Sound and Brand: The Effect of Sound on the Web

30 Apr 2006|Added Value

A joint research project by Cheskin Added Value and Beatnik, Inc.

Bum, bum, bum, bum. Well, it doesn’t translate well in print, but had you been listening to this sound you’d most likely immediately recognize the familiar Intel audio signature. Without benefit of the logo or any visual cues, a majority of the brand attributes associated with Intel immediately come to mind. This is the power of sound, and in many digital spaces, it’s ignored.

Digital environments are ripe for this kind of brand expansion. With the rapid development of sound technologies including MP3, Real Audio, Beatnik, etc., companies can easily use audio signatures to build brand recognition.

To better understand how sound impacts brand perception and identity in digital environments, Cheskin teamed with Beatnik, Thomas Dolby’s music and sound technology company. The jointly conducted study, “Sound and Brand,” found that sounds associated with brand identity in a digital environment can carry the same level of brand recognition and brand attributes as the visual brand identity alone.

New Internet sound technologies can provide an interactive experience as well. Being able to not only see and hear a brand identity, but being able to interact with it brings a whole new challenge to the design of the brand experience, and companies must be careful in meeting this challenge. As the “Sound and Brand” study found, poorly designed audio can actually have a negative impact on brand attributes.

Online Audio Branding Report

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