Acoustic Branding in All Dimensions – UBS

Speaker: Wilbert Hirsch (audio consulting group)
Client: UBS AG
Agency: audio consulting group GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)


Wherever UBS is heard, it sounds like UBS. This goal led us to realize a project that combines all measures of strategic acoustic branding. We focused on “clarity, truth & performance” – brand values of UBS. And we converted them into a holistic acoustic identity: emotional, multidimensional, international.
We thought…
…how to specifically elaborate an acoustic research design that sheds light on people’s emotions and associations related to music in general and brand values in particular. Additionally, we explored how best to convey results sonically.
We listened…
…to people from 7 different countries to understand their psychological schemes of defined brand values. Keeping in mind international project realization we also considered intercultural differences.
We thought again…
…and conducted a worldwide competitive review and benchmark analysis to be best prepared to develop the multiple-channel strategy covering all internal and external touch points. After transferring brand values into music parameters, we finally defined a composers briefing. This especially took into account UBS’ approach not to appear on high recognition value to safeguard integrity and respect clients. It rather focused on the emotional client benefit.
We inspired…
…by the creation of a distinct and flexible brand theme – formed to an acoustic logo and broadened to a world of sound expressing the clear, warm, and vigorous brand tonality. Since then we have been realizing numerous acoustic design elements across all channels and paid special attention to acoustic room conditioning in branches.
We orchestrate…
…the holistic implementation. Acoustic identity guidelines give support and supervision. Global trainings of stakeholders assure understanding and consistency. We conceptually and technically developed an online sound database – encompassing 5 defined music styles with content of more than 400 branded titles. As a brand guardian we globally assist marketing employees in individual questions… and we ensure: Wherever UBS is heard, it sounds like UBS.

Additional information

Please find the following information to gain further insight into project details. These are also attached as short animations.

1. UBS Acoustic Identity Guidelines
To create a lasting UBS acoustic identity, consistency across various channels is essential. But consistent does not mean rigid. The acoustic brand design is flexible enough to allow individual solutions to fulfill different functional requirements, and to avoid being overused. All these aspects are incorporated in the acoustic identity guidelines – prepared as interactive online brand management tool. This ensures a restraint and purposeful use that maximizes the impact and has positive influence on the effectiveness and efficiency of brand communication.

2. UBS Sound Database
The UBS Sound Database provides more than 400 branded titles that can be used for different applications, e.g. internal communication, Internet, presentations, TV spots, etc. All music titles are in compliance with the UBS acoustic identity guidelines and follow a clearly defined intellectual property strategy. Depending on the particular occasion, titles can be selected according to specific search criteria, e.g. style, instrumentation or intensity of single brand values.

Time period of realization

Project start: 2005, realization 2007-2011 (still ongoing)



Acoustic logo and examplary applications for telephone and podcast as well as brand music representing different styles and characteristics.