Musicology to guide the strategy, creation, and implementation of your SONIC BRANDING


Collaborate with a musicologist to enhance your sonic branding strategies, ensuring they resonate with your target audience and drive impactful results.


With Thomas Dickson’s (PhD) expertise in musicology, composition, and digital marketing, unlock the potential of your brand’s sonic identity.


Embrace the benefits of musicology in branding to create evidence-based strategies that influence consumer behaviour and emotions effectively.


Integrate musicological insights throughout your branding process, from strategy to implementation, to craft a distinctive sonic identity aligned with your brand’s values.



Enhance your brand’s impact by leveraging the power of sonic logos across various touchpoints, from social media to in-store placements. Even a 1% improvement in engagement or attention can multiply across millions of interactions, making sonic branding an essential and cost-effective strategy for lasting influence. ⇗

Why Further Optimise Your Sonic Branding?

Pause and consider the multitude of platforms where your visual logo is displayed: your website, social media profiles, digital and television ads, mobile apps, company videos, presentations, and even in-store placements. These channels collectively expose your brand to millions of potential customers. Research suggests that, on average, a customer interacts with a brand eight times before making a purchase, with each interaction serving as an opportunity to reinforce your brand visually.

However, branding goes beyond the visual domain. Incorporating a sonic logo effectively spans across these touchpoints and leverages auditory avenues such as podcasts, radio and Spotify advertisements, and telephone hold music. In today’s era of multitasking and multi-screen engagement, these auditory elements wield significant influence. Over time, a meticulously crafted sonic logo can become synonymous with a brand for generations, akin to renowned examples like Intel or McDonald’s.

Investing in optimizing your sonic branding delivers lasting dividends. While the initial investment may seem like a one-time cost, the benefits, even if seemingly modest at first, amplify across the vast expanse of customer touchpoints. Imagine a mere 1% increase in capturing attention, or a 1% improvement in engagement, or a 1% shift in customer behaviour, multiplied by millions of customer interactions. This illustrates the significant potential for impact and underscores why effective branding is often hailed as the most economical marketing strategy.



Harness the expertise of musicologists to elevate your sonic branding strategy through scholarly insights and rigorous analysis. Their deep understanding of music psychology ensures your brand’s sounds resonate emotionally and effectively with your audience. ⇗

Why Further Optimise Your Sonic Branding?

When seeking specialised guidance, musicologists bring a scholarly approach to music, typically through doctoral programs or the publication of academic papers. They specialize in diverse disciplines such as music history, ethnography, performance, theory, therapy, and education. Particularly pertinent to sonic branding is the field of music psychology, which explores how individuals perceive sounds and the emotions they evoke.

By employing rigorous scholarly methods, musicologists can investigate, provide insights, conduct research, or analyse specific desired outcomes and musical techniques. This approach facilitates objective decision-making and instils greater confidence in the sonic branding strategy.



Thomas uniquely blends music psychology, composition, and digital marketing to craft emotionally resonant sonic branding. His extensive academic background, industry recognition, and innovative projects highlight his ability to transform how audiences perceive and connect with your brand through sound. ⇗

Why Collaborate with Thomas Dickson (PhD)?

Thomas embodies an enduring fascination with how music evokes emotions and shapes listener perception. His journey commenced under the mentorship of Grammy Award Nominee Robin A. Smith, igniting his passion for understanding the intricate interplay between music and perception. Pursuing this passion, Thomas obtained a Bachelor’s degree in contemporary music composition, specializing in film scoring at the University of Melbourne. His compositions graced screens at various international short film festivals, showcasing his exceptional talent and creativity.
Continuing his academic pursuit, Thomas delved into the evolutionary roots of musical perception under the guidance of evolutionary musicologist Joseph Jordania, culminating in an Honours degree. His scholarly journey culminated in a doctoral degree from the University of New South Wales, where he focused on unravelling the psychology behind music’s profound impact on the listener’s state.

Thomas’s expertise has garnered recognition on esteemed platforms such as Radio National NZ, Illawarra Drive (ABC), Daily Mail UK, Shape Magazine, and international podcasts. His insights have been featured in the book “The Sleep Fix.” Notably, Thomas spearheaded the development of an AI ambient music app, tailored to induce relaxation in listeners, after successfully securing investment for and completing Queensland University of Technology’s “Collider Startup Accelerator.”

Beyond his musical prowess, Thomas possesses a keen interest in digital marketing strategy, honed through his tenure in agencies. He draws inspiration from Carol S. Pearson’s 12 Branding Archetypes, enriching his holistic approach to sonic branding.



Transform your sonic branding by shifting from personal preferences to evidence-based practices. This fusion of art and science leverages expert creativity and scientific insights, ensuring your brand’s sound is impactful and grounded in facts, not biases. ⇗

What are the Advantages of Musicology?

Sonic branding strategists, musicologists, composers, and clients all have their musical inclinations. We may favour specific music styles, instruments, or other musical elements. Adopting a scientific approach entails removing personal biases from the creative process, focusing instead on leveraging the composer’s expertise and creativity alongside evidence-based insights from the musicologist. It’s a fusion of Art and Science, grounded in facts rather than subjective opinions.


