Music is an easily overlooked, yet incredibly beneficial component of a successful brand, but just why is music so often overlooked?  Essentially because music is so intrinsic to our existence as humans that we often don’t even consciously acknowledge how much it actually affects us.  Music is sticky.  From a simple, but catchy jingle to a brilliant musical movie score, music surrounds us, envelops us and gets locked in our minds, never to be set free again.

Let’s Go To The Movies

Think about it: Music Evokes Emotion

  • Would Jaws be as scary without the tension created by that theme song of impending ocean doom? The truth is, kids today who haven’t even seen the movie, still know this original piece by composer John Williams.
  • Speaking of the famed virtuoso John Williams, how about the sense of adventure and excitement we draw from the Indiana Jones theme?  Or how about that lasting impression of universal power that overtakes us when we hear The Imperial March from Star Wars?

Talk about standing the test of time!  The first Jaws movie was released in 1975.  The first Star Wars movie?  1977.  Even Raiders of the Lost Ark dates back to 1981.  And since we’re still on the topic of exceptional (not to mention memorable) scores by John Williams, can you believe the first Harry Potter movie was released ten years ago already?  Did you know that Jurassic Park was released back in ’93?

Commercials R Us

Think about it: Music is Instantly Recognizable

  • How immediately recognizable is the Intel Inside theme?  Just five (5!) simple notes define an entire corporation – instantly.  Pretty amazing, if you ask me.
  • Even the McDonald’s red and yellow, ever-present brand becomes even more recognizable with the fairly recent addition of the ba-da-ba-ba-ba (I’m lovin’ it) theme notes.  Interestingly enough, even in translation, the brand message remains the same.

With just a handful of notes, these solely musical brand components are instantly recognizable to millions of people, worldwide.  As I’ve said many times before,  great branding means that your target market will immediately recognize your brand, never confusing your company, product or service with the competition.

As on TV

Think about it: Music is Memorable

  • What would The Simpsons be without its signature opening theme song?  Written by the also prolific Danny Elfman, this song’s completely unique sound with its lively twists and turns perfectly compliments what is now the longest running animated series, the longest running sitcom and also the longest running primetime entertainment series in American television history.
  • The unforgettable NBC Nightly News theme has been around since 1985 (and was also written by, you guessed it, John Williams).
  • How many times have you (or your favorite football fan) run to the couch upon hearing the ESPN Monday Night Football theme? In this case, the music is not only memorable, but it also stirs people to action in just a few notes!

Music is a Branding Gem


  • evokes emotion,
  • is instantly recognizable, and
  • is incredibly memorable.

And if your anything like my husband, if you put it to music, he instantly remembers the tune, lyrics and ultimately the message.  Now, isn’t that exactly what we want for our own great brands?  Yes!  Perhaps it’s time to rethink how we use music outside the entertainment industry.  (And I’m not suggesting hiring John Williams – but wouldn’t that be nice?)  Think about it: the possibilities are endless!