Best Practice Sonic Branding

Extract from Sonic Branding: An Introduction - how the sonic branding industry has looked to the world’s leading visual and experiential branding agencies for best practice process.

Chapter 17 - Brand Brief

We realised quickly that in order to build sonics from a brand perspective, with the flexibility to work across all platforms and media through time, we would have to start with a very solid understanding of the brand before we got near to the creative work itself.

Luckily, we were not the first business that needed to establish how to take a brief on the nature of a brand. By working with the world’s leading visual and experiential branding agencies, we became exposed to the many ways in which graphic and 3D design are briefed from a brand perspective. Igor Stravinsky once said that a good composer does not imitate; he steals. I like to think that what we did was steal the best bits of everyone else’s brand-briefing process and apply them to our needs.

We need the brand brief to inform our creative work and make it consistent with everything else that the brands puts out as touch points. With it, we can generate consistency and, though it is sometimes a long and drawn out process, the long-term reward for getting it right at this stage is that it enables the rest of the process to move more smoothly. Specifically, the brand brief involves the brand guardians imparting their knowledge of the central belief or big idea of the brand. Certain scenarios facilitate this. 

Where brand guardians have called upon the services of a strategic branding agency such as Landor or Enterprise IG before addressing sonics, the central belief of the brand is almost always clearly visible in the work that these agencies carry out. As a result, access to documents such as the brand guidelines can give us additional information to supplement the discussion sessions that must inevitably take place. Written documents can never be the only source of a brand brief as they are often open to wide interpretation but they give great clues to the formal nature of the brand. They also demonstrate how the brand is already interpreted graphically. Visual branding has many parallels with sonic branding and by viewing logos, fonts, shapes and colours, we can be inspired regarding the sonic interpretations yet to come.

Daniel M Jackson, CEO - CORD