Student Theses and Dissertations
The Significance of Sonic Branding to Strategically Stimulate Consumer Behavior: Content Analysis of Four Interviews From Jeanna Isham’s “Sound In Marketing” Podcast
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Program of Study
Communication - Corporate Communication
Sonic branding is not just about composing jingles like McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It.” Sonic branding is an industry that strategically designs a cohesive auditory component of a brand’s corporate identity. This paper examines the psychological impact of music and sound on consumer behavior reviewing studies from the past 40 years and investigates the significance of stimulating auditory perception by infusing sound in consumer experience in the modern 2020s.
Qualitative content analysis of audio media was used to test two hypotheses. Four archival oral interview recordings from Jeanna Isham’s podcast “Sound in Marketing” featuring the sonic branding experts Daniel Jackson (Sonicbrand), Audrey Arbeeny (Audiobrain), Damian Scragg (Veritonic), and Steve Keller (SXM Media) were transcribed and thematically analyzed.
With a recent advancement of the device-driven economy, multisensory marketing, and artificial intelligence, sonic branding has been on the rise providing emotional context to brands’ presence through voice, music, and sound. Consequently, demand to invest in data-driven audio research has grown. Compared to other forms of branding, however, especially to visual design, sonic branding is still a “young” industry that faces a variety of challenges and setbacks due to being largely misunderstood, undervalued, and underfunded. In addition to knowledge of music, the sonic branding profession requires complex stakeholder management communication skills and research of consumer behavior, sound science, and sonic ethics.
Although this study examines only a broad general role of sonic branding based on the comprehensive literature review and content analysis of the archival audio media interviews from the publicly available podcast, it lays the theoretical foundation for further research.
To help sonic branding be better understood by a broader audience, it is recommended to remove the lack of consensus on terminology when referring to synonymous terms. Sonic branders need to unanimously agree on a glossary or, even better, establish a trade society to set standards. Incorporating “sonic branding” courses into the higher education curriculum and recruiting a new generation of energetic advocates with a combination of musical and business skills could provide the fruitful future that the sonic branding industry is striving to achieve.
Despite its increasingly important role, the field of sonic branding lacks published research compared to other forms of branding. This paper contributes to raising awareness of the significance of sonic branding, clarifies misconceptions surrounding its meaning, and establishes the core skillset needed to enter and succeed in the profession.
Sonic Branding, Sonic Brander, Sonic Logo, Sogo, Sonic Identity, Podcast, Audio Intelligence, Jingle, Voice, Music, Sound, Art, Research, Consumer Behavior, Device Attention Economy, Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Corporate Communication, Executive Strategy
Beilina, Ina, "The Significance of Sonic Branding to Strategically Stimulate Consumer Behavior: Content Analysis of Four Interviews From Jeanna Isham’s “Sound In Marketing” Podcast" (2022). CUNY Academic Works.
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