Posts Tagged ‘audio brand’

Marketing Mavericks of Audio Branding is a series of interviews that we hope will show you how global businesses are using sound to strengthen their brand.

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Interview with Tapio Hakanen from Nokia

Tapio Hakanen is an award winning sound designer and chart topping electronic music producer from Finland. Currently, he heads up Nokia‘s global sound design and visual content teams. Tapio is responsible for digital content like ringtones, preloaded music tracks, wallpapers and preloaded videos in all Nokia devices. His role also involves overseeing Nokia’s audio identity and music and sound design for various Nokia ads, communications and events like Nokia World and Mobile World Congress.

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Given the fact that sound travels faster than 700 mph and is processed quicker than light, at TreBrand we believe that sound can make a difference in the world. We also believe there is a balance that needs to be struck between creativity and strategy. To that end, audio branding is our way of helping brands think critically and use the power of sound to build brand equity.

With that in mind, our founder and chief noisemaker Jordan Stevens set off to find businesses and professionals who use sound as a key element in building their brand. Of course he couldn’t stop at just finding the companies and the people who run them, he had to learn more. In the coming weeks, we’ll feature interviews he had with the marketing mavericks who were kind enough to share their insights on how they use sound in their business.

We hope that by sharing this information you’ll understand the true power of sound and how you can apply it to your business. And hopefully, you’ll help the world sound better one brand at a time.

A special thanks goes out to everyone who shared their insights with us so freely. We appreciate your candid conversations and visions of how the world sounds.

Without any further ado, here is the first interview in our series called Marketing Mavericks of Audio Branding.

Interview with Tom Trones, Cisco Sytems

Cisco Systems is the a worldwide leader in networking and communication technology. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Cisco is home to over to over 65,000 employees globally and serves a wide variety of markets through many innovative products.

Today, I’m talking with Tom Trones who is an audio identity lead for one of Cisco’s business units. His role makes him responsible for how a Cisco product sounds across a multitude of channels and product lines. He ensures that all Cisco products sound like a Cisco product. Tom will also be a speaker at this year’s Audio Branding Congress in Moscow.

Jordan Stevens (JS): Tell me a bit about your role at Cisco Systems?

Tom Trones (TT): I was originally hired as an acoustics, software and signal processing engineer for our video conferencing systems but an opportunity to unify the audio identity for our collaboration products opened up. I think the mix between technology and artistic creativity is perfect for me, and my background as a musician, composer and producer led me to becoming the Audio Identity Lead for this business unit. We have a wide portfolio of products in telepresence systems, UC, IM clients, IP phones, Webex and more, so it is important that the user can jump from one to the other and still get a common experience of using a Cisco product.

This is perfect for me, as I can leverage my background as an engineer, musician and music technologist. Last year we made the call to keep the strategy development and production internally. We now have music and sound production facilities at the Lysaker, Norway site.

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thinking250px 4 Critical Decisions Audio Branding Forces you to Make About Your BrandAs we move futher into the digital world one thing has become appearant, marketers need to implement a multi-sensory expereince for their customers. That said, once you’ve made the decision to create sensory delight for you audience you’ll want to think about how to communicate with your clients through the different senses.

Audio branding is a process that gets marketers to think about how their brand sounds to the world. In doing this, it also forces marketers to make critical decisions about their brand, both sonically and with the other four senses.

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A while back I posted an article on what an audio mnemonic is (or as some might call it, an audio logo). Today I wanted to share with you a great example from a recent Coca-Cola spot that effectively uses their sonic logo melody throughout the ad.

Coke has always, for as long as I’ve known, been involved in creating a brand around music. One of the key features and most recognizable parts of any audio identity is the audio logo. Before you read on, have a listen to Coke’s audio logo first.

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bear250 Why Congruency is Important When Creating an Audio BrandYou 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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Money250px Are Jingles Worth the Money?Last week Tristan Clopet wrote an excellent piece about audio branding on the Ad Age blog. The main question in the article was whether jingles or music licensing, aka borrowing a pre-written pop song, was better for a brand.

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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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garbage can2 Watch out for this 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 Voices.com). 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.

bucksgong200 Performing Arts Camp Creates Memories Using Audio Branding

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!

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