Saturday, November 16th, 2019  |  Columbia College, Chicago


The thing about being an avid explorer of the world is that exploration never sleeps. At The Sound, we have the privilege of listening to, learning from, and practicing empathy with people as part of the work that we do. We love it so much – truth is, we’d probably do it for free. And we do!

This past Saturday, Sounders Isabelle and Sonja attended the True Chicago conference, an annual summit from and for the Chicago creative community. A diverse lineup of industry leaders spoke their creative truths about how they got where they are today, complete with failures, lessons, and fake-it-till-you-make-it-moments.

Image courtesy of @truechicago | @ohkayshoot, @korypowell


From street artist Sentrock and community builder Rich Alapack of We All Live Here to music director/ designer Mike Carson and Hamilton cast-member Colby Lewis, they all had one message in common: know who you are and what you stand for. Then. Stay true to that in all that you do. When in doubt, come back to your purpose. Be authentic always.

It was hard to not immediately connect this strong advice to brand strategy and purpose work. Having a purpose, as an artist and as a brand, provides you with a North Star. Something to guide you in times of change, growth, and adversity. As these artists and creatives so beautifully expressed, understanding what you’re about is almost like having your own language with the people you want to reach. The word authenticity is thrown around a lot these days, but it’s not a standalone trait. As a brand, you have to be authentically something.

The similarities between brand purpose work and finding your truth as an artist are striking. As visionary Jim Stengel says: “The fastest-growing businesses in the world have a leader whose relationship to the business is not primarily that of an operator, but an artist whose primary medium is an ideal”.

At The Sound, one of our favorite things to do is to help brands find that purpose. To look up from their products or services and ask themselves what they truly stand for. At the end of the day, what people really care about is why you do what you do. And if you ever need a reminder of what that looks like, you can always find inspiration in the Chicago creative community. We sure did.

Shoutout to founder David Johnson and co-hosts Bianca Lackings and Vernon Deas for organizing this third annual edition of True Chicago Conference.

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