Here is how you can use music to promote your content

Music is a powerful tool to have in your marketing toolbox – but how exactly can you use it to promote your content, set the tone and get your message across?
 
I’ve written a guest post on just that over at publicity expert Joan Stewart’s blog, The Publicity Hound.
 

When you’re compiling your marketing or promo material, my guess is that finding some great music isn’t at the top of your to-do list. I’m a composer myself, and I know from experience that music is very often added at the very last minute. Sometimes almost as an afterthought.
 
And that’s a real shame, because music is an incredibly powerful tool to make your message heard.
 
In the following I’ll give you some ideas on how it can really enhance your promotional materials.

 
In the post, I’m sharing tips on how you can use music and sound logos to great effect in your videos, presentations and seminars, on your website, in podcasts – and how you can use it to build your personal brand.
 
Read the full guest post on using music in your marketing here!


Posted by Asbjoern on December 10, 2012 - Contact



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Audio Branding: Philips Explores the Sound of Creation

An interesting look at how Philips is approaching sound branding:
 

The stewards of the Philips brand are “obsessed” with sound, and are hoping to answer the question, “Does creativity have a sound? And if so, what would it be?”
 
Cue “The Sound of Creation,” an interactive musical story and digital experience that’s playing out on the Philips Sound Facebook page and on a microsite. The project follows on from the brand’s 2011 “Hear every detail” interactive music project, and showcases the acoustic design and craftsmanship of the Philips Fidelio product range with a nine-part story.

 


 
Read the full article on sound branding at Philips here


Posted by Asbjoern on November 12, 2012 - Contact



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When A Sound Is Worth A Thousand Words

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at product sound design and sound branding in this fine video.
 

More companies are discovering that the sound a product makes can convey subtle information about its quality and influence purchasing decisions. WSJ’s Ellen Byron reports.

 


 
(I just wish they’d tone that funky music down a notch.. :) )
 


Posted by Asbjoern on November 5, 2012 - Contact



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Looking for sound for your project? Do not rely on keywords to get what you want


If you’re looking for sound for your project – be it music or a sound logo – you’ll often describe what you’re looking for with keywords. But you could end up missing the mark entirely if you just rely on those keywords to getting you the right sound.
 
I’ve written a guide on why they don’t work on their own, and what you should do to get the sound you want:
 

A recent music competition really hammered home why references are critical in getting the sound you’re after.
 
In the design brief for the competition, the client outlined what they wanted and gave the following keywords for what the project – and thus, the music – was going to be like:
 
Stylish, laid-back, cool, beautiful, funny, seductive, chill, modern, gripping, possibly a little provocative, adventurous, brave, trendy and spellbinding
 
That’s quite a handful!
 
There were more than 600 entries in the competition, with many composers struggling to meet the client’s requirements.
 
And the end result: Around 500 out of the 600 entries were deemed not to fit the brief.

 
Read on to find out what you need to do to find the right sound for your project here.


Posted by Asbjoern on November 2, 2012 - Contact



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Three ideas for reinventing your sound logo

 

Your sound logo is a valuable asset that you can use in your branding campaigns for years and years. But as your brand evolves, so can your sound logo – and it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to create an entirely new one. If the core part of your sound logo works, refresh it instead.

 

Here are some ways you can do just that:

 

1. Turn it into music

Your sound logo may be just a short sequence of notes, which work great when tied in with your visual logo. But one way of reinventing it is to create a full music track from it, using your sound signature as a base.

 

Bring in a composer and ask him or her to compose, say, a 1 minute track using the core notes of your sound logo as the melody, adding subtle variations to the melody as the track progresses. Or perhaps play your core notes with a different rhythm. Then, for consistency, return to your original sequence in the end.

 

Also ask the composer to provide condensed versions of the track – say, 30, 20, 10 and 5 second versions – for maximum flexibility.

 

And all of a sudden, you have an entirely new way of using your sound logo, namely as background music for your advertising or other branding projects going forward. It’ll reinforce your sound logo, but in a discreet way.

