The Sound of Business -Part IV

Steps to Creating Your Sonic Personality©

1. List all the human attributes inherent in your business personality. An
accounting firm may want to project stability, reliability, and a
conventional outlook – think the avuncular voice of Walter Cronkite. An
advertising agency might want to deliver a hip, cutting edge, in your face
creative personality – think the edgy delivery of Chris Rock or Dennis
Leary. Now before you get all excited and start shouting, ‘how I am I
going to afford these guys?’ the answer is you don’t. There are great
voice actors available at very reasonable prices that can project the
desired style and delivery.

2. What are the audio qualities of the Signature Voice? Do you want a
man or a woman, or a combination of both? Do you want a deep base
voice full of conviction, a snooty British accent dripping in
condescension, or a comic rapid-fire patter aimed to amuse and
entertain? When we created the MassiveRecordProductions.com (http://
http://www.massiverecordproductions.com) project, we required a smart-alec
wise-guy approach, in the vain of Dennis Miller. In this case, the actual
accent of the voice was less important than the delivery.

3. What kind of language, phrasing, and cadence is required to give the
Signature Voice its personality? When we were looking for a Signature
Voice for a DVD that was to be used at the Winter Baseball Meetings,
we decided on a combination of Dizzy Dean and Mel Allen. The key was
that ‘good ole boy’ southern charm conveyed through a combination of
baseball jargon, phrasing, and dialect. We weren’t looking for someone
to imitate Dizzy Dean, just someone who could deliver the essence of
Dizzy’s love for the game.

4. Wet or Dry? Have you ever watched one of those ‘The Making of …’
documentaries on a how a movie was made? Sometimes they will show
you a scene with dialog but no music or sound effects. It’s really very flat,
even with the actors doing their dramatic best. Voice without music or
sound effects is called a ‘Dry’ delivery. When the effects and the music
are added in postproduction, the scene delivers real emotional impact.
The music and f/x provide emotional clues and memory hooks.

5. Write the script. I find having the voice in my head is a great help in
writing the script. Whether you’re shooting for Sidney Greenstreet or Rod
Serling, the cadence, phrasing, and language are what makes the script
come alive, and creates the Sonic Personality© that will represent your
company. Unrelated to the actual voice but definitely of importance to
the script, is the point of view. The script should not be about you, it
should be about how your audience can benefit from knowing you. Don’t
fall into the trap of focusing on you and listing a bunch of product or
service features. Talk about what you can do for your audience, and in
that way you will make a real connection.

6. Audition the talent. Once you have a script, it’s time to audition a
number of voices to find the one that fits the Sonic Personality© you are
looking for, and of course the price you are willing to pay. We generally
have 50 to 100 people audition for each script. We then narrow the
search down to the two or three best voices that fit the audio and budget
requirements and present them to our client.

7. Implement on the Web. Once the voice audio is complete, music and
sound effects can be added as needed. The audio tracks are then cut
into digestible clips, compressed, and converted into appropriate
implementible files. The Sonic Personality© program can be delivered
on a website, or a DVD or CD presentation.

The Proof Is In The Toaster

In a world of mental clutter, ‘information anxiety’, and low attention
spans, Sonic Personality© will become the next big weapon in
webmedia presentation and marketing. But let’s say you’re still not
convinced even after reading the four installments of ‘The Sound of
Business.’ Let me show you exactly how Sonic Personality© can work in
a practical example, but you have to promise to participate.

Take a sticky note or a plain piece of paper and place a big question
mark on it. Under the question mark draw a line. Now place the piece of
paper in your daily agenda two weeks from today. In two weeks, I want
you to write down on that piece of paper the name of the fictitious
product in the example we are going to create. If you can remember the
product’s name, Sonic Personality© has done its job.

Here’s the setup. There are certain things in life that are very personal,
the way you dress, how you comb your hair, the way you take your
coffee, and how you like your toast. There is nothing worse (well of
course there is) than waking up on a Saturday morning, taking the last
two slices of bread, placing them in the toaster, and in several minutes
find you have what can best be described as a ‘burnt offering.’ There is
definitely a need here that needs to be filled.

Our made-up client is a small appliance company who has created a
toaster that audibly warns you what setting your toaster is on as soon as
you put your bread in it. This product has appeal for anyone who has
been irritated by ruined toast. The client isn’t sure what kind of Sonic
Personality© they want to present, so we create a series of Sonic Demo
Spots.

Click on the link below to hear the various sonic demo spots, each with
its own Sonic Personality©. Don’t forget to create your two-week
reminder and if you remember the name of the product, you should start
thinking about how to implement your own Sonic Personality©
campaign.

Paris to New York in 2 Hrs – New Super Sonic Business Jet

Imagine flying at speeds of up to 2,664mph – Mach 3.6 (twice as fast as Concorde) onboard a private jet with 20 other fellow passengers. Nobody has ever travelled that fast before. Flying from Paris to New York would take less than 2 hours and London to Sydney in three and a half hours. SonicStar is set to achieve these world record passenger flight times with it’s new futuristic VIP jet.

The project was founded by HyperMachs CEO Richard Lugg. HyperMach claim that the SonicStar will be 30 per cent more fuel efficient than the Rolls-Royce engines which were used on it’s predecessor – The Concord. It will also fly at twice the speed of the Concord – radically cutting journey times. High tech light weight materials such as composite metals and titanium will be used in the build of the aircraft to reduce weight and maintain structural integrity.

