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Sonic Branding: more than a sound logo

Even in plain text, the Netflix sound logo is recognizable. And think of McDonald’s, HBO, or the classic MGM lion roar…there are numerous brands whose identities are indisputably connected with ‘their’ sound logo or mnemonic. It is an essential part of the brand’s sonic identity. And in a world where audio has become such a prominent place in our lives, no brand can do without its sound.

When discussing sonic branding (or audio branding), most people think about a sound logo. However, sonic branding is much more than just that. This article will highlight several touchpoints for any brand to be distinctive with its sound. 

The process: from brand values to sonic values
The starting point for developing your sonic identity starts with your brand values. To make your brand values audible on all relevant touch points, you first need to know what your brand values sound like. This process of translation, turning your brand values into sonic values, provides the basis for your brand’s sonic identity.

Musical blueprint
As you strive for consistency and recognizability in your visual language – like usage of color and fonts – you want this to be reflected in the sound of your brand. One way to achieve this is by developing a so-called brand score. The brand score is a useful musical blueprint representing your brand’s sound. It reflects all your brand values in one musical piece.

Message received
What does a push notification sound like in your app? Which sound do you hear when a client’s order has been completed? Are you using default library sounds? Or are these sounds based on your sonic identity? Your brand can also distinguish itself through sound in a UX/UI environment.

Clients like Webex, 433, Telkomsel, and Gojek already use on-brand UX/UI sounds.

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On-brand UX/UI sounds examples


Webex Notification Sound


433 Chat Notifcation Sound


Telkomsel Notification Sound


Gojek Payment Successful Sound

Hold the line, please
How long are your customers being put on hold? What kind of music do they hear when placed on hold? On-hold music is a genre in itself. More often than not, its communicative strength is underestimated. Some creative choices can be sensitive: Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ or Toto’s ‘Hold The Line’ are examples of songs that may not be appropriate for every customer situation. As a brand, you want to make the right impression. Upgrading your customer experience with the right on-hold music, matching your brand values, is a way to achieve just that. 

The voice of…
The voice representing your brand can also be crucial in creating the best possible first impression. Is your brand all about leadership, trustworthiness, or compassion? Should it be represented by a man or a woman? Maybe an androgynous voice? A local dialect, perhaps? Just as a sound logo establishes recognizability for Netflix, so does Morgan Freeman’s soothing voice for a brand like Turkish Airlines. The choice of a voice-over is part of the sonic branding toolkit. It is all about correctly translating brand values into voice characteristics. Whether these are authentic voices and actors or (AI) synthesized digital voices, such as chatbots. 

Brands & artists
Your message will only hit home when you connect with your target audience in the best possible way. For some brands, this means that it could be interesting to collaborate with a music artist. But where to start? Amp.Amsterdam has many years of experience creating the right match between brands and artists. We match the brand image and values to what the artist stands for and represents and make sure to connect with the target group most credibly and authentically.

Interpolis' Mis Niks campaign

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What is the sound of my brand?
We are happy to find the answer to that question together with your team (and agency). Contact our brand client manager Maurice Paans for a sonic branding workshop, and together we will explore the sound of your brand.


Maurice Paans

Client Director

Contact Maurice