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The Top 100 US Sonic Logos Named in the New SoundOut Index

  • Movie industry owns the most powerful sonic logos 
  • Proves sonic logos that include the brand name are twice as effective at cementing brand association than those that do not
  • Shows financial brands outperform other sectors for the effectiveness of their sonic logos
  • Proves there is no correlation between recall and distinctiveness of sonic logos

Disney has America’s favorite sonic logo according to the new SoundOut Index, which lists the US’s Top 100 of these brief sound sequences used by organisations to create strong brand connections.

Disney is not alone as a Hollywood institution with a powerful audio brand, as three of the top four are all big players in the movie industry – Disney (#1), 20th Century Fox (#2) and Warner Brothers (#4).

The only two non-entertainment sonic brands in the top five are owned by snack brand Goldfish (#3) and insurance firm Farmers (#5). The sonic brands that prop up the top ten are Chili’s (#6), State Farm (#7), O’Reilly (#8), Old Spice (#9) and Arby’s (#10).

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And despite the higher profile nature of Coca Cola, McDonalds and Mastercard, their sonic logos fall outside the Top 20, at #26, #29, and #34 respectively.

The Index, which contains overall rankings of the top 100 US sonic logos, was created by SoundOut, the world leader in sonic brand testing. SoundOut has tested the key components that combine to create truly iconic sonic brands, based on responses from over 30,000 consumers and covering over 10 million data points.

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The analysis uncovered some interesting takeaways for brands looking to make a powerful emotional connection with their customers and increase their propensity to buy. These include:

  • Appeal is really important. People must like your sonic logo. The correlation between the appeal of a logo and the overall strength of emotion a logo is capable of delivering is over 80%.
  • Distinctiveness alone has minimal impact in driving recall. In fact, there is a negative correlation between recall and distinctiveness across the 100+ US sonic logos analyzed.
  • Sonic logos that include the brand name are twice as effective at cementing brand association than those that do not.
  • Financial brands are currently the best at creating effective logos (ones that are appealing, have great recall and increase propensity to buy). Unfortunately, they also have the lowest score for market penetration. For example, Mastercard is in the top quartile for effectiveness, but the bottom quartile for attribution. They are great logos, but perhaps nobody is listening.

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David Courtier-Dutton, founder and CEO of SoundOut, said: “While more and more brands have been investing in sonic branding as the power of music’s impact on the subconscious becomes better understood, there has been little objective analysis and measurement of the effectiveness of sonic logos. The SoundOut Index changes that. We are proud to be the first to establish which sonic logos have built a powerful emotional connection with consumers.”

Commenting on the significance of the SoundOut Index, Paul Coxhill, managing director at WARC, said: “In an increasingly digital audio world, where audio channels such as music streaming services and podcasting are growing, a sonic identity is increasingly important. The SoundOut Index creates a useful new lens on this previously under-documented topic.”

The detailed report that supports the Index runs to 50 pages. It will be followed by three further in-depth reports to be released in the coming weeks. These reports will explore the results in greater detail for the three elements that were measured to identify the positions on the Index: sonic effectiveness, sonic personality and market penetration. The SoundOut Index for the UK is also released today.

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