Report showcases positive correlation between sonic strategy and brand value, with sonic conscious brands taking the top spots in the Best Audio Brands Index
- Mastercard retains number one spot in Best Audio Brands Index
- Of the 94 brands with a sonic logo, 19 of those feature in the top 25 ranking
- Top brand executives Christian Saclier, VP of Design Innovation at PepsiCo, and Dr. Timo P Kunz, Co-Founder & CEO of Aflorithmic share thoughts on the future of sonic branding
24 May 2022: This year’s Best Audio Brands 2022 (BAB) report, produced by the world’s leading sonic branding agency amp, reveals that the power of music in marketing is being recognised by an increasing number of brands. With the explosion of audio-only platforms such as podcasts, social-audio and music sharing services such as TikTok, digital retail and the advent of the Metaverse, many brands are now seeking ways to drive brand recognition and memorability through sound across a multitude of different touchpoints.
Amp’s fourth annual index of the world’s Best Audio Brands has this year been expanded to capture the ever-increasing number of brands that are using sound strategically. The index has expanded from 100 to 250 of the world’s leading brands to provide a more objective and data-centric overview of audio branding, ranking brands in terms of overall sonic branding strategy and use of sound and music across brand touchpoints. Amp’s full methodology can be found in the ‘About This Report’ section on page 10 of the report.
Sonic strategy is proving to be an increasingly crucial factor in brand investment. 75% of the top 25 brands analysed in this year’s Best Audio Brands report utilise a sonic logo, with an increasing number of them sharing their efforts across digital channels.
Brand value and sonic strategy performance
For the first time in the history of sonic branding research, amp set out to investigate the relationship between sonic strategy and brand value. A positive correlation was found between companies who invest in the creation of sonic strategies and brand value, with the Technology and Electronics sectors displaying the strongest correlation. This can be seen through brands like Apple and Nintendo, both of which reap the benefits of a robust 360-degree sonic strategy through their exploitation of numerous touchpoints across highly immersive user experiences. Creating emotional connection through sound allows for increased recognition, loyalty and memorability, explaining their hold on the sector and their continued status as some of the best performing brands in the world when it comes to sound.
Figure 2: Scatter Plot showing the relationship between Best Audio Brand Index Score and Brand Value (measured in billion US dollars) for brands in the Technology Sector (Blue) and the Electronics Sector (yellow)
Flexibility in design, and AI sound innovation will be key for the sonic branding industry
As outlined in a guest feature from Christian Saclier, VP of Design Innovation at PepsiCo, and amp Founder and Global CEO, Michele Arnese, a systematic approach to marrying the worlds of sound and design has become more important than ever in both communicating and establishing brand identity. Detail and flexibility within the process allows for the extrapolation and cultural application of future brand pivots, as well as introductions to new mediums like the metaverse and virtual worlds.
This topic is also visited within Dr. Timo P Kunz’s guest editorial on behalf, Aflorithmic, where he shares the need for voice cloning in the future-proofing of the design industry. Allowing for expedited brand communication and relatability, AI provides a vital link to automate audio content while still preserving brand identity across channels.
Key Best Audio Brands Facts 2022
This year Mastercard, Shell and Apple all managed to retain their top five status, while we saw newcomers Audi and Philips enter. Together the Technology and Electronics sectors lead the top 25 and the sector that saw the most positive change between years was Business Services with a 12.88-point increase in BAB index score. The sector that saw the biggest drop between years was Apparel.
With nearly 95% of all global Mastercard audio-visual content featuring its sonic identity, and the continued expansion of its Transaction sound over 200 million+ digital and physical retail points, the Financial Services titan takes our top spot for the third year in a row with their elegantly holistic approach to sonic strategy.
Michele Arnese, Global CEO, amp commented:
“Acceleration of sound and voice in digital storytelling over the past year has allowed more brands to see the benefit of building a holistic sonic strategy. We have worked hard to evolve our ranking to include more brands and industries for 2022 and would like to congratulate this year’s leaders in their ability to recognise and implement an effective audio strategy, building consumer connections and brand recognisability”.
Björn Thorleifsson, Head of Strategy & Research, amp added: “It’s promising to see that brands are headed in the right direction with strategic use of sound, however, many brands still have a long journey ahead. Quite a few brands have yet to employ a holistic strategy even given this year’s increase in sonic logo usage across BAB’s top 25 brands. As more online noise is generated, we expect to see increased investment from brands in sonic branding and owned music to stand out in the digital crowd”.
About Best Audio Brands
Introduced in 2019, the Best Audio Brands Ranking is a first of its kind study, measuring how effective brands are in using sound. Initially it was built on Interbrand’s highly respected “Best Global Brands Index”, and this year has been expanded to include more of the most important brand rankings including BrandZ, Forbes, Fortune 500 and others. The ranking is designed to identify strong and weak audio performers, highlight strategic opportunities for brands to grow, and provide actionable solutions to boost the value and ROI from audio assets. This year’s report features the new data-driven Sonic Radar tool that has assisted and improved testing capabilities by identifying brand sound and tonality within the digital space.
Best Audio Brands relies on a rigorous methodology to quantify brand’s audio performance against criteria including trust, recognition, efficiency, and engagement. It highlights brands that are extending their sonic presence far beyond a single ‘jingle’ to adapt to a highly evolved digital landscape where audio can provide an additional point of differentiation against competitors, build trust, and foster loyalty from customers.
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amp is the world’s leading, full-service agency for sonic branding. The amp team creates holistic sonic identities for global brands by combining unique expertise in brand strategy with decades of experience in music composition, production, and compilation. Leveraging its award-winning Sonic DNA® process, amp helps brands leverage sound, music and voice to build authentic, emotional connections with audiences across all audible customer experience touchpoints. With its diverse portfolio of clients, including Mastercard, Mercedes-Benz, Deloitte, PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz and more – amp activates 360º sonic experiences. From digital advertising, branded content, and user experiences for apps and software to the latest developments in artificial voice and immersive audio technologies, amp focuses on creating meaningful interactions for brands and their audiences.