Brand resonance

Just to explain a bit more about this Resonance thing I keep banging on about…

Resonance applies to physics and planets (orbital resonance) and music (acoustic resonance) and temperature (heat being caused by movement) and oceanography (tidal resonance) and brands and you and me and pretty much everything. In physics, the definition of resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate at maximum amplitude at certain frequencies. Consider that in light of what marketing attempts to do in terms of emotional connections; moving and shaking us.

A pleasant vibration is relaxing (consonance) versus a turbulent vibration that is torturous (dissonance). There are interesting parallels between marketing and music in endless ways (anyone who’s a musician and marketer gets it – you know who you are). A while back we knew our place – things were structured, holding form, shape, pattern (people accepted their lot), ‘photographic’ in artistic terms…think Bach, Mozart, cheesy aspirational image broadcast marketing. Then it became more extreme, ambiguous and chaotic… like new marketing and new media, eclectic, informal lifestyles, new found freedoms – no longer one right way to live and think. Society used to be static, set, still, calm, everything in its place – ‘classical’. Now it’s hip-hop, modern jazz, rock, pop, metrosexual whatever.

Then there’s musical colour, i.e. timbre (look at Klangfarbenmelodie, for example). Colour is all about mixing pigments, as is music. Pointillism, for instance; and minimalism, where there isn’t much going on at all. Then there are some people who hear, say, a G chord and see the colour green, consistently (synesthesia).

Also words – I love words. Words are vibrations (sounds) – but when you look at a word, do you see it or hear it? If there was no such word, would it still exist? Okay, okay. But what I love about words is their rhythm; and rhythm is just a slowed-down vibration that becomes a beat when our ear can pick it out. Vibes man ;-)

Resonance ties in with physics/space time/existence too. Look at the ancient Greek stuff: Pythagoras and the muses were all about physics, geometry, mathematics, philosophy and music. Sound is characterised by the properties of waves: frequency (check out Dominic Travers’ work on frequency-of-use data), wavelength, amplitude, speed – like science and marketing and anthropology.

If you fancy a real brain-strain, check our Nassim Haramein’s Resonance Project, a bunch of scientists living in a think tank compound in Hawaii trying to work out stuff about the universe, from the origin of spin, to scale unification, to the role of the vacuum. If you can get over the garland-wearing weirdness and quasi-religious undertones (and the fact if you close your eyes you could mistake Nassim for Cheech / Chong), it’s truly fascinating stuff, whether or not you buy the theories.

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