The musical minds behind our greatest innovation

Apr 13, 2021

At PHMG, innovation is one of our most treasured brand values – and we’re committed to pushing boundaries in everything we do. Through our company’s history, one of our biggest innovations has been the advance in our abilities to create exclusive music, and the practices that allow us to do this for every single one of our 36,000 clients. This pioneering development is all down to two founding members of the Music & Voice team – Head of A&R Lucy Drennan, and A&R Manager Alice Salmon. Ahead of this month’s World Creativity and Innovation day on April 21st, we sat down with them to discuss how their invention came about, how it captures the unique identities of the companies we work with, and how it’s always evolving in a way that continually innovates.

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Many years in the making, our biggest musical breakthrough came in 2016. Alice and Lucy tell us more about the work that led up to this moment. 

Alice: “Since the very first days of PHMG, our team has been working with a really varied mix of clients – companies in so many different sectors, and different types of brands. Over time, this built up a database that allowed us to pinpoint key trends, highlight different features, and plot musical themes in relation to various industries. And this was the beginnings of what’s now known as Brand-Sound-Track™.”

Lucy: “The time came when we were able to gather all these findings, and use them to create the foundations of a method of composition. The data we had centred around the key adjectives companies use to describe themselves. Using this, we held an initial workshop with several team members, where we matched these words with musical approaches that best embodied these qualities. As a result of this process, we built our very first library of sounds, melodies, styles and parts, which was the spark that ignited our transformation to custom composition. It developed into a ground-breaking method of mixing, mastering and manipulating music, and we introduced a completely new way to translate adjectives into musical identities.”

Alice:All this was only made possible lthanks to the consultative, in-depth approach of our Account Managers and Heads of Creative. When they work with a client, they really get to the heart of their brand – asking the right questions, and using the right language to uncover the nuanced details we needed. Only then were we able to successfully translate this into a musical identity.”

While this was a significant breakthrough, it was only the beginning. Through continual evolution, the Brand-Sound-Track™ approach keeps on reaching new levels of innovation.

Lucy: “When our Brand-Sound-Track™ base was first established, it almost represented the birth of a living, breathing musical body. Every day, we welcome new clients, make new musical discoveries, see new trends emerge, and learn more about the tastes of audiences in various different territories – meaning our methods and approaches to composition are consistently evolving. The more businesses we get to know, and the more we expand across the globe, the more nuanced and sophisticated our techniques and understanding become. And on top of this, we’re also exploring new methods of data capture, so we can really harness the power of the information we’re collecting. All of this is continually enhancing our abilities to translate the distinct identities of our clients in sound, and we’re giving every single one a track as unique as their business personality.”

Alice: “On top of all this, it’s the skill of our unbelievably talented In-House Composers that’s really driving this musical evolution. They’re all dedicated to curating the different elements of our tracks, built around varying instruments, styles of playing and methods of processing or production. Within the team, we encourage a completely free approach to composition, so everyone draws on their vast experience and influences to develop sound worlds. It’s here the immense creativity and artistic flair of our musicians really shines. Their commitment to audio innovation is such a big part of Brand-Sound-Track™, and the way it keeps on breaking new ground in audio branding. 

The innovation that built Brand-Sound-Track™ is something we’re all very proud of at PHMG, and it was made possible thanks to the incredible musical insight of Alice and Lucy. In recognition of their remarkable work, their innovation has been recognised with an official patent – giving them real inventor status. Thanks to them, we as a company have broken boundaries, become true innovators, and – most importantly – wholly enhanced the way we capture the musical identity of our valued clients.