Objective &
Unbiased ⇗

Objectivity:

Eliminates subjectivity and biases, relying on data-driven insights and objective criteria.

Measurable
Outcomes ⇗

Measurable Outcomes:

Facilitates the use of metrics and analytics to assess the effectiveness of the sonic branding strategy.

Target Audience
Alignment ⇗

Target Audience Alignment:

Ensures that sonic elements resonate with the preferences and cultural expectations of the target audience, rather than individual preferences.

Psychological
Impact ⇗

Psychological Impact:

Harnesses music psychology to effectively influence consumer behaviour and emotions.

Competitive
Advantage ⇗

Competitive Advantage:

Utilises research to differentiate the brand uniquely in a competitive market landscape.

Expedited
Decision-Making ⇗

Expedited Decision-Making:

Prioritises meeting objectives over personal preferences, reducing the need for revisions by establishing clear priorities.

Legal and Ethical
Considerations ⇗

Legal and Ethical Considerations:

By avoiding taste-driven choices, brands mitigate the risk of unintentional copyright infringement, safeguarding themselves from legal entanglements.

Broad Audience
Appeal ⇗

Broad Audience Appeal:

Steering clear of personal preferences enhances the likelihood of creating sonic elements that resonate with a broader audience, thereby expanding the brand’s appeal and reach.

Market
Adaptability ⇗

Market Adaptability:

By sidestepping personal biases, brands can remain attuned to evolving trends and consumer behaviour, ensuring the ongoing relevance and competitiveness of their sonic identity.



STRATEGY ⇗

Engaging a musicologist during the briefing stage can profoundly influence the direction of your sonic branding. Their insights can be translated into actionable strategies by composers.

STRATEGY EXAMPLES

Expert Insight: Offering recommendations on musicological techniques to incorporate into the sonic branding strategy.

Literature Review: Delving into music-related literature to align with desired client outcomes and industry or cultural impacts.

Testing: Conducting customer research on musical preferences and perceptions to shape the brand representation through music.

CREATION ⇗

Before introducing sonic branding assets to the public, there is value in scientifically assessing the music. This internal review allows for the identification of potential issues in a controlled environment.

CREATION EXAMPLES

Expert Insight: Identifying opportunities and addressing concerns regarding the composed sonic branding in relation to listener perception.

Analysis: Utilising music analysis techniques, such as aural and data analysis, to identify similarities to competitors sonic logo.

Testing: Evaluating composed sonic logos for preference and differentiation against competitors across audience segments, ensuring alignment with the brief.

IMPLEMENTATION ⇗

The way clients utilise sonic branding, often outlined in a style guide, is pivotal. Incorporating a scientific approach to guide or assess the impact of sonic branding across different contexts can be invaluable for evolving brands.

IMPLEMENTATION EXAMPLES

Expert Consultation: Reviewing the channels and materials where the sonic branding is implemented.

Performance Assessment: Analysing metrics, such as advertisement or video performance duration, to assess the impact of music and sonic logos.

Testing: Conducting analyses on the sounds impact at various customer touch points.



The Audio Brand Tone of Voice ⇗

The Audio Brand Tone of Voice:

Within the branding documentation lies a crucial tool: the ‘Audio Brand Tone of Voice’ questionnaire. Unlike traditional tone of voice documents, this questionnaire adopts a musical perspective. Each query directly influences your sonic branding, translating into musical decisions that resonate with your brand’s essence. For example, choosing between “Raw/Unpolished vs Refined/Polished” could determine whether your sonic branding features a crunchy distorted guitar or a clean jazz guitar. By using familiar language, this document ensures that your sonic branding authentically reflects your business ethos.

Musicology for Sonic Branding Strategy ⇗

Musicology for Sonic Branding Strategy:

Comprising a concise compendium of over 25 musicology techniques (and growing), this document is your gateway to capturing attention, shaping perceptions, and influencing moods. These meticulously curated techniques empower your sonic branding to elicit specific customer responses. For instance, deploying an “Earworm” technique can keep your brand top-of-mind, akin to auditory clickbait that loops irresistibly in the customer’s mind.

Strategies for Distinctive Sonic Logos ⇗

Strategies for Distinctive Sonic Logos:

In today’s competitive landscape, standing out is paramount. A distinctive sonic logo can be your secret weapon. This comprehensive approach involves a thorough comparison of your sonic logo against competitors across various musical dimensions such as instrumentation, the pace of the music and rhythm etc. An additional analysis evaluates the melody of the sonic branding for distinctiveness. Moreover, crafting more distinctive melodies may mitigate the risk of legal entanglements related to music plagiarism.

Objective Evaluation Process ⇗

Objective Evaluation Process:

Simple yet highly effective, this process revolves around collaboratively defining a hierarchy of requirements for the sonic branding. Leveraging music composition and musicology techniques, each requirement receives meticulous attention during asset creation. What sets this approach apart is the objective evaluation process. Stakeholders are invited to rate how well the sonic assets fulfill individual requirements via a brief survey. Assets are then revised based on priority and feedback, ensuring alignment with the brief’s objectives.

Not Sure If Musicology Is Right for You?