The Importance of a Brand's Sound Identity

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the VOICE Summit at NJIT to speak with Brent Barcus, Owner & Strategist, i65music, about the importance of a brand’s sound identity and the creative process behind composing a company’s sonic logo.

10/12/19 #118






"Welcome to the Voice Summit, here at NJIT, in Newark, New Jersey. It is our honor to meet for the first time, Brent Barcus, who is owner and Sound Strategist at i65music, which is? The audio branding agency. Oh, come on. You...? [laughter] Listen, let's break this down. Audio brand...? Is it sound branding? Audio branding? Or does it mean the same thing? That's all... yeah, it's kind of the same thing. What does that mean? That means, you know, all brands want to... they have a visual, but you... do you know what a brand sounds like? So it's creating those strategic audio assets that a brand uses, so that you recognize that brand through audio. Right. You threw me off here. I spent five years of my life writing a book called You Are the Brand. I'm not plugging it. [laughter] It's out of circulation. I never mentioned this field. Maybe because it was ten years ago? Yeah. Well, remember the jingle. I mean, you know. Oh, okay, is that it? Okay. Yeah. It's the modern day... So you guys have done work for Purina? Yeah. Hexbug? A whole bunch of other folks? Yeah. Are you saying to really be a brand, identify today in a competitive... very competitive complex marketplace, you gotta have a sound? That's right. Absolutely. Everyone? Well, now with... you know, with screenless technology, why we're here with the Voice Summit with the audio and the voice happening? Hey, people aren't gonna be... as much, you know, using their thumbs. They're not gonna be looking at screens. So how do I recognize your brand through that voice or through that sound that they're hearing, so it's ultimately recognizable? And then they want to order... they... you know, they want to use your brand based on that sound? What do you have to find out? Sorry for interrupting. What do you have to find out, right? About about a brand? Before you and your colleagues can come up with a sound? We go through... we love to have the branding playbook. So it can be mood, genre, what key...? Market? Market... Market matters? Yeah, absolutely. Who the market is matters? Mm hmm. Market... age, demographic obviously. Really? Well, sonically. I mean, you know, so... Give me an example. Okay. Let's see. A younger brand? What's a young brand? Let's see... Give me a young brand team. Apple. Apple? Apple. Okay. Well, I'm not gonna do probably something... I turn to our younger producers. You're not gonna... I'm not gonna do something... ...get it from me. ...too symphonic. Okay. Okay. Do a... I'm probably gonna go urban. I'm gonna go urban. Urb...? So I'm gonna do beats. I'm gonna... you know, I'm gonna... my sonic brand..."