Sound Branding

Sound Branding – becoming more acknowledged internationally

Posted by admin on April 23, 2012
News, Sound Branding / No Comments


Registration of sound trade marks finally arrives also in Canada

The registration of sound trade has been practiced in Germany since 1988. Thanks to a recent decision by CIPO (Canadian Intellectual Property Office), Canadian brands now have the right to register and thus protect their specific sound trade marks by law. This comes after a 20-year legal battle between CIPO and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, after the Federal Court of Canada over ruled CIPO’s refusal to approve sounds as trademark. This move may serve as creative precedent for the growing international Sound Branding scene.

Read the current article “Sounds that send a message” from “The Vancouver Sun” here.

Sounds That Send a Message_TheVancouverSun_April20_2012

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Book “ComMUSICation – From Pavlov’s Dog to Sound Branding”

Posted by admin on February 01, 2012
News, Sound Branding / 1 Comment

CommusicationOut Now: John Groves’ book “ComMUSICation – From Pavlov’s Dog to Sound Branding”

Oak Tree Press 2011

Music can say so much. It can make us laugh or cry – it can make us remember our first kiss as though it was just yesterday. Just one chord in a film score is enough to tell us that someone is hiding behind the curtain. We can even hear how a person is feeling just by the sound of their voice.

By understanding how such processes work, we are able to create sounds that trigger the desired associations in a branding context.

John Groves, a music consultant and composer with a long track record of creating memorable melodies for brands such as Olympus, Mentos, Bacardi, Mars, Visa, documents the birth of a new discipline: Sound Branding.

He shares personal experiences and anecdotes of how music can be responsible for suicide, revolutions, and making people pay more for a glass of wine. He explains how sound and music can be used strategically to provide identification, differentiation and generally to steer perception.

ComMUSICation is a mix of cutting-edge scientific findings and one man’s analytical – and sometimes humorous – views, ending in a walk-through of his structured system for developing and managing Brand Sound Identities.

This book is a a must-read for anyone involved in marketing, advertising, branding, music – in fact, for anyone who has ears!

Get your free excerpt of the book and further information on

The book is published by Oak Tree Press, Cork, Ireland. ISBN 978 1 78119 000 5 (Hardback) ISBN 978 1 78119 001 2 (ePub) ISBN 978 1 78119 002 9 (Kindle).

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Sound Branding – Audio Branding – Acoustic Branding?

Posted by admin on December 17, 2010
News, Sound Branding / 1 Comment

A comment by John Groves on the Babylonian confusion of the languages of an emerging discipline

The importance of communicating strategically with music and sound is becoming more and more apparent for branding and marketing specialists. These measures are designed to sharpen the brand image and to add the auditive dimension to a Corporate or Brand Identity. The basis for strategic sound communications can be found in the domain of branding – where it is crucial to consider such criteria as consistency, precision, uniformity and a systematic approach. But so far the industry ignore these important points when it comes to their own terminology.

Internationally, terms like Sound Branding, Audio Branding, Acoustic Branding, Sonic Branding and Music Branding circulate. Likewise one can hear Sound Logo, Audio Logo, Acoustic Logo, etc. So far every agency persists in using its own terminology – possibly in the hope that their term might prevail one day and become the industry standard. But which term should the sector agree upon? Which concept makes the most sense and is internationally most familiar?

Study results bring light into the darkness

The results of the Audio Branding Barometer, an international branch study conducted by the Audio Branding Academy in September 2010, sheds a little light on the matter. The question „what is the hearable equivalent to „Visual Branding“ was answered „Sound Branding“ by 46% of the respondents while 32% chose the terminology „Audio Branding“. All other terms fell far behind („Sonic Branding“ 10%, „Acoustic Branding“ and „Music Branding“ each only 6%).

For us at GROVES Sound Branding GmbH this is not surprisingly a very pleasing result as we have been promoting precisely this terminology for years. Based on internal studies we are convinced that „Sound“ is the most universal of all terms. It refers to the source, be it an instrument, a band („The sound of the Bee Gees“) or a brand.

The question now is if this result will prompt the industry to adopt a common terminology. As professional brand communicators we believe that we should do our utmost to provide precision and uniformity – instead of contributing to confusion. This is particularly important for a young, upcoming discipline which still has to assert itself in the market.

Audio Branding Diagram Terminology



Participants of the Audio Branding Barometer 2010 were 32 Agencies from 13 countries. The study shows clearly that Germany, Great Britain and the USA are the global centers in this branch. Approximately half of the agencies participating in the study had started business during the last 10 years. Sound Branding is a comparably young branch.

The Audio Branding Barometer intends to valid and comparable market data for this industry every year.

