The poet and academic Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once remarked that “music is the universal language of mankind”.
The idea that music affects everyone in some way or another is a universal truth - all human societies have been found to include music within their culture. We use music as much as any other media, to express our individuality and as an extension of ourselves and so should brands. With the growing importance of interactive voice technology and a myriad of digital and physical touchpoints, brands are increasingly looking towards sonic branding to enhance their communication by building strong emotional connections and trust.
If employed strategically, audio has the power to express a brand’s personality while being instantly recognisable across all channels. To successfully leverage the benefits of sonic branding, brands need to be clear, differentiated and most importantly, consistent.
As an audio branding agency, we are often asked to identify action points and measure the success of sonic branding, as well as the return-on-investment for our clients. While there are hundreds of empirical studies that demonstrate the power of sound to increase likability, increase attention, build positive associations, improve brand perception, drive purchase intent or facilitate brand/message recall, to date there has not been a standardized system to measure the effectiveness of brands’ use of audio assets.
The Best Audio Brand Ranking 2019 is the first performance index of its kind and looks to establish an objective and comprehensive system to evaluate the use of sound, voice and music in branding. It includes a thorough analysis of strategy, quality, impact and a measure of efficiency in spending resources on music.
With this first report we aim to focus attention on the important aspects that brands have to consider when tackling the challenge of establishing a 360° sonic identity.
Lars Schalkwijk Bjorn Thorleifsson
SENIOR STRATEGIST RESEARCH
 Longfellow, H. (1894). Outre-mer; a pilgrimage beyond the sea. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co.
 Herndon, M. & McLeod, N. (1981). Music as culture (2nd ed.). Norwood, Pa.: Norwood Editions.