1. Set your objectives up front. Are you building on an existing story or communicating a change? Are you trying to sell an image or lifestyle? Are you just trying to get some attention for the brand?

2. Honor others’ copyrights and protect what you create. Borrowing sound and music elements that are not copyright free will bring you a big fat, loud lawsuit. Brand noises are intellectual property and can be protected. The Sega scream is.

3. Think all touch points, not just the obvious. Packaging, phone messaging, direct mail, press kits, training tools, restrooms, showrooms, tradeshows, events, waiting areas, and displays are just a few sound spots.

4. Understand the difference between the people hearing the sound and the ones who care about listening to your story. Target your sounds carefully and test for insight, not insurance.