Main findings of the study: 46% of the respondents use the terminology Sound Branding and Sound Logo.

The results of the Audio Branding Barometer 2010 can be downloaded here.

The Audio Branding Academy is the first independent institution for brand sound communication which combines a forum, think tank, expert network and education. It hosts an annual Congress and regularly organizes workshops on various sound communication related topics.

Aiming at promoting an intentional and responsible use of sound stimuli within brand communication. the Audio Branding Academy is a unique competence center for intersection points of brands, sound and environment.

For further information about the Academy visit

For further information on GROVES Sound Communications visit

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Sound Branding – New revenue opportunities for songwriters and musicians?

Posted by Birgit Elke on October 25, 2010
News, Sound Branding / 1 Comment

Brand sound specialist John Groves speaks at congress SongFest in London / UK

John Groves, brand sound specialist from Hamburg, Germany, takes part in a panel at the premiere of the congress Songfest in London on October, 25th 2010. As participant of the panel “Sound Branding – Hum that Brand” John Groves and other experts from the branch will discuss the future of Sound Branding as well as the professional potential of this new business area for musicians and composers. The three-day congress SongFest is presented by BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) and takes place at the London Brickhouse from October 25 to 27, 2010.

Sound Branding: Hum that Brand

From the Intel bongs to the pips for Radio 4 News, sound branding has long been a part of everyday life. Coca Cola recently embedded their sonic brand in a chart hit moving the use of them into a new league. However, will this evolution be the golden goose of songwriter revenue? Or has the swell of bedroom laptop composers and the deals they agree to strangled the bird already?
• What is sound branding?
• What makes a successful brand sound?
• How much money can a songwriter make?
• When making the deal for your composition to be used what should you look out for?

The event is on Monday 25th October in Brick Lane and the panel is at 2.45pm.

The other panellists are:
Chris Smith, PCAM / CEO The Barbershop Music Co.
Jonathan Goldstein, PCAM, Medienkomponist
Joe Glasman, CEO Hum
John Groves, CEO GROVES Sound Communications

About Songfest

This Autumn, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) is holding an exciting new three day festival for budding British songwriters called SongFest. It aims to support the future talent of the music industry.

SongFest will take place from 25th – 27th October at The Brickhouse. From the page to the stage, this event is designed to help young talent carve a career out of songwriting. There will be a host of different activities each day, including interactive music seminars given by the experts and a ‘speed-dating’ event where the mix of like-minded musicians can exchange ideas and hear from A&R experts. In the evenings there will be live gigs showcasing the hottest unsigned talent, hosted by PRS for Music, London College of Music and BASCA.

For further information on the panel and the congress please visit

For further information on BASCA

For further information on John Groves and GROVES Sound Communications

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Wie klingt das Auto der Zukunft?

Posted by Birgit Elke on October 12, 2010
News, Sound Branding / 1 Comment

Elektroautos gelten als Autos der Zukunft. Der elektrische Motor funktioniert als Wandler von Strom in mechanische Energie, kann als Generator Bremsenergie zurückgewinnen, verursacht im Betrieb keine Emissionen und benötigt so gut wie keine Wartung. Doch eine heiße Debatte über den Klang von Elektroautos ist entbrannt – denn sie sind bei der Fahrt quasi geräuschlos. Kein Brummen, Dröhnen oder Rauschen, das das Herz so manches Auto-Liebhabers höher schlagen lässt.

Weltweit wird nun Sounddesignern die Aufgabe zuteil, den passenden Klang für diese „Autos der Zukunft“ zu erfinden. Verschiedenste Interessengruppen melden sich zu Wort und bringen sich in die Debatte ein. Neben markenrelevanten Überlegungen zum passenden Sound für eine bestimmte Automarke werden hier u.a. auch Sicherheitsaspekte für Fußgänger in die Diskussion mit einbezogen.

Lesen Sie hier den Artikel aus der Süddeutschen Zeitung vom 25. Januar 2010 „Sound Engineering für Elektroautos – Der Ton macht die Musik“ von Jan Wilms und Michael Görmann (siehe unten).

Auch der 2. internationale ( ( ABA ) ) Audio Branding Congress, der am 5.11.2010 in Hamburg stattfindet, trommelt Marken- und Soundexperten aus aller Welt zusammen, um der Frage „What will the car of the future sound like?“ nachzugehen. In einem hochkarätig besetzten Panel werden Chancen und Risiken erläutert und Visionen für die Zukunft unserer Straßen durchgespielt.

Das vollständige Kongress-Programm finden Sie unter


Auf YouTube finden sich erste Klangvisionen des Autos der Zukunft, so ein Beispiel von Lotus unter


SZ 25.01.2010 Sound Engineering Auto

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