“I really like creating but it is a lot of work and one thing that I have noticed is that companies and even industries do not fully understand the potential of sonic branding.”
This episode’s guest has over twenty years of audio experience, ranging from film composition and production music through the world of sonic branding and sound identity as a creator, strategist, and thought leader. Her company, Dreamr Productions, creates audio identities for companies and brands as well as consulting and educating on sound in marketing and its best practices.
She also produces, hosts, and edits the Sound In Marketing Podcast while teaching courses on The Fundamentals of Sound In Marketing. Her name is Jeanna Isham, and one reason I wanted her on the show is that she’s right there in the thick of things, creating and consulting to help people understand how powerful a strategic and intentional audio brand can really be. Besides that, she’s just a great person doing great things, and that’s something you need to know about.
Memories of Summer
“The sound of cicadas makes me so happy,” Jeanna says, recalling one of the sounds that always takes her back. “I have memories of sitting on my grandma’s back porch sipping ice tea, yelling over the cicadas to talk to people, and that is my happy place.” In the first segment, we take a look at how sound shaped her early life and dreams, from the tranquil hum of the cicadas to the music that helped inspire her as a teenager, from Sarah McLachlan to the Smashing Pumpkins.
It’s Not About Music
After trying her hand at traditional songwriting, Jeanna discovered that creating instrumental melodies and production music appealed to her more on a personal level. She soon discovered, though, that many companies still had a limited view of sonic branding, and hadn’t yet learned how to fully embrace its potential. “What it all whittles down to is that it’s not about music, it’s about sound. And when you take that limitation out of the mix,” she says, “it might come across as daunting, but the way I see it is that it’s liberating.”
The Power of Sound
By using the full power of sound, not just in the form of traditional jingles but in more innovative approaches like ambiance, licensed music, and even Spotify playlists, Jeanna explains how audio branding can make a deeper, more lasting impression than many people realize. “If it was a pleasurable experience,” she explains, “and it was strong enough of an experience, then you are advertising to your customer without having to be present. That’s power.”
Next week we’ll continue the interview with a look at Jeanna’s podcast series, her monthly Sound on Purpose chats, and the direction she sees sonic branding and the future of sound taking.
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This interview episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco.