The sound of business

PB-logoHere is my June Management Matters column in Prairie Business Magazine

Have you ever wondered about the “sound” of your business? In the 1950s and ’60s it seemed almost every business had a catchy jingle that consumers associated with its goods and services. In fact, the genesis of the jingle may well have been from our region. One of the first and best-known jingles, “Have You Tried Wheaties?” premiered on Christmas Eve 1926 in the Twin Cities. The success of the Wheaties jingle may well have saved the brand that so many of us know and love.

The art of the jingle has lost favor over the years, but one sector — technology — has quietly (pun intended) reintroduced the idea of associating captivating sounds with brands. Every Mac user is very aware of the chime of his/her computer starting — it’s a “good news” sound as it means all is well. Intel’s renowned five-note jingle “Intel Inside” is similarly recognizable to millions of PC users. Skype users around the world welcome the well-known “whoosh” as a sign that they are about to make a free call and THX’s “Deep Note” prompts audiophiles to prepare for an amazing listening experience. There are many other examples: AT&T, Nokia and Xbox to name a few.

Perhaps it is time for you to consider the sound of your business. Could a mini-musical fanfare influence the behaviors and feelings of your potential customers? Even if you are not convinced your brand needs a sound check, the development exercise will force you to rethink how you can define yourself and differentiate your brand from the competition. Time’s a-wastin’ … tick, tock. PB