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Bad sonic branding is keeping brands in the dark ages of creativity.

Sadly, it has become the norm to accept that some brands are just boring. When we think of brands that are 'cool', 'innovative' or even 'game-changing', we often think about the brands that are often in our awareness everyday. Picking some from the top shelf, we could say that Nike, Gymshark, Porsche, Samsung, Ikea, Gucci, Red Bull and Apple are 'cool' brands that we know and love. They feel good to us, sound great and connect with us on a deeply emotional and physical level, moving with us confidently through our human evolution. The one thing that these brands have in common, is incredibly strong branding, and a considered approach to sound as part of their identity.

The same cannot always be said for the brands that give us so much, yet are not invited to sit in the 'cool' area of the brand club. Industries such as building and construction, healthcare, foundational tech, utilities and government will likely suffer due to the status quo that has been set when it comes to branding. However, we really believe that this is something that must change, can change and will change!

When we think about brand campaigns that have stuck with us or made a real impact, we often have etched into our minds the feeling, the style, the music, quotes or even the cultural references. In order for creative teams to deliver great brand campaigns, non-rational thinking and a certain desire for creative risk taking is often required. This beautiful combination, that when executed right, can deliver world-class results.

Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of the global Ad Agency Ogilvy, mentions in his book 'Alchemy', that " psychology the opposite of a good idea can be a very good idea" and "being rational means you are predictable, and being predictable makes you weak". This is often the case that brands who are fundamentally rational and predictable, typically are perceived to be weaker, alongside 'cooler' brands.

So you're probably wondering 'Where does sound come into this?' Well, sound can be a phenomenal catalyst for supercharging brand creativity and across some of our work at Acre Green, music has been the crucial inspiration needed to kickstart major re-branding campaigns.

Let's take our work with heritage footwear brand, Scholl. Their vision was to bring the evolving product range to the market in a new refreshing way that not only connects with their establish customer base, but also opens up the doors to a fresher audience, perhaps yet to discover the brand properly. By diving into the brand history, understanding the cultural roots, stylistics cues being used across the popular high-end fashion houses, lookalike audiences and fully understanding the modern links, we came to a strong sonic direction the encapsulates exactly the feeling that Scholl wanted to evoke in customers.

Scholl. Instagram 2023

Not only was this a great exercise for the brand team, but it was fundamental in shaping the new creative direction while setting the tone for future campaigns. Through the lens of sonic branding, this new creative direction has been so powerful for Scholl, and will undoubtedly be powerful for other brands looking to transform their identity in todays world.

Brands stuck in a rut and in the dark ages of creativity, need to lean into creative risk taking and trust that working with creative partners to uncover new methods of growth is immensely powerful, rather than maintaining the status quo based on what has work historically.

Finally, now that we are looking into a creatively optimistic 2024, with recession slowing and budgets freeing up for more experimentation, we are excited to see what the year continues to bring for creative projects that move brands from boring to blazing!

If you're interested in working with Acre Green on a strategic sonic branding project, please reach out to ed directly at

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