How brands grow

The third book on the How brands grow theory by Byron Sharpe has a focus on brand assets, and more in particular on sound as a brand asset. That is why we teamed up with Blauw Research, to instigate a research on brand sounds. Awareness on sound as an important brand asset is definitely increasing these days amongst the brand- and marketing peoples. We decided to test today’s state of sound.


To find out more about the state of brand sound recognition in The Netherlands, Blauw & BLCKBRD conducted a study amongst thousand respondents. 

The study examined 35 brands divided over 7 sectors; supermarkets, telecom, insurances, drinks, food, energy and retailers. Apart from FMCG Unox, two retailers were among the positive outliers: Albert Heijn and Hornbach. There is not a single brand in the Telecom and Energy sector which scores in the (upper) right quadrant. Instead, there’s confusion all around. 


The study shows that brand sounds in the Netherlands have a low awareness. Apart from a few exceptions (3 out of 35 brands), less than half of consumers attributed the correct brand to the corresponding brand sound, after they were presented with the sound during 3 seconds. Moreover, there is abundant brand confusion. As many as 20 brands are more linked to another brand, than to their own brand (see dark cloud on the bottom left).

Even when we present the auditive fragment and the brand at the same time, it turns out the recognizability and uniqueness of brand sounds have major potential for improvement. Research indicates that logos and colors score far better.

Detailed results can be downloaded HERE, please contact us for more details or go to