The Sound of Business - Part III


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How to Give Good Sonic Personality©

We live in an age of metrics. Traditional and new media advertising agencies often substitute metrics for understanding. Mathematical models create the appearance of scientific analysis, when in fact they are often manipulated to support a preselected agenda. We all know data can be massaged to conform to almost any conclusion. Besides, most small owner-managed companies can't afford the expense of these agency-driven number crunching solutions. The real question is, do these metrics actually help us connect to our customers, who just happen to be people?

Emotions Win Over Rationality

After all, we are dealing with people, and people react to information on both a rational and an emotional level. If everyone bought goods and services based on a strictly rational basis, we would all be driving Smart Cars and wearing Old Navy jeans. People make decisions based on a perception of reality, rather than a rational analysis. Without getting too metaphysical, in business there is no reality, only perception. We believe what we think is true, or what is presented to us as true. Information is colored by who and how, the message is delivered.

Trying to Make ‘Senses’ Out of Life

We experience our lives through our senses. We see, hear, touch, and smell. It is through these senses that we create what passes for reality, and on that perceived reality we make our so-called rational decisions.

Left on their own, people will interpret what they sense in very individual ways. What tastes good to you makes me gag. The woman I think is beautiful you think is ugly. That is until we our told in some convincing communication, what we should think.

Skinny, shapeless, superior super models are beautiful because we are told over and over that they are, and ultimately we mostly learn to agree. So what does this all mean: reality is a managed state of mind. We are either the managers or the managed. Sounds pretty icky, doesn't it, but there it is, and I for one rather be one of the managers than one of the managed.

Managing Perception

We have all been told from early on that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words. ’ How many times have you quoted this famous saying? And you actually believe it, after all Confucius wouldn't lie, would he? According to Jack Trout, in his book ‘The New Positioning, ’ what Confucius actually said was, “a picture is worth a thousand pieces of gold. " Not the same thing at all is it? There is actually no evidence that Confucius made either remark.

The documented origin of the famous expression has been traced back to a guy named Fred Barnard who sold tram advertising in the 1920s by stating the claim in his advertisements. Originally he claimed it was an old Japanese proverb, but later changed his story and issued Chinese lettering with a translation in his ads. Who knows what the truth is, maybe old Fred invented the expression himself, but most people believe Confucius said it, and that's reality, even if the damn thing was made up.

What You See is Nice, But What You Hear You Remember.

People want to believe what they see is the most important element in delivering a message, but I would argue that what you hear outweighs even what you see. Think about it. Companies spend millions of dollars on attractive logos and pithy corporate names, and I have no argument with developing a proper logo or a great name. But successful company names and logos have an element inherent in their design that goes beyond how they look. It is how they sound. When you see a visual brand representation, a signal goes off in your head and a little voice whispers that company name. Try to think of a popular corporate logo without the name of that company sounding silently in your head. Sound, and more specifically the human voice, is the most under utilized marketing tool we have at our disposal. And it's ready to hit The Web, big time.

The Web is Made for Sound

The Web is a multimedia platform and your website should utilize every possible tool available to create your reality and to deliver your marketing message. No one was able to stop the flood of images from overtaking the Web, and soon audio will follow. Now I hear the screams of some crying out against the multimedia pollution on the Web, and I'll agree that it will surely come. But here's the thing, agreed most companies will implement sound on the Web all wrong and it will be just more noise, but if YOU do it right, you'll be the winner. Your message will get through the noise, and you will define reality, and manage the perception of your audience. The question then is how do you effectively implement voice-audio on the Web?

Audio - The Human Connection

I started this series of articles by stating that the way to break through the liquid crystal barrier was with a human voice that delivers a Sonic Personality© for your business. We've talked about how you must create the basis for a business personality by first defining who you are, what you do, and why you do it better than the competition. We've also talked about focusing on the core values of what you want to do for your audience, and not confusing them with all the things you can do. So now we are ready to craft your Signature Voice - your Sonic Personality©.

Jerry Bader, is a partner in MRPwebmedia, a website design firm that specializes in creating multimedia websites that enhance their clients business opportunities by delivering their marketing messages using the latest audio, video, Flash, and interactive techniques.

MRPwebmedia developed the Sonic Personalities© concept that effectively conveys your brand, image and message on websites and DVD/CD presentations using custom-crafted voice-overs.

For more information and sample sites visit or contact Jerry Bader at (905) 764-1246.


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