 

2. Remix it

Your logo probably has a distinct sound to it, perfected during the creation of the inital sound logo. But if you want to liven it up, remixing it in a different style can be a brilliant way of keeping it relevant and up-to-date.

 

Is a certain music genre trending with your targeted audience? Get a version of your sound logo in that genre. Are your visuals changing dramatically from your initial branding material, or are you launching a campaign with a new mood or style? Adapt your current logo to go with that so the sonic side is in sync with the rest of your materials.

 

You can even do these remixes once a year or at different intervals to keep it sounding current and new while still retaining that motif you’ve spent time establishing.

 

3. Remove layers

When you’re launching your sound logo, it can often be a good idea to include a spoken snippet that includes your brand name or tagline. This makes the listener connect and associate it with your brand.

 

But as your audience becomes familiar with your sound logo, however, having this spoken bit may be ‘stating the obvious’ – they’re well aware of who you are just from the melodic content.

 

In that case it’s time to trim the voice-over from your sound logo, leaving just the core notes, melody or your signature sounds to carry your sonic brand.

 

It’ll sound fresh and will still represent your brand, only in a new, more elegant and subtle way.

 

 

 

Just as the world around you changes, so should your sound logo evolve. And as you can see, there are several ways to reinvent your sound logo without having to resort to doing a new one from scratch.

 

The good thing about this approach is that you retain the connection you’ve established with your audience, while showing that you’re growing and changing alongside them.


Posted by Asbjoern on October 2, 2012 - Contact



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What is a sound logo, and how can you use it?

A sound logo – or audio logo – is the conerstone in building the aural side of your brand. But what exactly is it, and how can you use it in your branding?

 

 

What is a sound logo?
 

A sound logo is a short signature sound that, within a very brief timespan, makes your target audience identify your brand through sound.

 

It is often melodic, but not necessarily so – it can also be a signature sound with a specific rhythm, or a sound effect, and it can have dialogue included as well.

 

A sound logo is often used alongside visual branding, such as your logo, to reinforce the link between the sound and your other branding materials.

 

One benefit of a sound logo is that it can reach your audience when they’re not paying attention to your visual branding, and it can also be used in contexts where no visual branding is possible, such as audio-only situations like podcasts, radio commercials and similar.

 

Essentially, it’s a trademark sound snippet that you’ve chosen as your aural fingerprint for your brand, and that you use consistently throughout your marketing materials.

 
 

Sound logo examples

 

Check out this video below for examples of sound logos from a wide range of brands:

 

 

 

Where can you use a sound logo?

 

A sound logo can be integrated in numerous places. Here are some examples as to where you can use it with great results:

 

• Television and radio ads
 
• Online ads
 
• Products
 
• Corporate videos
 
• Presentations and live events
 
• Podcasts
 
• Software
 
• On-hold
 
• Webinars and online products
 
• Training materials
 
• Web pages and blogs
 

 

As you can see, there are a lot of places where your sound logo can be used to strengthen your brand identity through sound.
 
And the best thing?
 
You don’t have to do a lot of things differently from what you’re doing now.
 
All it takes is for you to integrate your sound logo into your existing marketing materials – and by doing this you’ve just found a new way to reach and engage the senses of your target audience and make them connect with your brand.
 
If you have any questions about sound logos or sound branding, or if would like a custom sound logo for your brand, contact me here.
 


Posted by Asbjoern on September 7, 2012 - Contact



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The 4 Steps To Getting A Brilliant Sound Logo


 

A great sound logo is an essential part of your brand sound – but not many people are aware of what goes into creating one. Here are the 4 steps to a fantastic-sounding logo

 

A custom sound logo is a brilliant branding asset that you get to own and use throughout your marketing platforms, and you can use it to shape how your brand is perceived and reach your audience on both existing and new platforms.

 

But how exactly is a sound logo created? Here are the four steps involved:

 
 

1. The Concept Phase
 
Based on your input about your brand, visual references, values, keywords, usage context and target audience, your chosen composer sets out to do a series of initial concepts. For ideas on how to inspire your sound logo composer, check out this guide I have written.

 

Once you’ve received the initial concepts from your composer, it’s time to start reviewing them to pick the one that works best with your brand.

