Developing Sonic Brand DNA with Michele Arnese

michele arnese on brand

Michele Arnese is the founder of the leading Sonic Branding Agency amp. His team has developed audio brands for clients such as Mercedes-Benz, Mastercard, BMW, UniCredit, and more. We discussed how to build audio brands, sonic identity, and more this week on the On Brand podcast.

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About Michele Arnese

Designed in Italy and assembled in Germany, Michele is a self-driven strategic and creative thinker with a strong entrepreneurial approach: he founded the worldwide leading Sonic Branding Agency amp in 2009. In the field of audio branding, he’s considered one of the world’s foremost experts, with clients including Mercedes-Benz, Mastercard, Deloitte, Porsche, BBVA, Geberit, BMW, UniCredit, MINI, Triumph, The Linde Group, and a range of international awards for his work with amp (among others, four Red Dot Awards in a row and an ADC in silver).

He’s a member of the prestigious Audio Branding Society and also a Guest Professor at the renowned design university NABA/Nuova Accademia delle Belle Arti in Milan, where he teaches Sound Branding for the Master’s Certificate in Sound Design.

Episode Highlights

“Every brand has a sound. The question is who defines it?” Michele began our exploration of sonic branding with this truth bomb.

Is audio branding more of a thing now or has it always been there? “You’re probably asking the wrong guy,” joked Michele, who’s run an audio branding agency since 2009! “But the fragmentation of the brand ecosystem is a big part of the recent activity.”

Where do you start with sonic branding? “We had to invent a process. First, you have to analyze the brand. Then we develop sonic principles based on this. We then create mood boards that reflect what we call the sonic brand DNA.”

Michele shared how the amp team worked with Mastercard on their new point-of-purchase sonic identity system. Want to hear more about this? I chatted with Mastercard CMO Raja Rajamannar about this here on the On Brand podcast. Listen now.

What’s one thing we can do to start our own audio branding journeys? “Open up your brand,” stresses Michele. “Everyone thinks they’re a DJ but you need to start with a design-oriented process supported by data.”

What brand has made Michele smile recently? As Michele noted, it’s great when a client can make you smile. He shared a smile from the Super Bowl work his team did for Avocados from Mexico.

To learn more, go to and connect with Michele on LinkedIn.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!