• Transform magazine
  • March 03, 2024


Not as simple as it sounds: How sonic branding grabs attention in a world of fintech stereotypes

2021.10.07 Venture3 Staff Portraits D2 Tim Jackson 12325 (1)

Tim Jackson, creative director at global branding agency, venturethree, explores why sonic branding within the fintech space is becoming increasingly popular and how it plays an impactful role in building strong brand-customer relationships.

The fintech market is overrun. From high levels of consumer choice to seemingly more and more players throwing their hat into the ring. Each company brings with them a shiny new opportunity and promises brilliant new ways to revolutionise every aspect of your finances.

The problem this poses for brands is how to create the necessary memorability and cut-through amid high competition where everyone is racing for a finite amount of customer headspace.

For these reasons it’s vital that fintech brands embrace every opportunity in their efforts to establish a strong identity which efficiently communicates their brand essence. Sonic branding – the unique soundscape of a brand - which has been traditionally synonymous with the TV and entertainment space, has taken a huge role within wider digital customer brand experiences.

The real value of sonic branding comes in its subliminal power. Sounds have a more substantial impact on human minds than visuals alone. Therefore, when done well, an associated brand sound acts as a further touchpoint to trigger these subconscious emotions and strengthen the bond between brand and consumers.

There are so many possibilities within digital products to incorporate sound too. Think of the gratifying sound when you receive funds via Monzo or the meowing card ‘Anna.’ These all present opportunities to further brand perceptions that have already been established across other more traditional brand experiences. Sonic branding can be used to enhance and amplify a brand’s core strategic and creative pillar.

It was for these reasons that we explored sonic branding as a core expression for Bip, the UK’s first cardless credit app. We realised early on that sound could be a key brand asset in replacement of a traditional physical card which gives your brand presence. Selecting the name ‘Bip’ was an intentional move to have a name that is a sound in itself. One that can represent a whole host of digital credit experiences – at every important and rewarding moment.

We set out to create something that would be simple but instantly recognisable, creating a brand that would be known as the pioneer for digital credit. Bip’s soundscapes are multilayered, stretching from a mnemonic to a full audio track which all fall unmistakably under the ‘Bip sound’ umbrella, showing a layer of brand agility which can only heighten subconscious brand perceptions. The possibility for when we then add haptics – a physical experience of sound through the vibrations in the device – create an added layer of rewarding connection.

Sonic branding is an area we will continue to see embraced by brands in a bid to stand out from increasingly crowded digital spaces. With high expectations and an onslaught of digital noise for consumers, sonic identity is already playing a key role in digital branding and will only continue to become more fundamental in the future.