Picture: CONSOL
Picture: CONSOL

Sonic branding is not a new phenomenon, but with major brands such as Google and Amazon turning to sound to represent their brands in flagship products such as Assistant and Amazon, it is experiencing a rebirth as a different way to communicate with consumers without relying on visual cues.

A case in point is the launch of Consol’s new bespoke audio pneumonic. The glass brand briefed its creative agency, Grey, which in turn asked Howard Audio to come up with a sonic brand identity that would speak to its core values and personality: premium, natural and clear.

The two-second pneumonic was developed by experimenting with Consol’s glass products in a variety of ways, such as by adding water, using different mic techniques and applying musical cryptography, to create various sounds that would reflect the brand and its passion for connecting with consumers.

A sonic brand, according to brandingmag.com, is a sound that has been aligned to a brand to reinforce its identity. And while it’s not a new branding activity, sonic brands haven’t always been well implemented. The key to an effective sonic brand is to ensure that the sound is less about how the brand perceives itself and more about how its consumers see it.

The big take-out:

Consol Glass’s release of its bespoke pneumonic makes it one of the many brands that have recognised that today’s consumer engagement needs to go beyond visual cues alone.

This holds particularly true in a digital world, where users encounter brands across a host of different platforms and media. In 2019 Mastercard opted to remove its name from its logo, closely followed by the release of its own soundtrack in a bid to communicate with customers across a new dimension and in keeping with the brand strategy of touching all the senses.

As sonic branding and phenomics gain in popularity with brands, both globally and in SA, and podcasting also grows more popular, savvy marketers are realising that brand cues need go beyond the visual and become recognisable in all aspects of the lives of their consumers.

The rise in sonic branding is a recognition of the fact that consumers are relying more and more on their mobile devices (with limited space for visuals) and voice assistants – platforms where visual cues have less of an impact.