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Mastercard, Shell and Audi Take Top Spots in Best Audio Brands Index 2022

amp sound branding shares Best Audio Brands 2022 expanding index from 100 to 250 brands

Mastercard has retained the number one spot in Best Audio Brands Index in 2022, followed by Shell, Audi, Apple and Philips. The latest report on best audio brands showcases positive correlation between sonic strategy and brand value. Clearly, the sonic conscious brands took the top spots in the Best Audio Brands Index in 2022.

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This year’s Best Audio Brands 2022 (BAB) report, produced by the world’s leading sonic branding agency amp, reveals that the power of music in marketing is being recognized by an increasing number of brands. With the explosion of audio-only platforms such as podcasts, social-audio and music sharing services such as TikTok, digital retail and the advent of the Metaverse, many brands are now seeking ways to drive brand recognition and memorability through sound across a multitude of different touchpoints.

Key Best Audio Brands Facts 2022 

This year Mastercard, Shell and Apple all managed to retain their top five status, while we saw newcomers Audi and Philips enter. Together the Technology and Electronics sectors lead the top 25 and the sector that saw the most positive change between years was Business Services with a 12.88-point increase in BAB index score. The sector that saw the biggest drop between years was Apparel.

With nearly 95% of all global Mastercard audio-visual content featuring its sonic identity, and the continued expansion of its transaction sound at over 200 million+ digital and physical retail points, the Financial Services titan takes our top spot for the third year in a row with its elegantly holistic approach to sonic strategy.

 Best Audio Brand Index Score and Brand Valu
Scatter Plot showing the relationship between Best Audio Brand Index Score and Brand Value (measured in billion US dollars) for brands in the Technology Sector (Blue) and the Electronics Sector (yellow)

Amp’s fourth annual index of the world’s Best Audio Brands has this year been expanded to capture the ever-increasing number of brands that are using sound strategically. The index has expanded from 100 to 250 of the world’s leading brands to provide a more objective and data-centric overview of audio branding, ranking brands in terms of overall sonic branding strategy and use of sound and music across brand touchpoints. Amp’s full methodology can be found in the ‘About This Report’ section on page 10 of the report.

Sonic strategy is proving to be an increasingly crucial factor in brand investment.

75% of the top 25 brands analyzed in this year’s Best Audio Brands report utilize a sonic logo, with an increasing number of them sharing their efforts across digital channels.

Brand Value and Sonic Strategy Performance

For the first time in the history of sonic branding research, amp set out to investigate the relationship between sonic strategy and brand value. A positive correlation was found between companies who invest in the creation of sonic strategies and brand value, with the Technology and Electronics sectors displaying the strongest correlation. This can be seen through brands like Apple and Nintendo, both of which reap the benefits of a robust 360-degree sonic strategy through their exploitation of numerous touchpoints across highly immersive user experiences.

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Creating an emotional connection through sound allows for increased recognition, loyalty and memorability, explaining their hold on the sector and their continued status as some of the best performing brands in the world when it comes to sound.

Flexibility in Design, and AI Sound Innovation Will Be Key for the Sonic Branding Industry

As outlined in a guest feature from Christian Saclier, VP of Design Innovation at PepsiCo, and amp Founder and Global CEO, Michele Arnese, a systematic approach to marrying the worlds of sound and design has become more important than ever in both communicating and establishing brand identity. Detail and flexibility within the process allows for the extrapolation and cultural application of future brand pivots, as well as introductions to new mediums like the metaverse and virtual worlds.

This topic is also visited within Dr. Timo P Kunz’s guest editorial on behalf, Aflorithmic, where he shares the need for voice cloning in the future-proofing of the design industry.

Allowing for expedited brand communication and relatability, AI provides a vital link to automate audio content while still preserving brand identity across channels.

Michele Arnese, Global CEO, amp commented: 

“Acceleration of sound and voice in digital storytelling over the past year has allowed more brands to see the benefit of building a holistic sonic strategy. We have worked hard to evolve our ranking to include more brands and industries for 2022 and would like to congratulate this year’s leaders in their ability to recognize and implement an effective audio strategy, building consumer connections and brand recognizability”.

Björn Thorleifsson, Head of Strategy & Research, amp added: “It’s promising to see that brands are headed in the right direction with strategic use of sound, however, many brands still have a long journey ahead.  Quite a few brands have yet to employ a holistic strategy even given this year’s increase in sonic logo usage across BAB’s top 25 brands. As more online noise is generated, we expect to see increased investment from brands in sonic branding and owned music to stand out in the digital crowd”. 

Amp Sound Branding X LinkedIn Live: Best Audio Brands 2022

Once again establishing themselves as leaders within the industry, amp sound branding hosted an exclusive live broadcast on sonic strategy and the Best Audio Brands 2022 report on 24 May 2022.

Featuring remarks from amp Founder and CEO, Michele Arnese, Head of Strategy and Research, Bjorn Thorleifsson, and Strategist and Research Consultant, Ellen Murphy, the live event explored insights surrounding the state of the audio branding industry, as well as the future of brand and consumer relationships in an ever-evolving landscape of digital, and virtual worlds.

Introduced in 2019, the Best Audio Brands Ranking is a first of its kind study, measuring how effective brands are in using sound. Initially it was built on Interbrand’s highly respected “Best Global Brands Index”, and this year has been expanded to include more of the most important brand rankings including BrandZ, Forbes, Fortune 500 and others. The ranking is designed to identify strong and weak audio performers, highlight strategic opportunities for brands to grow, and provide actionable solutions to boost the value and ROI from audio assets. This year’s report features the new data-driven Sonic Radar tool that has assisted and improved testing capabilities by identifying brand sound and tonality within the digital space.

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