Mastercard, Shell and Apple retain top five spots in latest audio brand index

Fourth edition of the amp Best Audio Brands report shows positive correlation between sonic branding and brand value

Mastercard has again taken out the top spot in the fourth and expanded edition of amp’s Best Audio Brands Index.  

This year’s edition has been extended from 100 to 250 brands and used more than 10,000 data points to measure the use and efficiency of sonic branding across different industries. Mastercard was in the top spot for the third year in a row, and amp noted the brand used its sonic identity in more than 95 per cent of all audiovisual content.  

Shell and Apple also retained their top five positions in the list, coming in second and fourth, respectively. In third place was top five newcomer, Audi, while fifth position was taken by another fresh top five entrant, Philips. Filling out the rest of the top 10 were Sony PlayStation, Nintendo, BMW, State Farm and HDCF Bank.  

Amp said 75 per cent of the top 25 brands analysed for this year’s Best Audio Brands report utilise a sonic logo, with increasing swathes of them extending their audio efforts into digital channels (52 per cent on average this year versus 39 per cent last year). Across the 250 brands, 43 have owned music in some of their material, 52 per cent of the top 25 use custom music, and 94 of the total brands analysed have a sonic logo.  

The company also claimed it has strived for the first time to investigate the relationship between sonic strategy and brand value. A positive correlation between the two was reported, with technology and electronics brands providing the most direct correlation between high-ranking sonic strategy and brand value. It noted using a variety of touchpoints spanning the highly immersive user experience, brands such as Apple and Nintendo have continued to reap the benefits of a robust 360-degree sonic strategy, effectively commanding top billing in the worldwide consciousness within their sector.

Credit: amp

According to amp, a clear line can also be drawn between companies creating emotional connections with consumers via audio and stronger global awareness.

“Acceleration of sound and voice in digital storytelling over the past year has allowed more brands to see the benefit of building a holistic sonic strategy,” said Amp global CEO, Michele Arnese. “We have worked hard to evolve our ranking to include more brands and industries for 2022 and would like to congratulate this year’s leaders in their ability to recognise and implement an effective audio strategy, building consumer connections and brand recognisability.”

Amp head of strategy and research, Björn Thorleifsson, noted brands as a whole are becoming more strategic with the use of sound but said many still have a big journey ahead. Just shy of four in 10 brands in the list have a sonic logo, for example, but only 17 per cent have a sonic identity

“Quite a few brands have yet to employ a holistic strategy even given this year’s increase in sonic logo usage across BAB’s top 25 brands,” he commented. “As more online noise is generated, we expect to see increased investment from brands in sonic branding and owned music to stand out in the digital crowd.”

The amp Best Audio Brands report debuted in 2019 and quantifies a brand’s audio performance against criteria including customer trust, recognition, efficiency, and engagement. Amp’s partners on the report include Veritonic, Social Blade and a 10-strong panel of experts.

When it comes to recognition, the report showed industry sectors to score the highest for audio branding are luxury goods, automotive and energy. In contrast, those sectors scoring highest for trust are energy, travel and restaurants.  

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