Brands are investing in the power of sound

As traditional ads and marketing techniques continue to decline in popularity, companies are striving to connect with their audience in new ways: enter sonic branding. The voice shopping industry is predicted to reach $40 billion by 2022—meaning users will get to experience a brand’s identity through sound and associate them with these unique compositions.


HSBC is hitting the refresh button for their global branding and they’re adding a new sound identity as one of its phases. The sound is named after HSBC’s brand promise “together we thrive” and is a bespoke piece composed of seven different edits created to be relevant in HSBC’s 66 different markets. The composition, created by electronic producer Jean-Michel Jarre, will first be heard by customers as the waiting call ring when they call the bank’s contact centers. HSBC is currently working on putting this sound identity in its apps and marketing broadcasts, as well as a short snippet at the end of TV ads.


Following the major credit card brand’s choice to remove words from their iconic red and yellow circles logo, Mastercard created its own sonic branding. The company has created a transaction sound that will play whenever users check out or see an ad. Not only is there one main sound associated with the brand, but three different versions: playful, cinematic, and operatic. All three versions have a similar tone running through them that is reminiscent of a xylophone. These sounds were created with the help of multiple musicians, artists, and agencies from across the globe.


Formula 1 has taken their need for speed to a whole new level with their choice of sonic branding. The premier racing organization teamed up with musical talent The Chemical Brothers to create the “fastest remix of all time.” This three second sonic branding is The Chemical Brothers’ new song “We’ve Got To Try” sped up to 15,000 beats per minute to match the 15,000 revs per minute of a Formula 1 engine. This remix is going to serve as the “sound” of the Formula One 2019 season.