Sound Branding

GROVES Sound Branding

Your Sound. Everywhere. Always.

GROVES Sound Branding System

Welcome to GROVES Sound Branding

GROVES Sound Branding is a specialist in the field of corporate and brand sound and we are proud to have been involved in shaping the sound of some of the worlds most respected brands. As pioneers in this field, our methodology has already become somewhat of an industry standard.

We have our headquarters in Hamburg, with representation in London, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Shanghai, Dubai and Santiago de Chile. 

We are happy to have made music for a number of well-known companies such as TUI, Olympus, EnBW, Ramazzotti, DATEV, LBS, bonprix, Gerolsteiner, Dea, Wrigley, Mentos, Bacardi, Audi, Nivea, Visa and numerous radio and TV stations.

Our Sound Branding Services

Sound Logo Production

The first step towards recognition though sound

Corporate Song Development

For team-building and identification

Workshops & Tutorials

Stakeholder Buy-in through involvement

Retail | PoS Sound

Customized solutions for audio sales promotion

Brand Sound Guidelines

sound and music usage rules for a uniform and consistent brand perception

Sound Check

Assessment of a brands current use of sound

selected references

John Groves about the GROVES Sound Branding System

What is Sound Branding

Sound branding is about using sound and music in much the same way as visual design elements to create awareness, differentiation and recognition. A Sound Identity makes the perception of a brand controllable and provides a constant and uniform association.

Where Sound Branding fits in

A Sound Identity is an integral part of a holistic branding strategy. It transports the personality and characteristics of a brand in much the same way that visuals, architecture and language do.

How Sound Branding works

Sound Branding follows a structured system - in it's development, implementation and management. Brand Attributes are translated to the auditory level and consistently communicated across all touch-points and applications. A common uncoordinated use of music is replaced by conscious, "customised" brand sound signals. These signals provide recognition and differentiation, and steer brand perception.

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The system for developing a Sound Identity

More about the GROVES methodology

As a Sound Branding consultancy, we develop and manage corporate and Brand Sound identities by giving brands their own distinctive voice. With the help of associative and connecting Brand Sound Elements, recognition, differentiation and identification can be created, which effectively supports the brand management.

The GROVES Sound Branding System serves to make Brands Values understandable in the context of the market and the brand and to steer the efficient production and use of a custom Sound Identity.

By "Your Sound" we mean your own sound - not the sound of one of your competitors. It is specifically about differentiation and the creation of brand value through recognition. "Your Sound", also means a sound that suits you and one that can reproduce the brand attributes and personality audibly.

"Everywhere" refers to the contact points of the brand. Each visitor or customer should have a similar perception and experience the same associations with the brand through all communication channels. The applications and touch-points such as telephone, TV, radio, social media or POS are no exception.

"Always" means systematically using sound analogous to the visual corporate identity - all the time! Consistency is important. For this purpose, guidelines and contact persons are necessary to ensure correct and optimal use.

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ComMUSICation – From Pavlov's Dog to Sound Branding

As the name implies, COMMUSICATION deals with the influence of sound and music used for communication – from the sounds that navigate us through our everyday life to the systematic development of Sound Identities for companies and brands.

Although the book is intended primarily for the marketing and business community, it is written in an easy-to-read, entertaining style that makes it attractive for a wider audience.

“John Groves has written everything about sound branding that you ever need to know” 

Spießer Alfons – HORIZONT

“The art is to create music that makes positive associations without being irritating. Groves should know what he is talking about; he has created jingles for Visa, Bacardi, Mentos, Melitta and many more. “

W & V Magazine

Our terminology

A Sound Identity is the sound that is intended to identify an entity – be it a brand, a company or an organisation. It can consist of just one element, such as a Sound Logo or a branded Company Song, or it can be a complete set of interlocking and matching Sound Elements. This distinguishes brands from one another and makes them noticeable. Recent research provides hand-proof evidence that sound and music have the ability to control the perception of quality and value, which inevitably affects the purchasing decision. One more reason why the strategic implementation of music and sound should not be neglected.

