In today's crowded marketplace of companies, ideas, and products, branding is critically important.

People who do not yet know of your organization will give you mere seconds before moving on, so all your branding elements need to be in place to get the attention you deserve when the moment is right.

Although most marketers understand visual branding using images, colors, logos, and the like, as well as branding using the written word (after all, Everybody Writes!), very few of us understand that it is possible to create (and own the rights to) your own sounds and music that align perfectly with your brand attributes.

Organizations often use sound and music in their marketing: for podcast introductions, business video soundtracks, TV and radio commercials, on tradeshow floors and at vendor boots, as walk on music when a CEO gives a speech, within software products, and as part of online learning programs.

Some of the most famous uses of original sound for branding purposes are "sonic logos" of a few easily remembered musical notes to capture the essence of an organization or product. Here are four examples of well-known sonic logos:

  1. Skype ringtone
  2. Apple startup chime
  3. NBC network ID
  4. Intel Inside Leap Ahead

Many companies use such short, easily remembered sonic elements within products and services, as well as marketing content, such as videos and podcasts.

Music on the Cheap, or Outright Stealing, Isn't Good Branding

Sonic branding is an exciting way to showcase who you are and to make that brand identity memorable. However, most marketers either ignore sound or simply figure something out on the cheap as a branding afterthought.

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image of David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist, entrepreneur, and partner in the sonic branding studio Signature Tones. He is the author of 10 books, including The New Rules of Marketing and PR, now in its 6th edition, with 350,000+ copies sold in English and available in 29 languages.

Twitter: @dmscott

LinkedIn: David Meerman Scott