In our previous article, we broke down how to set up the music brief for audio branding projects, with the help of the HolaBrief framework.
In this article, however, we are going to deep dive into how we translate the music brief into audio logos with real case studies, selected from almost a decade of experience creating Audio Brand Identities. As I mentioned in my previous article, Audio Branding branches down from Branding. When doing the creative work, there’s a certain sensibility, interpretation, and subjectivity involved. That’s when having a strong music briefing system pays off.
Professional experts of brand design need to have a “why” behind every decision they make and that’s why asking the right questions in the briefing process is crucial, to defend the creative process while presenting. It also helps to measure success, which is key to developing a successful career in the long run.
Below you’ll discover real case studies of how our Audio Branding Studio translated those music briefs into effective audio logos:
Case study 1: What you see or listen, is what you get
Beepure is a selected food brand from Argentina that started in the honey industry but soon expanded its product range with innovative packaging. They built their brand around the design they created for their jars, which were kept being used by their clients once the product was consumed.
Beepure, didn’t want to be related exclusively with honey. We were commissioned to create an Audio logo for their overall brand image. Their brand motto is: “natural food, quality, passion, and design”.
The biggest challenge we faced in this particular case was that the client was really scared about delegating their Brand’s audio logo to someone other than themselves. Most entrepreneurs do everything themselves so when the time to delegate comes, they usually struggle. We needed to earn their trust!
To earn the trust of the client, we organized a series of discovery workshops in our studio as part of setting up the music brief of this project. We had to discover the why behind the new branding image of Beepure. In one of these discovery workshops, the phrase “What you see is what you get” came up, meaning they worked with a lot of transparency in the jars so people could see what they were about to buy. That phrase resonated with us so we asked them to give us samples of their products so we could “sample” the sounds, and started to create from there.
We created a sound library with samples we got from the actual jars, grains, jams, beers, and juices to create their audio logo, and they loved it. Not just because we were able to nail the sound identity they were looking for, but because there was a why and a story behind it. Here’s the finished audio logo:
Case study 2: Emotional Range
Directv Latin America is a Satellite TV service provider company that belongs to the AT&T family.
In 2018 we were asked to create the new Audio logo and audio brand book of Directv Latin America, by FutureBrand. We were briefed that we needed to reflect the emotional range of all the TV programming Directv offers: Drama, News, Comedy and cartoons. Plus the new campaign tagline was “You in ON mode” with a UI state change switch. We needed to illustrate the switch with sound and come up with an Audio logo that would not only represent the brand but also be embraced by the different markets.
The main goal and greatest challenge of the project were to bring consistency to the different markets because each country was using local brand voices, communication tone, and different music tracks that weren’t in line with the overall market positioning. The brand was perceived as a technology-driven company but now they intended to bring the spotlight on the brand experience and broadcasted content. This was the first time the company was developing an Audio logo so it was a real challenge to get all the decision-makers involved to agree.
We came up with an audio logo that has a recognizable melody, which is important to improve the brand's memorability, a sound that represents the switch of “you in ON mode” which was the client request regarding the new brand tagline and we also finishes with a snap that gives the audio logo a human touch.
As for the Audio Brand Book, we created a presentation with guidelines aimed at the people that were going to be in charge of implementing the audio logo in Brand communications and On-Air pieces. We also included guidelines of Brand voices and communication tones depending on the content of each communication. Here’s the finished audio logo:
Case study 3: The Soundtrack of your life
Create unique and iconic sounds for personal brands.
Translating a brand’s values or concepts into sound is easier than creating a personal brand’s sound. Generally speaking, brand values are less intricate and complex than a person’s identity. Plus there’s a lot of subjectivity when it comes to deciding what sound or music represents a person. The outcome has to support the personality and be as unique as any of us.
For Tom Ross’s audio logo we were briefed to create warm sounds, in line with Tom’s approachable and caring but professional brand. With Michael Janda on the other hand we needed to come up with something that would be complementary with the audio assets Mike was already using in his courses “Freelance with Janda”.
Sometimes we help our clients envision their brands. For example, during a call with Ian Paget where we discussed the creative direction of the Logo Geek podcast, some ideas came up that helped him see the bigger picture.
To gather enough information for the music brief, we generally ask questions in the discovery meeting like:
What music do you like?
What kind of content are you going to create?
Who is your audience?
These questions together with our experience and our interpretation of the brands we work with are the starting point of creating audio logos that will become their audio signature and in a way the soundtrack of their lives. Listen to the result of these personal audio logos below:
The ideas for designing audio logos that represent the values and concepts of a brand are collected based on the information in the music brief. Nevertheless, it would be unfair not to mention the interpretation, imagination, and sensitivity of the creative team. This is the key to achieving a long-term reputation with audio branding: working with a creative team where each individual thinks and experiences the world around us differently.