your brand values?
      Karlheinz

  3. Karlheinz,

    that is exactly, what I meant. The “distincitve asset” argumentation in the original article seem to focus on the potential to “replace the brand name in advertising.” The potential to convey values, messages and associations aswell remains unmentioned, probably due to the focus chosen by the authors.
    There is a reason however, that the Nike Swoosh is upwards and not downwards, I’m sure. ;-)

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