Corporate Eye

Top 10 Branded Sounds

An important part of marketing and branding is appealing to consumers’ senses, and sound is just as important as smell, touch, taste and sight.  I was particularly interested in an article I read on the Fast Company Web site today that revealed the most well-known sounds, including the top 10 branded sounds.  Believe it or not, the Intel sound that’s become so recognized that it’s now part of the company’s advertising campaign (check out the ad below), is second in terms of popularity only behind the sound of a baby crying.

The list is based on a small study done by Buyology Inc. and Elias Arts with 50 people and used neuroscience research methods to evaluate participants’ reactions to a wide variety of sounds.

According to the Fast Company article, the top 10 non-branded and branded sounds are:

1. Baby giggle
2. Intel
3. Vibrating phone
4. ATM / cash register
5. National Geographic
6. MTV
7. T-Mobile Ringtone
8. McDonald’s
9. ‘Star Spangled Banner’
10. State Farm

And the top 10 branded sounds are:

1. Intel
2. National Geographic
3. MTV
4. T-Mobile
5. McDonald’s
7. State Farm
8. AT&T Ringtone
9. Home Depot
10 Palm Treo Ringtone

You can listen to all of the sounds by following this link to the Fast Company Web site.

Have you considered the importance of sound in building your brand?  Sounds like now is the time to do so.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

I understand the Intel sound ranking so high, but what exactly is the McDonald’s sound…it’s more of a song isn’t it?

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