Archive for the ‘Music and Marketing’ Category

Fight of FlightYou might already be spending lots of time and money on creating the right visual identity – which is good – but the truth of the matter is that we now live in a world where a multi-sensory experience is expected. What’s more is that some of the senses you’ve been neglecting are processed quicker and have direct connections to your emotional core.

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Of course I’m a little biased when I say this, anytime is a good time to start thinking strategically about how your brand sounds. In all seriousness, there are times in the life of a business that make more sense to implement an audio branding strategy. In this post, I want to highlight the best times to figure out how your business sounds.

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One of the key components of creating a strong audio brand is flexibility. By creating an audio brand that is flexible will allow you to build your brand’s identity on a global scale and create a loyal customer in the process.

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We’ve known for a while that among web developers using music and sound online is a touchy subject. Well, TreBrand is here to push boundries, so I want to share with you a little bit of research along with a great example of a business using music on their website. Lets dig in!

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Audio branding mistake

Oftentimes we get asked to help companies with their on-hold music or IVR systems. Typically our clients for these types of projects are just getting started or they’ve had a system but it wasn’t customized to their needs. Now they are looking to step up their game, which is good for everyone involved including the customer who calls on our clients.

What sometimes happens is that companies also forget that a voice is needed for these types of projects. This isn’t so much a problem because it’s easy enough to book a professional voice actor or actress to do the job (click the link to visit our friends at However, it seems that it never gets budgeted for or that it gets neglected in some way or another. This is where the problem lies.

Instead of procuring a professional voice over, companies will use someone internally to save costs. I guess the thinking goes, “since we have a couple hundred people on staff surely we can find someone with a nice voice”. In general, this approach never turns out well.

What ends up happening is one of two things and sometimes both. First, the recording will be of low quality, sometimes with audible clicks and pops in the audio. Along with this, the clarity of the speech gets mangled. The other issue with this method is that there is very little opportunity to build brand equity. In order to build an audio identity you need to make sure you use your sound consistently across all sorts of mediums (we’ll be talking about the mediums in an upcoming post). Time and again, we’ve found that this is not possible when you use the voice of an employee as they usually have other responsibilities.

One thing to remember is that your phone system is your first point of contact with customers – you need to present a professional image. After all, you wouldn’t show up to a client meeting in sweatpants, unless of course you’re a personal trainer.

So, make sure you take the time to invest in a professional voice actor for all of your business activities. It’ll save you money and headaches in the long run and will help you build a stronger brand that can withstand the test of time.

You might remember the days spent at summer camp as being some of the most fun you’ve ever had. You developed skills you didn’t think you had and met some pretty cool people. However, some of these memories fade during the year when you’re not at camp.

Companies that have an extremly seasonal sales cycle, like football teams, golf stores, and mountain biking suppliers, all have the same challenge of keeping customers engaged during the off season. There are a few ways to do this, but we’ve found one camp in Connecticut is using audio branding to keep the memories alive.

Buck's Rock Gong

Buck’s Rock Gong

Buck’s Rock Creative and Performing Arts Camp is a unique place where campers get a chance to learn all sorts of creative skills, like acting, graphic design, and glass blowing. The camp has many rituals including putting on two fully produced musicals and trips off campus to see the Boston Pops.

As a former music counsellor at the camp, one of the memories I have is the hearing the sound of the camp gong. The camp gong isn’t an ordanary gong as it’s shaped like a giant cooper ring (see picture).

The gong itself is used to signal the time for certain events, like meals and put-to-bed time. On a typical day, you would hear the gong five or six times. As you can imagine, it gets burned into your mind as a camper or staff member.

The leaders at Buck’s Rock decided to take the sound of the gong and create a ringtone for anyone to download. Once you download the sound to your phone, everytime you get a call you will be reminded of camp.

Because of its functionaliy, developing a ringtone creates a way for memories to extend into the rest of the year. As long as you have good memories of the place associated with the sound, this will cause you to want to go again or share your experience. What more in case, the sound of the gong is so unique that I wouldn’t be surprised if people started asking you what that sound was, further extending the marketing reach of this audio brand asset to new people.

Overall, this approach fits our criteria for a great audio brand. So, good on you Buck’s Rock for taking the audio branding route!

Just recently, Coca-Cola released its 2014 FIFA World Cup anthem. They have always used music as a part of their overall strategy and in doing so they have created some memorable ads, but creating an anthem has become an expected part of their marketing plan at worldwide events as you’ll see in a minute.

Famous Coca-Cola advertisment

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Over the years, Canada has produced some pretty good beer. Many of these breweries have built an impressive brand. Some have gone international and others have stayed local.

In recent days, London welcomed a new player to the game – Forked River Brewing. Their design agency Honey Design has done a wonderful job on their visual identity and we expect great things from them in the future.

Looking at another local brewery, Steam Whistle Brewing (Toronto), we see another great brand who’s really found a place in the market. I wanted to feature them here as they’ve also done a great job in creating an audio brand.

First, they’ve captured the origins of the company’s headquarters, which was originally a roundhouse for trains to switch directions, in it’s audio logo of a train steam whistle. This creates a natural congruency to their brand. As we’ve talked about in the past, this is vital to building a strong audio identity.

The next thing that Steam Whistle did was leverage this sound in other areas of their business. For example, when you call up the company to book a tour you’ll be greeted with the Steam Whistle audio logo. As well, at the end of the tour you’ll have a change to turn on a real steam whistle in the brewery – neat!

Steam Whistle has also developed their sound even further as you’ll hear in the commercial below.

Again, this commercial shows the commitment that they have to consistency and building trust through congruent sounds. This has helped Steam Whistle expand outside of Ontario and to the West coast of Canada. I suspect with their approach to marketing we’ll see them grow futher and show the world what good beer and brands are all about.

It’s no secret, mobile phones and devices are a large part of daily lives. The way consumers use them will have an impact on how you do business, now and in the future. Understanding this usage will help you develop a concrete plan to gain new customers and retain loyal buyers.

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Img20013In the business world of today, most positions require some overlap of duties. It’s important in order for you to succeed that you understand your role in the larger picture.

As a marketer, it’s your job to allow as many people as possible to learn about your products and services. Granted, segmentation will play a key role in who you target, but you shouldn’t make it hard for certain people to understand the value of what you are trying to sell.

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