Techawachirakul and colleagues probed how sound can be used in branding; it is possible that their findings can also be applied more broadly. The researchers found via a sound timbre-focused study of sound logos (sogos) that “low-pitched sounds . . . are linked more with ruggedness and masculinity (vs. feminine traits with high-pitched sounds). . . . sogos created using feminine instruments (flute, English horn, oboe, harp, and violin) that connote positive valence are matched with sincerity. . . . sogos created with masculine (vs. feminine) instruments are more associated with ruggedness. . . . Low-frequency sounds are consistent with larger objects . . . and largeness cues masculinity. . . . sogos created using feminine (vs. masculine) instruments were better matched to competence and excitement.” Tubas or French horns are more masculine instruments and flutes or oboes more feminine ones, for example.
Monin Techawachirakul, Abhishek Pathak, Kosuke Motoki, and Gemma Calvert. 2023. “Influencing Brand Personality with Sonic Logos: The Role of Musical Timbre.” Journal of Business Research, vol. 168, 114169, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2023.114169