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The Sound of Personal Branding

Some websites need to be arrested for audial assault. You know the ones I mean. No sooner do you click on a URL but the site blasts out some atrocious music that has absolutely nothing to do with the brand.

Some websites need to be arrested for audial assault. You know the ones I mean. No sooner do you click on a URL but the site blasts out some atrocious music that has absolutely nothing to do with the brand.
If marketer and music extraordinaire Martin Pazzani has his way that will change. The former CEO of Elias Arts, the world’s largest music company for advertising, TV and film, Pazzani is now CEO in Residence with Bluestone Partners, where he is creating a music agency to redefine how corporations use music.
A pioneer in audio branding, Pazzani is on a mission to put audio identity on the same footing as visual identity.
“Most companies don’t have a consistent, integrated audio identity the way they have a visual identity,” Pazzani explains. “A company may use one type of music on TV, another for radio, a third for hold music and yet another sound for the actual product. The result is a schizophrenic brand that does nothing to reinforce a brand identify. It’s plain and simple noise.”
Not that all companies have been tone deaf. Think, Pazzani, says, of the once ubiquitous Yahoo yodel. For a reminder, click the dot of the exclamation point on the logo.
Music, of course, is probably as old as Adam and Eve. Certainly, the movies are no stranger to the power of music. And what self-respecting presidential contender would campaign without his or her theme music. Hillary Clinton even ran a contest to pick her theme song.
Pazzani, however, is taking this one step further. He advocates original music for brands, not just a reuse of existing music. His point is that companies create their own logos, so why not evolve and create music that exemplifies the brand? What better differentiator, he says, than to have a unique sound.
Obviously, as personal branders, we don’t need to have our own music…or do we? Pazzani for example knows a CEO of a technology company (Pazzani is keeping the person’s name to himself) who has his own walk-on music. Not to mention the company’s having a unique sound for TV, in-store, its products and a theme for its sales meetings. Let’s be clear. Pazzani doesn’t suggest that a company use the same music for everything. That could be musical monotony. But he advocates that a company’s music all be integrated and consistent.
I don’t suggest that you run out and get your own theme music. Though it could make for some funny scenarios. Instead of greeting someone with “hello,” you could toot your favorite song. But I do suggest that you not forget about sound as you think about your personal brand or your company’s brand. To paraphrase, Pazzani, do you know what your brand sounds like?
Wendy Marx, Personal Branding and Marketing Specialist, Marx Communications, Inc.
tag technorati: self promotioncareerspublic relationspersonal brandingpersonal brandbrandingaudio identityMartin Pazzani

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About the author

Wendy Marx is President of Marx Communications, an award-winning boutique B2B Public Relations agency known for turning companies and executives, including start-ups, into thought leaders. Follow her on Twitter @wendymarx and on Google+ @ plus.google.com/+wendymarx.

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