Sound Communication

Sound Communication – Towards a new understanding of briefing communication in the sound branding process

Speaker: Cornelius Stiegler, Berlin University of the Arts


This paper addresses the question of how precise and efficient communication about sound can be achieved in a sound branding process, modelled in a principal-agent-relationship of interdependent economic systems. Therefore the concept of “precision of sensibility” is introduced as an alternative understanding of client communication than the concept of ‘translating the brand into sound’ based on brand values or identity concepts. A qualitative study was conducted, analysing eight interviews with sound branding experts.

The results indicate, that the most promising results for achieving a mutual understanding between client and agency are in defining a “space of possibility” for the effects of sound, rather than describing sound itself. An analysis of the experts’ communicative strategies shows that the concept of “precision of sensibility” is already being utilized, despite the agencies need to create plausibility for their results. Consequently a new model for understanding communication about sound is introduced.