 

Ways to do this can include trying them with your visual materials such as logo animations and videos, internal reviewing, feedback from your marketing department or agency, and group testing to gauge what sort of response you get on it from your target audience. Does it communicate what you’re looking for?

 

If you don’t find exactly what you’re after in the initial batch, see if any of the concepts are in the direction of what you need, and ask your composer to build from that. And if nothing works in the first batch, ask the composer for another round of concepts.

 

When it comes to deciding on your sound logo, here’s something to consider:

 

Group testing and external feedback on the concepts can be great to have – but in my personal opinion, the single-most important thing to look for in a sound logo is this:

 

Do YOU think it works for your brand, and would you be happy to use the chosen logo throughout your marketing materials.

 

Why is this so important? Research from SenseLab shows that the deciding factor in what makes a sound logo successful is how YOU use it. You have to consistently use it throughout your marketing to establish it as your sound and link it to your brand. And the more you use it, the more you cement it as your brand’s core logo sound.

 

That’s why it’s vital that you’re completely comfortable using it consistently on all applicable platforms going forward and establishing it as your sound.

 
 

2. The Polishing Phase
 
Once you’ve picked your preferred sound logo from the delivered concepts, it’s time to start polishing it.

 

Are the sounds, feel and rhythm exactly as you’d like them to be? If not, ask the composer to tweak the sound logo so it fits with your vision.

 

Consider doing more reviews on the various tweaked versions, and revise until you’re happy with the results. You now have your Core Sound Logo.

 
 

3. The Integration Phase
 
With your Core Sound Logo in place, it’s time to start thinking about the ways you are going to use it. If you have a visual logo – an animated one – for instance, you’ll want your sound logo to fit with this. Ask the composer to adapt the logo so it gels in with your visuals.

This can include adjusting the length or adding additional components such as lead-in or lead-out music, or having sound effects that are timed to the logo reveal.

 

If you’re in the process of reworking you branding materials, you can also consider having a new logo animation done, based on the sound logo. This gives your visual designers something to work from, and ensures that the visuals are completely in sync with your sound logo.

 

Be sure to put your visual designer and sound logo designer in touch, so they can collaborate on creating a complete logo package that works its very best.

 

 

Maybe you’ll be using variations of your sound logo, depending on the context where it’s being used. For instance, you might append it to your television commercials, use it in products or applications, or run it in campaigns with a specific theme. Ask your composer to do variations on the Core Sound Logo that fit with these purposes while still retaining the key elements that make it recognizable as your sound.

 

 

4. The Buyout
 
By this point, the development phase is essentially completed, and you’ve now reached a vital step: You want to make sure that you own the sound logo – and any variations of it – so it becomes your unique brand asset. Ask the composer for a full buyout so you’re free to use it in whatever context you want going forward.

 

Some composers may be members of a collecting society, an organisation that collects royalties on behalf of the composer based on the usage of their work. In this context, this may limit how you can use the sound logo – or at the very least, it can mean additional fees for you down the road.

 

This is why, for these types of projects, I normally recommend that you only work with a composer who’s free to sell you the full and exclusive usage rights. Some collecting societies may allow this – but others may not, so be sure to check this with your composer early on in the process to avoid wasting time and money.

 

Incidentally, since a buyout is vital to you owning your brand sound, this is why I’ve chosen not to be a member of any collecting societies or right’s organisations.

 

The buyout price will vary depending on factors such as the sound logo’s potential use and proliferation, the size of your company and brand value.

 

It’ll be a one-time payment and it’ll be well worth it for the freedom it offers.

 

After all, your brand sound will become yours to use exclusively; and one you can use on a myriad of platforms and contexts, for as long as you want. And importantly, there won’t be any additional fees to pay for it down the road.

 

 

I hope this has given you an idea of what goes into creating a successful sound logo.

Are you ready to get a unique sound for your brand to make you stand out? Drop me a note here – or use the contact form on the right-hand side – and let’s get started!


