Without stating the obvious, but lets state it anyway, providing an effective and focused audio brief is in many cases more than half the battle. Fortunately we are not alone in this battle.
By working with Europe’s leading branding agencies we have developed a solid understanding and have become familiar to the varied and interesting ways in which branding designs are briefed and introduced to the designers from a channel brand perspective.
In other words we borrow the best bits from everyone else’s branding briefing process and we apply them to our needs combined with our own specific expertise in terms of briefing for audio. In this we have also discovered how similar the processes of designing a visual brand and designing an audio brand can be. Before we get near to the creative work itself we need to have an understanding and clear perception of the channel, it’s key values, it’s statement, its positioning etc . . .
This is often – as you will probably know – referred to as the “channel audit”. Quite often, as in the SF example, we will receive a lot of background and detailed marketing information, which does of course help and assist us in understanding the channel’s goals in design, although we often find that from an audio perspective the challenge is to simplify and break down this information to a core list of key values and intentions. Although, in some cases this breakdown is already provided by you . . . the agency or channel.
From this broken down summary and understanding of the core key values that have been prioritized, we then discuss, explore, study and absorb the direction and visual cues and designs, we can also begin to assess (in our opinion) which key values and intentions are conveyed and transmitted through the visual designs, and maybe even suggest values that are not being effectively conveyed that we can maybe enhance through the pending audio design elements.
We now have the opportunity to enhance and support the values that are already contained in the visual design itself, and / or we can focus on the values of the channel that are not (or not as effectively) transmitted as others through the visuals.
But let’s be slightly realistic, in our experience we have found that with a very short piece of audio it’s not really possible to transmit an unlimited and endless array of values. I believe you should aim for 2 or 3 core key values in an Audio Ident design. And I stress the word “Aim” because of course there will often be more values desired than this, but aiming for a more specific and targeted group of values will – in our experience – be more effective in the end result . . .