The new age of sonic branding

How brands can embrace consistency and AI for impact

Michele Arnese

Founder and Global CEO Amp


Sonic branding has seen incredible growth as a sector over the last five years, building from an incredibly niche field to a widely celebrated and recognized industry. The majority of the world’s top international brands rely on well-thought-out sound to both communicate and sell their products to consumers. Even B2B clients have realised the massive importance of carefully crafted sonic, and have seen returns when investing in sound. Once an afterthought, sound has become a vital asset for brands looking to differentiate themselves in competitive industries.

We are entering a new age of sonic branding, one which will see audio and visual creation collide, meeting at the conception of the design process. Working in tandem with these teams will promote bespoke sonic experiences for brands, leading to higher-quality sound and more effective external communication.

We are entering a new age of sonic branding, one which will see audio and visual creation collide, meeting at the conception of the design process.

Michele Arnese, Founder and Global CEO, Amp

Sonic Research 

As with any new endeavour, brands must assess their performance and previous efforts before diving into a project. The performance of a sonic audit is crucial for brands to take the proper steps to achieve sonic excellence. This should consist of brand sound analysis across social media, TVCs, and additional touchpoints, as well as a comprehensive breakdown of industry-wide sound usage for unique metric-based comparison.

Amp approaches this research focus with multiple publications aimed at brand education surrounding sonic branding and sector-wide sound usage. Best Audio Brands is Amp’s annual report detailing the global brands that most effectively harness the power of audio in their external communications. This year, the team analysed over 10,000 data points from 250 of the world's leading brands for the index, combining extensive desk research with social media monitoring, sonic strategy analysis, and key insights from amp’s Sonic Hub toolset. Amplify is Amp’s quarterly sonic branding magazine, each issue features a sonic deep dive into a specific industry, with comments, findings, graphs, and visualisations from the amp Research & Insights team. Both publications drive home the importance of a greater sonic understanding in order to better improve brand audio performance. The new age of sonic branding will be data-driven and research-focused. 

Sonic Consistency 

The new era of sonic branding will be ushered in with consistent and thoughtful implementations by brands. These successful sonic implementations will begin with a design-oriented approach aimed at creating distinct and differentiating sounds for brands. More than a set of discordant notes, exceptional audio branding begins with the distillation of a brand’s values and attributes into a flexible sonic identity.

At amp, we patented this process, defining the audible expression of a brand as its Sonic DNA. The creation of this Sonic DNA® involves thoughtful brand briefing, creation, and production followed by a rigorous AI-driven testing procedure and sonic expansion efforts designed to optimise assets for brands across digital consumer-facing touchpoints. Proper sound branding must reflect the ethos of the brand and facilitate the production of sonic assets that are flexible enough to appear authentically across global channels.

Take the franchise of James Bond as an example; the sonic assets created in 1962 for Dr. No still feature prominently in new, modern-day Bond films with incredible flexibility and dexterity. Sonic storytelling is crucial for brands looking to benefit from a robust, and long-standing sonic identity. James Bond continues to generate memorability with its sound, and the franchise has firmly planted itself within the cultural zeitgeist thanks to its flexible sonic assets and consistent implementation across over 60 years of films. The new age of sonic branding will see brands reap these benefits at the intersection of sonic consistency and flexibility, driving recognition and recall with properly executed sonic strategy. 

Sonic Tech-Based Solutions 

The next chapter in the sonic branding sector will feature exciting tech innovations designed to improve, accelerate, and expedite the research, creation, and implementation of sonic assets and strategy for brands. Companies that utilise cutting-edge technologies to facilitate and stoke creativity, rather than replace it, will see compounded success. Brand sonic benchmarks will feature prominently in brand guidelines in the coming years, as sound continues to become integrated with the wider (audio)visual design process.

The new age of sonic branding will usher in an era of data-backed, streamlined creativity across the board, bolstering brands and enhancing consumer experiences.

Michele Arnese, Founder and Global CEO, Amp

Amp has anticipated this shift with the creation of the brand-facing tech product, Sonic Hub. The toolset is designed for all teams involved in cross-market brand communication and solves all research, comparison, testing, planning, creation, and implementation problems brands may experience in launching their sonic assets. Specifically, the Sonic Space tool offers a glimpse into the future of sonic branding, as it utilises generative AI to create branded, pre-licensed, sonic assets from brand-owned, Amp-produced, Sonic DNA. With the click of a button, endless variations of instantly implementable owned brand music can be created for use across digital channels and international markets, all while preserving brand identity, and building sonic equity. This technology forecasts the future of sonic branding and showcases the power of AI as a tool to enhance and expedite human creativity.

Sonic branding has evolved from a “want” to a “need” for brands looking to compete in their respective industries. Investing in a holistic sonic strategy built upon research, testing, creativity, consistency, and the latest tech advancements will lead to returns for brands across all sectors. The new age of sonic branding will usher in an era of data-backed, streamlined creativity across the board, bolstering brands and enhancing consumer experiences.

Guest Author

Michele Arnese

Founder and Global CEO Amp


Designed in Italy and assembled in Germany, Michele is a strategic self-driven creative thinker with a strong entrepreneurial mindset. He founded the world’s leading sonic branding company, amp, in 2009. In the field of audio branding, he is considered one of the world’s foremost experts, with clients including Mastercard, Mercedes-Benz, Deloitte, PepsiCo, Zurich Insurance, Uber, Klarna, and Kraft Heinz. For his work, he has received a range of international awards representing amp, including 18 Red Dot Awards and multiple Transform Awards, among many others. He has spoken at The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, AdWanted’s “The Future of Audio Europe,” Brandemonium, MarTech’s Summit in London and Berlin, and other engagements. Bringing his data-driven, design-oriented sonic approach to the wider branding world, his company, amp is now part of the advertising, communications, technology, and commerce holding company, WPP, and their brand and design consultancy, Landor & Fitch.

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