Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Sonic Branding - Music Production

(© 2016 Jon Brooks)



Definition of Sonic Branding? (Audio Branding, Sound Branding, Music Branding)
- An audible identity, a sound signature crafted to suit a brand aiming to achieve a sense of familiarity with audiences and consumers. Instilling trust and positivity. Sculpting specific music and/or audio frequencies into organised sound.

What is my composition process?
- I always start with a lot of questioning. What's the director's vision and how can I translate that message to the intended audience musically. This stays with me from the first note to the last. 
- What mood, instrumentation, tempo, orchestration and style of music will i choose and direct myself in?
- Do I need to create a theme that can then be exploited in various ways if required?
- I sometimes rely on musical cliches (stylistic devices employed that have an obvious emotional reaction), yet at the same time put my own stamp on it.
- My output is usually defined by visuals. This gives me a sense of what is required, along with the music brief from a creative director. 
- Generally I like to experiment until something feels 'right'. Often tinkling around on the piano or other instruments. I never wake up in the night with anything composed for me; I wish... although when I'm in the moment creating, it often pieces itself together and I wonder how it happened... Magic!
- I create music either digitally produced, with live musicians or the two combined.

Can music be used as a way of differentiating a brand from its competitors? In what way?
- Yes, because music can be created and used to reinforce a brand's identity along with their visuals. It assists a brand to locate a unique place in time and space. Music taps into the senses and the subconscious mind and can therefore evoke strong emotions and associations - these can be used to identify and manipulate one's mind. Sonic identity can help to form certain perceptions of a given brand. Being able to instantly identify a brand because of hearing a few notes and associate that with memories is powerful. Getting a catchy tune or motif looping in someone's mind is more influential than people realise. The memory and musical associations can last a lifetime.

How can music and audio add value to a brand?
- Music and audio can take a brand to another level. I like to believe that sound is equally as important as visual media. Where required, audio and music can be specifically crafted to sound expensive, classy, technological, futuristic, positive or familiar... helping to build relationships, reliance and trust with products and brands. Certain musical devices can be employed to manipulate consumers and their perceptions. Music is highly influential. Words alone might not always tell people how unique a product or brand is. "Music expresses what cannot be said".

Once a sonic identity has been established it can also be re-produced, transposed, remixed, re-arranged and adapted to suit individual productions for the same brand. As long as the thematic elements are still recognised; even at the very least, if only on a subconscious level.

(© 2016 Jon Brooks)

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