Sound Identity: Brands launching sonic trademarks

Jan 2019  RadioWorks Blog

mixer, sound identity

Having the right sound is an extremely powerful tool to have in your arsenal. It has the ability to connect with audiences on a deep and personal level, triggering emotion and reviving intimate memories.

At Maple Street Creative’s 2018 ‘Sound Movement’ conference, Sixieme Son’s Managing Director Collen Fahey homed in on ‘sound’; the role it plays in branding and the incredible influence it has on listeners. Fahey said: “think of Radio & digital audio as a brand-building medium. You can get a lot of frequency and establish your audio identity better than in any other medium.” But that being said, research shows that of the 86% of brands with visual guidelines, only 17% have audio brand guidelines.

However, the good news is that this is by no means a fair reflection of the audio landscape which sees positive growth every year. The IAB revealed in November 2018 that in total, 25.8 million people in the UK alone listen to online audio. And with voice-enabled technology like Amazon’s echo and Google home becoming more prevalent in our daily lives, it is vital that brands recognise the importance of adopting sound and the huge opportunity it presents.

Here are a few brands experimenting with sonics and finding their identity through sound:

visa, sound identity


Visa introduced sound into the mix by incorporating a signature ‘chime.’ After using a visa card, customers would hear a sound indicating a secure, swift transaction. The reaction to Visa’s new sonic was hugely encouraging, as 83% of respondents said Visa’s new sound sparked a positive perception of the brand.

HSBC, sound identity


More recently, HSBC launched its first sound identity pulling together everything it stands for. Named after the HSBC’s brand promise ‘Together we thrive’, the sound is a bespoke musical piece created by electronic music producer Jean-Michel Jarre.


Philips, Sound Identity


Philips recently launched a new sonic identity using the unique sounds captured entirely from lightbulbs – the brands founding product.




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