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Introduction to Sound Logos and Audio Branding

What do you call a sound logo? A sound logo, which is also called a sound trademark, audio logo, or sonic logo, is a unique sound that lets people know where a product or service comes from in the business world. Sound logos have become more popular in the market in recent years. Sounds have not been considered trademarks in the past, so it has been hard to protect them through registration. The World Trade Organisation Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights changed the legal definition of a trademark to include sound logos.

Challenges in Protecting Sound Logos

Even though sound trademarks are recognised in most countries, the graphical representation of such marks can be a problem for trademark owners who want to protect them. Different countries have dealt with this problem in different ways.

What is a sound logo called?

Sound Branding and Its Impact

Sound branding, also called audio branding, music branding, sonic branding, or acoustic branding, is the strategic use of sound to make a product or service stand out, make it easier to remember, create a preference, build trust, and even make more sales. Audio branding can show the brand’s personality, whether it’s romantic and sensual, family-friendly and everyday, or indulgent and luxurious, without using words or pictures. It gives a brand another way to get past the short attention spans of audiences.

The Role of Sound Logos in Branding

A sound logo is one of the tools of sound branding, along with the jingle, brand music, and brand theme. A sound logo is a short, distinctive melody or sequence of sound, usually placed at the beginning or ending of a commercial. It serves as the acoustic equivalent of a visual logo. Often, brands use a combination of both types of logos to reinforce brand recognition. Examples include the T-Mobile logo and ringtone, the Intel logo, and the Michelin logo.

A sound logo can lead to learning effects on consumers’ perception of a product. A melody is the most memorable sequence of sound, as the human brain automatically expects its ending when the melody starts. Brands like Harley-Davidson have realised the importance of their unique sound and attempted to capitalise on it. In 1994, Harley-Davidson filed a sound trademark application for its distinctive V-twin engine sound. Just like a visual logo, the most essential qualities of a sound logo are uniqueness, memorability, and relevancy to the brand promise.

Sound Logos in Radio and Television Stations

Radio and television stations create their own audio identities using melodic themes to strengthen their brand. Notable examples include the short variations of the BBC Radio 2 or Classic FM jingles. In recent years, television station idents have also introduced their own audio identities to strengthen their brand recognition.

Creating a Sound Logo: Steps Involved

There are typically four to six steps involved in creating a sound logo:

  1. Audio strategy development phase: confirming the brand essence and other foundational elements.
  2. Audio touchpoint analysis phase: identifying all places the brand will come in contact with customers and other stakeholders.
  3. Concept phase: creating an audio collage to define texture, rhythm, melody, harmony, and instrumentation that best convey the brand values, then composing the unique sound or piece of music.
  4. Test and refine phase: optimising the combination of sound elements to ensure they communicate the brand’s essence, values, and promise. Psycho-acoustic research may be conducted if needed.
  5. Implementation stage: creating adaptations for each touchpoint.
  6. Handover phase: developing an audio style guide and providing necessary files and formats for use across all relevant platforms and channels.

The Importance of Sound Logos

In today’s world, where multiple brands are vying for attention, a sound logo helps a brand stand out from the competition. It also helps establish a strong emotional connection with customers, as sound has the power to evoke memories and emotions. By leveraging the power of sound, brands can create a lasting impression and build a loyal customer base.

A sound logo, or sonic logo, is an essential aspect of audio branding. It serves as the acoustic representation of a brand and helps create a memorable identity. A well-crafted sound logo can strengthen brand recognition, enhance customer recall, and contribute to the overall success of a brand. Given the increasingly noisy marketplace, sound logos have become an indispensable branding tool for businesses looking to differentiate themselves and make a lasting impression on their target audience.

If you’re ready to harness the power of sound and create a distinctive audio identity for your brand, WithFeeling is the top sonic branding agency to help you achieve that goal. Our team of experts will work closely with you to develop a unique and impactful sound logo tailored to your brand’s essence and values. Don’t miss the opportunity to set your business apart in today’s competitive market. Reach out to us at and let’s start crafting your brand’s unforgettable sonic signature.