Sound Branding / Audio Branding

is the strategic development and implementation of a Sound Identity. It consists of Sound Branding Elements, Sound Dimensions and Brand Voice. It ensures that coherent and clear auditory signals are sent consistently in all contact points and applications - including corporate communications and, when applicable, in the products themselves.

Sound Dimensions

establish the optimal music styles and genres that will best fit the brand and transport its values most effectively. They determine the way a brand is perceived in all points of contact. Together with the elements of Sound Branding and the Brand Voice they form the Brand Sound Identity.

Sound Logo / Audio Logo

This is the audio counterpart to a visual logo and one of the most common elements of Sound Branding.

Brand Song

A piece of music composed exclusively for the brand that makes a brand association. Ideally, it is has a recognisable theme, hook-line or element, such as a Sound Logo that is used in other Brand Sound Elements.

Soundscapes

are pieces of music or sounds, which are derived from the brand song. They do not have the structure of songs - with verses and refrains - but are pads or sequences with little harmonic change that are intended to steer and control the atmosphere of a space. Their style and genre is defined by the Sound Dimensions and documented in the Brand Sound Guide.

Sound Icons

are sound branding items in their shortest form. They are commonly fragments of other Brand Sound Elements, such as the Sound Logo. The most well-known examples are roll-over sounds on websites or signal tones in for navigation. Even the shortest sounds are capable of triggering a brand association when derived from the Brand Sound Identity.

Web Loop

A web loop is a looped segment of Brand Song, SoundScape or other brand Sound Element used on a web site, often in combination with Sound Icons for roll-overs or page-turns.

Jingle

A jingle is a short slogan, verse, or tune designed to be easily remembered, and as part of a Brand Sound Identity, can be a key Brand Sound Element. It can be derived from the hook or main theme of a Company Song, and can contain the Sound Logo. To make this clearer, let’s look at an example of the brand “LBS”: If a Company Song used a hook line such as "We give your future a home - LBS”, when this hook line was used alone it would be termed as a jingle. The Sound Element that uses just the three notes that represent “LBS" is the Sound Logo.

Product Sounds

are the sounds used in the product itself. They identify the product using sound e.g. MacBook start-up sound, and differentiate it from competitors. As functional sounds they can supply information on status, help with navigation and provide alarms and warnings.

Brand Sound Identity

A Brand Sound Identity is the consistent build-up of a brand's own Sound Identity. Analogous to the visual identity, the sound elements are derived from the brands values and its positioning. The function is to provide a highly recognisable and uniform Sound Identity. Design areas are: Sound Branding Elements, Sound Dimensions and Brand Voice.

Brand Sound Elements

are the sounds exclusively produced for the brand as part of a Brand Sound Identity. These include: Sound Logo, Brand Song, Sound Icons, Brand Score or Brand Hook-line. All of these elements should reflect the brand values in their Sound Dimensions and differentiate themselves from the competition and from already existing sound elements in the communication environment.

Brand Score

The Brand Score is an illustrative instrumental piece that quotes the Sound logo or integrates the Brand Hook-line. It can an instrumental version of the brand song or a re-arrangement. It provides an acoustic backdrop for corporate communications, reflecting the brands values. Examples of application areas include backing for radio and TV spots, company films, background sound for events and POS sound. T - if available - are integrated.

Brand Voice

The Brand Voice is the speaker voice, which best reflects the brand values. The most important parameters in the selection are sound of the voice, pitch, volume, rhythm and re-recognition. The Brand Voice should be used consistently in all applications and touch points.

Ring-tone

This is a Brand Sound Element sound for use in mobile phones. It provides brand recognition whenever the phone rings by playing sounds derived vom the Brand Song or Jingle, containing the Sound logo or Brand Hook-line. Ideally, it is special equalised to provide the beast result in a small loudspeaker.

Telephone-Loop

This is sound heard when telephone callers are put on-hold. It can be a version of the brand song or a soundscape, and will usually contain the Sound Logo and the company voice.

Sound Tattoo

We talk of a Sound Tattoo when a Sound Logo is overlaid onto an existing piece of music in a matching tempo and key.