Wednesday September 20, 2006

The impact of sound on your customer’s perception and behaviour towards your brand is influenced by more than just the style of the music/sound. It is equally influenced by both the media that it is being delivered through, and the effect on and of the surrounding environment.

This was an important consideration for the Immigration Museums soundscape for the Bollywood Dreams Exhibition, and is also applicable to retail and other physical environments.

A successful brief is all about the questions you ask.

The first question I always ask a client is: What do you want to achieve?

The second question is: Who is your audience?

The answers to these questions go a long way to defining the form and function of the audio content and method of delivery.

To further determine the needs of The Immigration Museum I asked a third and as I discovered, a very important question: What are you worried about?

This produced a range of answers ranging from the soundscape must not interfere with surrounding exhibitions to it must not annoy or irritate the customer service staff who have to listen to it all day, everyday Imagine listening to the same song over and over again for 7 months.

Think about it. If the sound you are using is driving your staff crazy or making them edgy, how will they respond to your customers?
… and how does this affect your customers’ experience of your brand/business?

What’s also important is that whilst The Amber Theatre is a specialist in sonic branding and audio communication, it is our clients and their staff and customers that understand their brand and business best. Our job is to ask the right questions.

Also a quick thank you to the team at the Immigration Museum. Their professionalism, clarity and attention to detail, meant that I could concentrate on creating a great product instead of fixing preventable problems.

Listen to the soundscape here

New position title
Director of fun

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Wednesday June 28, 2006

It was great to get feedback from Adrian about the Album Art window in iTunes.
To see what this looks like go here.

Years ago myself and a great friend Russell coined the phrase 1001 conversations. Meaning that everyone’s experience contributes to and diversifies knowledge, This leads to innovation.

Some of the best ideas come from the people who you think know the least.

I will talk more about this in my next post which will discuss the process of creating the soundscape for the Bollywood Dreams Exhibition at the Immigration Museum, -I love their tag line “moving stories”-and the importance of client and service provider relationships, and how sound can affect a brands relationships with it’s staff and customers.

Till then enjoy and I hope those people downloading the music from our podcast are enjoying the fruits of our labour. (Time for more content I think)

Drop us a line.

You might know something that we don’t…

New position title: Just another consumer
The Amber Theatre

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Tuesday June 27, 2006

When was the last time some one thanked you?

It’s surprising how people have gotten used to being taken for granted.
Years ago I credited a colleague (hi Nige, doing well mate) on a showreel for his mixing  and production.His surprised ‘thanks Marz” made me think that people don’t do this very often.
Now this guy has helped a lot of people out, and most of all me. The least he deserves as does anyone, is a thank you and a few jobs thrown his way, because money talks and bullshit walks right.
 Contact me by posting a comment if you want a producer who listens as well as hears and I’ll pass you on to Nigel.

So some quick thank yous to:

Seth Godin for posting a blog on my blog. The amber theatre’s podcast downloads have rocketed as a result; &

Cass at Meccamedialight– new media consultancy-who recommended that I start a blog because “it’s all about community”.

Oh yeah and don’t forget: No one likes  a sycophant

Business is Personal

Marcel de Bie

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Monday February 6, 2006

Boxing day 2005, I was recovering from a lovely lunch with my family and my beautiful partner Renee and feeling like a bit of retail therapy, as if getting christmas presents wasn’t enough. So I decided for the first time in my life to go for a browse through the Melbourne CBD to peruse the Boxing day sales.As we wandered around marvelling at the lovely designs and logos on the shopping bags people were carrying, I felt an urge to look at some clothes. Being a guy and statistically not a browser I knew exactly where I wanted to go and what I wanted to buy. been to this store once before and liked what they did; street wear with clean lines that avoided the baggy look which I so detest. I also remembered that they were playing cool drum n bass tunes on my first visit so I felt right at home.

So off to the store we go- we walked around three floors to find it, eventually finding it exactly where Renee said it would be two floors ago. Cool… lots of funky 20 somethings in the shop checking out clothes- I’m only 31 but I already feel like I’m living vicariously through youth culture. This time the store was playing rap another favorite when done well and with a bit of funk and soul, now thats definately a title for another article.
So we’re looking at clothes flicking through the racks, sales assistants dutifully standing at the ready, and suddenly I notice that the music is really, really loud. So loud in fact that if I’d wanted to buy something which I did or if I wanted to discuss anything with the staff or my advisor,I wouldn’t have been able to- well not comfortably at least. And that is the point I started to feel uncomfortable. Not because of the style of music but because of the sheer volume.

A few reasons as to why the style and volume of the in store sound track might have been chosen:
to attract a certain customer;
to compete with all the other shops in the complex;
the staff had free reign over the sound system and knew that with music this loud people wouldn’t talk they’d just shop or
the staff where just indulging themselves.

This experience was very different to my first experience, arguably not in the choice of genre or sub cultural affiliations but in the volume of the music and the subsequent mood of the retail experience.
Anyway I decided not to buy anything and people certainly weren’t lining up to give over their hard earned cash for the heavily discounted items on offer.

Turn the music down and you’ll hear your customers better.

Listening is fun


Sunday January 1, 2006

Short, concise and to the point, article about brand experience

JetBlue does everything right and then, boom, they yell at you.

They yell at you on the PA system, and they do it with either panic or aggression. They are flustered, overworked, distraught and totally stressed out when they use the PA.

Read the rest at: Seth’s Blog: What does your brand sound like?

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Thursday December 22, 2005

I’ve just opened an account with the social bookmarking site.

As I get time I’ll start putting my bookmarks up ranging from interesting software to articles and research on sound, music, marketing and branding.

you can find the site here:

you can subscribe to the rss feed here: feed://

Have fun with the forthcoming links and let me know if they are useful


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Sunday December 18, 2005

Just in case you’re wondering what lolly belle said here it is.

Lolly Belle said…
Sound design is impertive, but often overlooked to a brand.

For example, a phone call I made today to a large Australian music retailer …

I called them and was put on hold, however there was absolutely no noise – completely silence. I thought after a few minutes that the phone was dead so I called back and had the same thing again. Finally go through to the person, but only because I was so patient with the silence.

It seemed incredibly ironic that a music retailer of all people – a company who supposedly specialises in sound – would have a communications device that was silent!

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