Turning Up Brand Volume: How Music Can Enhance Brand Equity

Open Access
Popescu, Alicia Lynn
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Karen Page Winterich, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jennifer Chang Coupland, Honors Advisor
  • Jennifer Chang Coupland, Faculty Reader
  • Music
  • Advertising
  • Brand Equity
  • Sonic Identity
  • Marketing
How can advertisers use music to enhance brand equity in order to transcend the commercial space and leave a lasting impression on the minds of consumers? The purpose of this study is to understand the consumer perspective of music in advertising and to develop best practices for incorporating music into a branding strategy. Looking at the past and present of music and advertising, one can see both industries have faced parallel challenges due to the digital era. We will use the expertise of music planners from the creative and music licensing firm, Music Dealers, to understand how these two industries are merging together to form a symbiotic relationship. Through a case study featuring Coca-Cola, we will see how advertisers are taking advantage of the enticing elements of music to grab the attention of consumers and pull them out of a cluttered ad space. Music can define a brand, giving it ‘sonic identity.’ Through my Musical Sophistication and Sonic Identity Experiment, I have found that musically sophisticated consumers can have more of an impact over brand equity and profitability compared to other consumers. Ultimately, advertisers need to engage this segment in creative, innovative, and musical ways in order to transcend the 30-second commercial space and turn up brand volume.