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Sonic branding a lot more than music

Sonic branding is a lot more than an audio logo, or well thought out brand sound track.

It is the total impact of sound across all your assets and touchpoints.

Noel over at has posted a very insightful article on the impact of environmental sounds on your employees, customers and brand.

He also provided a great list of books on music psychology and related topics which I’ve placed on where you’ll also find a lot of other resources related to sonic branding.

You can also read more about how we approach environmental sounds and “bleed” here.

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No Music Day: Wednesday November 21, 2007

Turn it all off.

  • Your iPod
  • Your mobile’s ring tones
  • Your TV
  • Your radio
  • Your in-store music
  • Your on-hold music
  • Your computer’s speakers.

The whole shebang.

See the website here. Read more about it here

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2 Heads Make More Sense

I had a great conversation with an Australian sensory consultant, about how the sensory characteristics of products impact and influence consumer perception and experience.

Some great insights were highlighted including the growing need (and interest) of organisations and brands to protect their sensory assets and property as these become more potent differentiators in the market place.

One of the examples we discussed was the pop that the Pringles tube makes when
opened. We then spoke about how this sound could be developed, refined and leveraged, I hate that word, as a consistent sonic trigger and brand differentiator, by implementing it across a range of media andtouchpoints from the packaging to advertising and digital…

The best bit came when we started talking about the crunch and noise that
chips, crackers and other foods make when we chew, how some sounds are really loud inside... read more

Sound and Web Usability

There’s been bit of discussion (which is great) by user experience and web designers around how to use sound on a website


  1. Making it easy for your users to find and control the volume of the sound.
  2. Ensuring that the sound is appropriate for your brand.
    Why is it that those clicky sounds on a lot of flash sites all sound (a)like they’re off the Matrix?
  3. Making sure the sound suits your target audience’s viewing/listening environment.

I was listening to some of the iWork tutorials on the Apple website and noticed that the volume of the narrators voice was different for each tutorial.

This meant that I was continually distracted and annoyed because I had to keep resetting the volume to a level that worked for me and others.

Usually what happens in this situation is that the user turns the sound off... read more

What do you do?

Some responses I get when I explain what I do are:

“Can you tell the shops to do something about the music they play, it makes me want to leave”!?


“Please fix the on hold music that I have to listen to, it drives me insane”.

So what is the music and sonic character of your organisation doing to your customers, employees and your business?

Is it damaging or enhancing your image?

By the way that’s what I do: make you sound good, that is.


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Just Another Hang Up.

Call your business telephone number and ask to be put on hold.

Does your on-hold music and announcements make you cringe?

Is it too loud, distorted and obnoxious?

Does the “thank you for waiting we value your business” voice over sound patronising and lack integrity?

How does it make you feel?

It’s the little things in life that people get hung up on.

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The Ultimate Punishment

This is what happens when some one fails to take responsibility for how sound affects the customer experience… This from a music site.

People leave never to return…. and they tell everyone about it.

Read the experience here

How many customers have been lost because the use of sound in brand communication was not carefully managed, and it’s purpose and impact not understood?

Silence is sound too.

Technorati Tags: ,

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Random thought for the day

Don’t ask me what I want.
Ask me what will make my life easier.

New position description: Anti confusion agent.

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Bollywood Dreams | The Walls Have Ears

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... read more

1001 Conversations

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... read more

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