For many people design thinking and creative processes are messy and seem intangible to quantify to business success. We talk to Bron Harrison, founder of BRECORDING and Sonic Branding expert, about how the creative process together with atmospherics can leave a lasting impact.
“Creativity is a way of thinking that allows you to apply problem-solving and fresh perspective to come up with a new solution,” shares Bron Harrison, an expert in the creative process and currently completing her Masters in Creative Industries, alongside running her Sonic Branding business BRECORDING. Creativity is a reasonably abstract concept to define, but Bron says a recent definition describes it as “problem-solving with novelty” while she takes it even further to add, “it’s the amalgamation of pre-existing ideas coming together to form something new. Every idea has to come from somewhere, whether it’s something we’ve learnt, seen or heard. Our experiences shape these ideas and the act of creativity is how these are then combined in new ways.”
Bron’s professional experience as a Sonic Branding expert brings together a background in music with business psychology and consumer behaviour. Her creative process, much like in any other creative industry, involves asking questions, researching and undertaking an ethnographic approach (studying the demographics and psychographics of the target market). “When developing a new concept for a client I spend a lot of time asking questions. You have to be able to step back and be objective, this where you can ensure a successful outcome for the business.” The desired effect in
creating a custom brand sound is to essentially elicit an emotional response. In much the same way that Bron uses sounds to create a unique sound, whitewood brings together aesthetics to create spaces that create an emotional connection – whether through design devices like proportion, lighting or scale, or with other considerations like materiality. The combination of these sensory elements – sound, smell, touch, look and taste – coming together, particularly in an environment like a restaurant, café or hotel, is called atmospherics. To make sure that the right mix comes together to produce the right response is where this process blends with design thinking. At its core design thinking is about empathy and trying to really understand the end-user. “The best way to engender empathy is to simply ask questions. But they need to be questions without bias. That’s how you can truly unpack the end-user and produce something that will connect – whether it’s a bespoke soundscape, or a completely unique interior environment,” explains Bron.
What’s also worth recognising is that design professionals hone their abilities in design thinking over decades and across myriad project types and scales. In this regard, a designer continues to develop knowledge, skills and expertise that can be injected into a project, adding extra layers of connection, often in completely unseen ways but are truly felt. How can you use your brand or business to make people feel something? Many business owners think having a logo designed is all that’s needed but there is so much more that can be created, all of which add to the impact of your brand.