Sonic branding: A consumer-oriented literature review

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Because music holds a strong power over people, and its impact on consumers is relatively direct, it is invariably an interesting medium for marketers. Although Sonic Branding – branding with music and sound – has been seen as ‘the next big thing’ in branding toward consumers for about a decade, it is a scattered field still waiting for its breakthrough. Addressing this problem, the present consumer-oriented review of literature offers new insights on the consumer perspective’s role in Sonic Branding today, and provides implications for future marketing research and practice. The present article also suggests that there is need for using a common set of Sonic Branding concepts in order to unify the field. Further, the majority of businesses do not yet understand Sonic Branding as the uniquely consumer-oriented practice it has the potential to be. Understanding the way that consumers themselves use music is crucial to successful brand management in this area. However, for theorists and practitioners alike, the immediate challenge lies in developing those concepts and labels for Sonic Branding that will unite the field, and thereby increase its future impact.

Gustafsson, C. (2015). Sonic branding: A consumer-oriented literature review. Journal of Brand Management, 22(1), 20–37. https://doi.org/10.1057/bm.2015.5