Posted by Asbjoern on September 6, 2012 - Contact



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The man behind the Hollywood trailer sound


 
If you’re putting together a logo animation or intro, get inspired by these insights into how the sound is done on the big-budget Hollywood trailers.
 
My friend Bryan Jerden is an extremely talented sound designer who’s worked on trailer sound for films such as Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises, Harry Potter, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Inception – among many others.
 
Learn how he approaches the sound for trailers in this exclusive interview with Designing Sound:
 

DS: Trailers seem to be very much about the rhythm, tonality and musicality of the effect sounds. Do you use a more musical approach when doing sound design on a trailer than on a feature film?
 
BJ: Absolutely! Making your sound effects work with the score is key. Trailers are like a machine all with parts that have to work together. There is the picture and the visual content and it is edited to the rhythm of the music. There is the dialogue, which tells the story and is backed up by the tonality and the feeling that the music provides.
 
There are sound designed music effects, which are meant to add to and enhance the music.
 
Finally the you have the sound effects and they too have to work with the music. Everything has to work with the music and if any one part of it gets in the way of that, the trailer falls apart.

 
Read the full interview with Bryan Jerden on the Hollywood trailer sound here!
 
And be sure to check out the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, which Bryan did the sound on:
 


Posted by Asbjoern on September 4, 2012 - Contact



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Sound logo composer highlight: Alkis

Looking for futuristic logo sounds? Greek composer Alkis is an expert in the genre where he creates minimalistic royalty-free sound logos and intros with great attention to detail.
 
His tracks are really useful for logo reveals and intros where you want a modern sound with a technological edge.
 
Check out his best-selling Glitchy Logo series below, and click the black BUY button to purchase the track currently playing.
 


Posted by Asbjoern on August 29, 2012 - Contact



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How to get an inspired sound logo for your brand

How to get an inspired sound logo for your brand

 

If you’re planning on getting a sound logo – or audio logo – for your brand or business, congratulations! You’re well on your way to adding an incredibly useful tool to your marketing kit.

 

But how exactly does your brand sound?

 

Your chosen composer will work with you to figure that out – but the more precise information you can provide about your brand and audience, the better the end result is going to be.

 

Here are some of the details you can provide to help fuel your composer’s imagination and get you the sound you need:

 

1. Your existing marketing materials

Seeing the visual material for your brand is immensely helpful in working out your sound. Provide any logos, animations and other material which is vital to the visual side of your brand.

 

If you don’t have any material – say, you’re reworking your branding material, or you’re just getting started on it – try to find images that convey the mood, tone, colors or message you’re looking to communicate with your brand.

 

You can use stock photos, or simply do a Google image search. Compile a selection of images that you feel show what your brand is about, and show them to your composer. I’m a composer myself, I can tell you that having something to look at for reference during the creative process can be really useful in keying in on the right sound.

 

Perhaps you already have certain sounds or music you use in connection with your branding. Pass on this information to your composer to ensure that you get a sound logo that gels in with your existing sound branding material.

 

2. Keywords about your brand

Try to think of a few keywords that sum up what your brand is about. These can be a good guideline for what the sound logo should convey. Examples could be words like elegant, modern, futuristic, technological, organic, human, serious, fun etc.

 

3. Your target audience

Knowing who you’re targeting is key in getting the style right. Is your brand and message aimed at young people? Men? Women? Basically let your composer know the general makeup of your target audience – and of you have any data on their preferences, pass that on too.

 

4. Your target platform

Ideally, you’ll want to use your sound logo in as many places as possible. But perhaps you’ll primarily be using it within a specific platform or medium? Let your composer know about this, as this can affect how the sound logo is structured.

 

5. References

Perhaps you’ve heard a sound logo that you really like – and sounds similar to what you have in mind for your own sound logo? If so, do let your composer know about it. Sound is an abstract concept, and often times it’s much easier to simply find an audio example, rather than trying to describe what you want in words.

 

 

I hope this has given you some ideas on what information your composer will find useful to create a fantastic-sounding sound logo for your brand.

And if you can’t provide all of the above; don’t worry. Provide what you can, and your composer can take it from there.

 

 

 


Posted by Asbjoern on August 23, 2012 - Contact



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