The top five performers in the ranking - McDonald’s, Disney, Intel, Apple and Coca-Cola - achieved their places through strategic use of sound assets that fit the brand and are consistently deployed across different touchpoints. Despite this, these brands are still far from performing well, with McDonald’s only achieving a very average index score of 51/100.

Whilst the use of simple sound logos or signatures has served these brands well over the last decade or so and they can be considered to be audio branding pioneers, a single sound asset is no longer fit for purpose. The digitisation of so many aspects of everyday life and the growing potential of voice interactions and audio signposting for digital experiences and media content, means sonic branding must work across many different scenarios. People need to hear brands as they interact with them.

If the top scoring brands of 2019 do not adapt quickly to the digital environment in which people live their lives by creating a flexible, owned set of core audio assets (a Sound DNA), they may find other nimbler brands moving up the ranking in their place.

We hereby make a reasonable and limited use of the music samples under the “fair use” doctrine, for the limited purpose to analyse and comment upon the various examples of audio branding elements, and to contribute to further the culture and understanding of audio branding, without deriving any financial gain from such use, and in trust that no financial harm be caused by such limited use to the copyright owners. We will nonetheless remove any audio, at first demand, of the respective copyright owner.