Names with stories: The story behind Voices — Smart Branding
Voices has changed its name twice since its inception, moving from Voices.com to the simpler Voices just earlier this year. To get a deeper insight into the story behind the brand, we talk with David Ciccarelli, the CEO and Founder of Voices, about the reasons for a name change, why the previous name was limiting for the business, and what’s on the horizon for Voices.
What is the story behind Voices?
Well, it all boils down to a napkin. Let me explain. After I graduated from the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART) in London, Ontario, I opened a small recording studio. I actually got my name in the Business London newspaper, on my birthday of all days, and my Mother-in-Law clipped that article out and showed it to Stephanie, who is now my wife. She was a classically trained singer and her mom thought Stephanie should record her repertoire at the studio. So she and her mom came down to the studio and we recorded with me as the sound engineer.
That article also garnered interest from other local businesses, like hair salons and flower shops, who wanted a female voice for their ads. I only knew one girl in the city — Stephanie — so I called her up and asked her if she could read the copy. We ended up working together, with her as the voice talent and myself as the sound engineer.
We started getting inundated with inquiries from voice talent who focused on documentary narration, character voices, spoke multiple languages, and beyond, asking if they could be featured on our website. We always just said yes and hand-coded these profiles for them to showcase their voice demos.
Advertising agencies and video production companies started hiring out these voice actors from our website and that was sort of my proverbial “Aha!” moment. This is when we decided to pivot away from the recording studio and reinvent ourselves as a voice over marketplace, where we could connect voice-buying clients with professional and aspiring voice talent. We mapped out the concept of Voices on a napkin and the rest is history. Now Voices is the number one marketplace for voice over and Stephanie and I are married with four beautiful kids.
When did you start thinking about your brand name and how did you settle on Voices?
When we first launched, we were called InteractiveVoices.com. It was a mouthful but served its purpose. One of the unique elements about our service is that each voice talent got a profile on our website and their address would be, for example, nancy.interactivevoices.com. The name was long and customers often misspelled it. Someone even complained that their fingers got tired from typing it. We were even mistakenly called “voices interactive” or “interactive voice.com.” Furthermore, the name implied that we only provided voices for interactive media when really we offered voice talent who specialized in voice over for everything from radio to television to audiobooks and corporate videos.
Continue reading the whole interview at SmartBranding.com