As Danone’s Vice President for Marketing in North America, Sonika’s mission is to “elevate the brand love” with clever and innovative positioning of the main brands in their yogurt portfolio, such as Activia. Her constant quest for innovation and thirst for learning have led to her developing her Shiny New Object, sound branding.
When considering how to connect with customers, brands have traditionally relied on a visual identity, best embodied by logos and design real estate. However, Sonika believes that not all brands can make their best impact with an exclusively visual strategy – “people are yearning for a conversation”.
Sound can be a powerful driver of emotion, a catalyst for building trust and a great mnemonic device for brand association, as well. Finding that sonic identity, especially when linking it back to a brand’s heritage and what it stands for, will set brands aside from those who are relying on more traditional methods to reach their customers.
A great example of sound branding for Sonika is the McDonald’s jingle, which is instantly recognised and has been used consistently in all circumstances by the brand. This leads us to what sonic identity needs in order to be effective: a simple, clear set of notes, versatile enough to be used in different situations, and employed consistently so that audiences can identify it with the brand.
How does one build an effective sonic identity then? According to Sonika, the process is the same as that of designing a logo and goes back to the core of what your brand is about. Once you know the brand values and the emotions and attributes you want to have associated with your brand, she recommends working with specialised agencies who will have experts able to convey those emotions and attributes into sound.
Since this is an emerging concept, it’s still very much a journey – and we should remember to enjoy it, too.
For more on Sonika’s sonic identity building tips, dedication to lifelong learning and approach to mental health and personal growth, check out the podcast in full here.