Stephen Arnold Music

The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America

Sonic Branding

Stephen Arnold Music

Stephen Arnold, President of Stephen Arnold Music

Every kid from school-age onward has asked the question: How come remembering melodies, lyrics and jingles is so effortless and seemingly instinctive while trying to recall the material on today’s history test is so tough?

The answer is something you may not yet have heard of: “Sonic Branding

Sonic Branding implants a memory in the aural pathways to our brain that is so powerful, it’s virtually impossible to forget (and just as difficult to ignore). You can’t get that little ditty out of your head. You hum it obsessively, like some crazed lumberjack. You love it. You hate it. You hate that you love it.

Mostly, however, once the sound of that “ditty” starts rattling around, it lodges on your cerebral cortex and can’t be eradicated. So our suggestion is: don’t try. Just give in to it.

This Sonic Branding is what causes our blood to curdle when we hear the opening bars to “Jaws,” or the violins that tell us Janet Leigh is about to get whacked in the shower in “Psycho.” Perhaps most pervasive of all, it’s what invades your consciousness when you hear the beginning of “It’s a Small World” every time you take the family to Disneyland.

Sonic Branding in particular is a condensed and even more potent version of the mind-sticking song. It’s the signature music of CNN in tandem with James Earl Jones’ booming baritone uttering “This is CNN,” or the “Intel Inside” music, the NBC chimes or — more annoyingly — the rabid fanfare that tells us a movie theater is outfitted with the THX sound system.

In short, sonic branding is the “John Hancock” of music — the stinger, the hook, the musical notes that call people to action (Shop! Run! Eat!) — that lingers in the mind long after the tones are gone. It’s almost a form of subliminal seduction — but in the good way.

Those of us working in the music business must realize that this sort of sonic, aural imprint provides a critical element in identifying a product, a program, a service or a brand, and helps it stand out from the competition. It’s a musical form of cluster-busting, if you will.

Even when a TV set is on in the background, Sonic Branding allows you and your identifying tones to stand out and be heard. Hearing is one of our most powerful senses, and this phenomenon harnesses music’s unique capacity to trigger an emotional response. Brands delivered “sonically” reach a place within the human mind that visual branding alone cannot, and does not, approach.

Our goal is to teach our clients how important it is for them to “lodge” their musical mantra into the heads of every man, woman and child on Earth (that falls into their targeted demographic audience, of course.) »

The World Leader In Sonic Branding


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