HyperMach have named the propulsion system: S-MAGJET. Unlike conventional jet engines the S-MAGJET system is based on a hybrid gas turbine engine technology. This will dramatically lower it’s Carbon Footprint.

HyperMach SonicStar Specification:

  • Maximum cruise speed – Mach 3.6
  • Long-range cruise speed – Mach 3.1
  • High-speed cruise speed – Mach 3.4
  • Engines – Two SonicBlue S-MAGJET Hybrid Supersonic 4000-X Series
  • Landing distance – 4,800ft
  • Range – 6,000 nautical miles
  • Highest Altitude – 62,000ft
  • Length – 64metres
  • Height at maximum – 2.6metres
  • Width at maximum – 2.7metres

An electromagnetic current will be passed across the fuselage to suppress the sonic boom. This means that at supersonic thrust speed – spectators on the ground will not hear a supersonic boom. This technology empowers the super plane to overcome the noise regulations that currently restrict supersonic travel.

The British Department of Trade and Industry is investing in the project and the plane is set to be airborne in 2021. The project will have a huge impact on both the commercial and private aviation sector and no doubt create thousands of jobs. The sheer demand for an aircraft of this type will result in most mainstream jet manufacturers being forced into manufacturing rival jets of this calibre. In the future many private jets may be able to travel at super sonic speed.

The SonicStar will revolutionise private jet charter by cutting journey times making more achievable in the business day. Until 2021, jet operators and jet charter consultancy firms will have wait until the SuperSonic is released.

The Sound of Business – Part I I

Creating a ‘kick ass’ Sonic Personality© for your business requires that
your business have a personality in the first place. Of course every
business has one, whether you are aware of it or not, and this is a real
danger. Your customers’ understanding of who you are, and what you
do, as a business, may be very different from the vision you have of
yourself. This can be a very serious problem for owner-managed
businesses, where the personality of the entrepreneur oft times gets
substituted for the personality of the business – big mistake! So what’s
the first step in crafting a marketable business personality?

What Business Are you Really In?

OK kids, its story time. Back in the day, the railroad barons were the
most powerful business leaders in the country. They had the money, the
power, and the political ‘shlep’ (that’s drag for the uninitiated) to do pretty
much whatever they wanted. Today railroads are a depressed industry.
So what happened? Simple, they didn’t know what business they were
really in.

If you could have asked Leland Stanford or Collis P. Huntington, what
business they were in, they would have most likely answered, ‘the
railroad business’. And in the long run, that was their downfall. Instead,
they should have thought of themselves as being in ‘the transportation
business’ and if they did, they surely would have used their money,
power, and influence to control the emerging automobile, trucking, and
airline industries.

Before you can craft a Sonic Personality© you first must understand who
you are, what you do, and why you do it better than the other guy. If you
can answer those three questions clearly, then you have the beginning
of a coherent business personality that must exist before you can have a
Sonic Personality©.

Focus On One Core Value

One of the hardest things for entrepreneurial businesses to do is to
focus on one core value. This may sound, on the surface, to be contrary
to the lesson learned from the railroad barons, but it isn’t. Your core
value focus has to be broad enough to be able to sustain your business
through the onslaught of competition and fast moving technological
change. When the railroad barons focused on just one form of
transportation they let all the other transportation opportunities slip
through their fingers and ultimately overtake them.

Most accountants and bankers will tell you to ‘stick to your knitting’ and
not let yourself be spread too thin with secondary initiatives. This is
generally good advice, however there is a fundamental difference
between going off on a tangent and sticking to your core values.
Knowing who you are, what you do, and why you do it better than the
competition will help you keep your focus while at the same time allow
you to critically determine whether new opportunities are ones that you
should pursue.

Create Definition: Lift and Separate

So far I have managed to avoid using the term, brand, because it is
generally misunderstood and ignored by most owner-managed
businesses. Substituting ‘personality’ for ‘brand’ puts the notion of brand
in context. Think about it. You may have thought your business doesn’t
relate to branding concepts, but you’ve accepted, or at least are
intrigued by the idea, that your business needs a clearly defined
personality.

Al Ries and Jack Trout have written numerous books on branding and
marketing, including ‘The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.” One of the
lessons to be learned from this book is ‘The Law of Opposites’. Simply
stated, unless you’re the ‘top dog’ in your industry, you have to define
who you are in contrast to the industry leader. This is not dissimilar to
The Theory of Contrary Thinking.

The example sometimes used to explain The Theory of Contrary
Thinking is Tulip Mania. When tulips were first introduced to Holland in
the middle to late sixteenth century, people fell in love with them. By the
early 1600s, an exchange market had been created that dealt with tulip
futures. Similar to what happen in the Roaring 20s, everyone got
involved in purchasing tulip futures for ridiculous prices, until some wise
guy yelled SELL! Panic set-in and like in the 1920s, the market
collapsed. The moral of the story is simple; if everyone is doing it, you
better do the opposite.

By defining your business in contrast to the industry leader, you create a
separate and distinct business personality that gives your audience an
alternative to the ‘big guy’. You no longer are a second banana ‘wannbe’
imitator, but rather a distinctive company with your own image,
strengths, advantages and of course, personality.

Customers Are An Audience

Finally, this distinctive personality needs to be communicated to your
audience, and you’ll notice I’ve called your customers an audience,
because that is exactly what they are. If you think in terms of audience, it
will open up a whole new understanding of communication techniques
and media, that will lead to better audience recognition, acceptance,
and ultimately sales. Now we have to give your finely crafted personality
a voice. Tune-in next time for ‘How to Give Good Sonic Personality©.’