Posts Tagged ‘branding’

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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stale milk 163x300 The Sniff Test

Sniff This

Have you ever pulled a carton of milk out of the fridge only to see the date on it has expired? Then, I can only assume, you gave it a sniff because we all know the dates on these things are off by a week or two. If it smells a little off you throw it out. If it smells okay you might take a chance on it but even then you’ll probably toss it just in case.

Consumers and service buyers use the sniff test everyday. You’re probably using the sniff test right now.

Think about when a customer goes to your web site and they see something that looks ancient. Right then they’ll be giving you a sniff test – and you’ll fail. Same goes for all of your other marketing materials.

Of course the opposite is true for something that looks, feels and sounds new. People will scrutinize you less. Think about how many people, smartly or not, buy a new home without an inspection? These same people won’t think about buying an older home even for a second.

Give your brand a sniff, what do you smell?

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it

On Friday I made a post in our sticky songs section. The post used one of Canada’s favorite songs, the original theme for Hockey Night in Canada.

A few years ago the broadcasting company, CBC, decided not to renew the license for the theme song. To make sure they had a new song that Canadians liked they crowdsourced for a new song by using a competition and a large cash prize.

Crowdsourcing for an answer

Crowdsourcing for the new song worked well, however, the fans of HNIC were still attached to the original song. This is a problem for HNIC because they have lost an identity. Neither the competition or the new song helped the ratings either. In fact, HNIC has not seen good ratings until this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

Could you imagine Intel without its signature bong?

Many brands struggle with this issue because they choose not to make sound a property of the brand. I’ve also discussed a similar problem in a blog post called losing your brand voice.

The solution for brands is to purchase the rights to the music they choose to have in their promotions. You might be thinking that the cost of this is would be sky high but if your brand is willing to put out $75,000 for visual identity protecting your sound properties should be just as important – particularly in an age of digital media.

Love to hear your thoughts. Please post them below.

If your company could build a table what would it look like? Unless you build tables this is an important question about your brand. This question was posed to Paul Fulberg in his book Sonic Branding: An Introduction Building Tables(Amazon Affiliate). If you are involved in marketing answering this question will give you insight into how your brand is perceived by the public.

I’m going to use the example provided in Sonic Branding. If BMW were to build a table what would it look like? Most of us will agree that it would contain lots of carbon fiber and nice curves.

But, why is this important?

Well, if your brand is consistent across all of its communications and touch points it really doesn’t matter what you build, people will know what they are getting from you when they purchase your product.

Take a moment today and ask yourself what your table would look like.


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