Speech scientist Rapul Patel remembers watching a little girl and a grown man conversing but only hearing one voice, no matter who was talking.  That is where our Lesson Found begins.

The little girl and grown man were both using synthetic voice devices that generated the exact same adult-male voice.  Clearly, that voice did not accurately represent the individuality of at least one of the speakers.  Situations like this spurred Dr. Patel to found VOCALiD, a company specializing in creating synthetic voices personalized to the speaker.  In a recent Hidden Brain podcast, Dr. Patel relates working with Maeve, a young girl whose cerebral palsy rendered her unable to speak.  To create Maeve’s voice, Dr. Patel started by recording the utterances Maeve could make and then blended these with recordings of her sisters speaking hundreds of phrases.  The result is Maeve’s unique voice accurately reflecting who she is.  Maeve’s excitement at the result is evident in her reaction: “I can’t wait for my friends to hear my new voice!”

Finding and embracing your brand’s voice is this Lesson Found.  Your brand is your company’s “personality”.  Your branding is the voice that reflects that personality.  Using an example from last week’s Lesson Found, the VW Beetle’s personality (brand) was as the  “economical, tough, simple” underdog.  VW found a voice (branding) reflecting this personality in its innovative “Think Small” advertising with slogans like “Its ugly, but it gets you there”.

For smaller, privately-held businesses, establishing the company’s voice has the added dimension of integrating the owner’s personality with the company’s brand.  For Joe and Laura, owners of Radle Electric, this meant creating one voice integrating their love of animals with the company’s brand as residential only electricians dedicated to the highest level of customer service.  Their success in finding Radle’s unique voice is evident in their branding reflected on their website:  “We are pet friendly, meaning we will not ask you to put your pets away while we are working in your home because we are your guests there to do a job while your pets live there.”

Of course, the company’s voice will only be heard if customers and clients are willing to listen.  But how to be heard is a topic for another day.

Life brings us lessons every day.  Sometimes from expected sources.  And sometimes from sources and situations we never would have thought possible.  Either way, they are a gift found. I am fortunate to find these types of lessons regularly and wanted to share them with you with this weekly series of “Lessons Found”.
Did you recently receive the gift of a Lesson Found that has helped you with management, marketing or another aspect in business? I would love to hear about it. Comment below or send me an email to let me know.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:  Image is Wyatt, Team Member & Inspiration for Radle Electric.