What is sonic branding and how can you use it in your content?

Sonic branding, audio branding, sound branding — what does it all mean? Let’s look at definitions, examples, and how effective it actually is.

Cat with a microphone

Sonic branding is key to brand recognition and, in some cases, equity. But what exactly is it, which brands do it best, and how do you nail the perfect sound? Let’s take a look at all of that and more today. 

We’ll cover:

What is sonic branding?

Sonic branding is a process that sets your brand apart from competitors. Just like visual branding, it uses unique motifs and patterns to express your brand’s identity and voice. When a customer or client hears great sonic branding, they’ll immediately know who it is.


Sonic branding is sometimes called audio branding, acoustic branding, or music branding. It’s often mistakenly considered to include solely a jingle — while jingles play a big part in sonic branding, they only scratch the surface. Just like a logo is the building block of visual branding, a jingle is one small part of a holistic audio identity. 

Who uses sonic branding?

Everyone uses sonic branding, from household names to start-ups, solo content creators to the most-subscribed YouTubers. You’ll find sonic branding in hotels and hospitals, dentists’ surgeries and art studios. Some are more successful than others, but all of them chase the same thing: they want customers to associate their brand with a specific palette of sounds. 

Why should you use sonic branding?

Most people think that brands use music to add a bit of color, or to keep things from getting boring. That can be true, but it doesn’t paint the whole picture. Music does the heavy lifting when it comes to the emotional impact of your brand’s message — it works in tandem with visuals, rather than just complementing them.

Shark above gas station

It’s based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but our brains have to work overtime just to make sense of music. As Andrew E. Budson, neurologist at Harvard Medical School, puts it:

“The parts of the brain involved in emotion are activated and synchronized, music activates a variety of memory regions, and, interestingly, music activates the motor system.”

On top of that, music is an emotional language that crosses borders. It’s near-universal. One customer could speak German or Korean, another Swedish or Portuguese — a well-designed sonic brand can communicate the same thing to all of them.

Sonic branding examples

Let’s look at some best-in-class examples of sonic branding, and try to drill down into what makes them so special. 



You know the Coca-Cola jingle, how they wrap it into their holiday-season ads, how they spread that soft-touch approach across all of their sonic branding. From their first Hilltop ad back in 1971 to 2024’s It’s Gonna Be Me spot, Coca-Cola’s got that friendly, welcoming thing nailed. 

They’re so confident in their sonic branding that they’ve even released their own musical instrument. Coke SoundZ is both a physical and digital instrument that plays uplifting, chirpy sounds inspired by the drink.

@cyranmakesmusic Try Coke SoundZ for yourself and see what you can make! https://cokeurl.com/CokeSoundz #cokepartner #BestCokeEver #cyran #beat #piano @Coca-Cola ♬ original sound - cyran


Apple’s synthy leitmotif is almost as iconic as the fruit logo itself. It conveys luxury, aspiration, the future. The tech giant carries this into other aspects of their sonic branding, carefully placing tracks to deliver that premium — yet still relatable — sheen. 

As Josh Rabinowitz, music consultant and brand expert, told Epidemic Sound:

“The brands that have the most success in music are the ones built on long-term, expert partnerships — think of brands like Apple. A long-term music partnership means your music partner gets to know your brand inside-out, translating that intimate knowledge into musical output.”


The Golden Arches are beyond iconic, but their sonic brand really came into its own in the 21st century. The catalyst? Surprisingly, Justin Timberlake. The pop legend recorded I’m Lovin’ It at Ronald’s request, upon which the basis of McDonald’s’ joyful brand identity is now built.

The ‘ba-da-ba-ba-ba’ jingle, the upbeat swing, the ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ slogan — this is A-grade material. It was the first time McDonald’s used a single message for a worldwide campaign, and it stuck — it’s their longest-running slogan by some distance. Timberlake’s gone on record to say he regrets the song, but we still think it’s a bop.

How Epidemic Sound can elevate your sonic branding 

Sonic branding isn’t easy. Think of how much effort goes into visual branding — sonic branding is just as important. Just as you wouldn’t expect one logo, ad, or strapline to do all the work, one track won’t do your brand justice. You need more. You need a foundation of music that can be used across every platform under the sun. 

Don’t leave it to chance. Let Epidemic Sound take care of it. 

Our unique music curation experience, The Epidemic Sound System, helps you find the perfect sound every time. We’re with you every step of the way, from concept to delivery — our direct license removes all legal complexities, giving you the freedom to use our music globally across all platforms.

Here’s a snapshot of the value our Music Curation team provides:

  • Quick Picks: Rapid suggestions based on brief input. This is perfect for clients who’re working to a tight deadline, but don’t want to skimp on quality. 
  • Curated Selects: Tailored playlists based on a detailed client brief. This option is ideal for regular content creation, rather than last-minute or crunch-time instances. 
  • Sound supervision: We take full ownership of the music and sound strategy for your content concept.
  • Brand Sound Playbook: Comprehensive music strategy development that stretches across profiling, guidelines, playlists, and long-term planning. This service transforms music from a tactical choice to a strategic asset.
  • Bespoke Creations: We provide commissioned, customized music and sonic identities designed to enhance your brand identity.
  • Sound Workshops: Interactive sessions geared to inspire and rejuvenate your brand’s approach to music and sound, with tips and tricks from our Music Curation team.
Rainbow coming from a TV

Epidemic Sound’s Music Curation team does more than just offer a service. We identify and shape your brand’s sonic identity, considering where it fits within your sector and how it can stay ahead of the pack. 

Your brand isn’t all things to all people, and we get that — it should flex across all touchpoints and platforms, reaching the right people in different ways. We use data analysis, trend-spotting, and social media research to steer your brand into zones that best resonate with your audience.

All of the points that we’ve outlined, plus a bunch more, are wrapped together with a custom-made sound logo that ties your sonic brand together. It’s a world-class, bespoke experience trusted by Epidemic Sound’s enterprise clients, many of whom are household names.

Your brand deserves the best. Take your identity, campaigns, and content to the next level with Epidemic Sound.

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