Founder of The Sound Agency
Julian is the founder and chairman of The Sound Agency, an audio branding consultancy that asks and answers the question: “How does your brand sound?” For over 10 years The Sound Agency has been proving that good sound is good business for clients such as Harrods, Nokia and BP, using sound to increase sales, customer satisfaction and brand value. Recently, The Sound Agency has launched Moodsonic®, a range of biophilic soundscapes designed to increase wellbeing and productivity in open-plan offices and other key spaces. Julian is also author of the books “Sound Business” and “How to Be Heard”. Collectively Julian’s five TED.com talks on sound have been viewed an estimated 100 million times. His latest talk, “How to speak so that people want to listen”, is in the top 10 TED talks of all time. Julian is regularly featured as a sound and communication expert in the world’s radio, print and web media, including TIME Magazine, The Economist and The Times.
1:00 | Julian talks about the services provided by The Sound Agency and highlights the need for appropriate sound in branding.
2:25 | Julian discusses the negatives of background music in commercial and public spaces.
5:03 | Julian describes the factors considered by The Sound Agency when they designed a soundscape for Mall of the Emirates.
6:05 | Julian expands upon the definition of a “soundscape” and talks about some of the positive experiences made possible by soundscapes.
9:35 | Julian discusses how creating soundscapes involves a mix of research and creativity. He explains that when different groups of people hear sounds, they often have conflicting reactions.
11:50 | Julian describes some of the methods used by The Sound Agency to express a brand. He continues by advocating for the use of sonic logos.
14:44 | Julian explores his involvement with TED talks, and recounts some of his experiences.
18:39 | Julian recalls the first business he started, and the problems he faced. He details the growth of the business, and the issues that resulted from selling the company.
21:35 | Julian explains why he started The Sound Agency, referencing his experience as a drummer in his awareness and interest in sound.
27:07 | Alan asks Julian whether there was a moment when he knew The Sound Agency would be successful. Julian responds by explaining that he holds a general belief that things will “work out”.
29:35 | Julian reflects on the challenges of launching The Sound Agency, emphasizing the difficulty of selling a product that people don't realise they need.
32:26 | Julian shares his learnings. He emphasises the importance of recognising his own weaknesses, and of building a strong team to compensate.
35:50 | Alan identifies that due to the company's philosophy, many of The Sound Agency's employees work remotely. Alan asks Julian to share any tips he may have for companies having to adapt to remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Julian responds by underlining the importance of setting boundaries between working and personal life, and of prioritising personal values.
44:58 | Julian expresses his excitement for a new nature-based sound product for workspaces. He explains his plans for his place in the company in the future.
50:00 | Alan wraps up the interview, thanking Julian for coming on the show.