Lianne Bergeron (she/her) on making conversation fun
Lianne Bergeron is a person who’s energy few can rival. Her CV spans many years of experience working on or founding her own marketing & communications ventures. To an outsider, it seems as if her expertise allowed her to notice something missing in the corporate world: how unengaging internal communications are. Why? Because that’s what her latest startup is all about; making conversations fun and engaging. Started in collaboration with her friend and business partner, Nathalie Hennequin, Loops Audio recently hit the App Store’s shelves after graduating from StartupLeap. They launched an MVP focusing on fun audio messages. We’re happy to introduce you to her.
Where did the idea for Loops Audio come from?
Nathalie and I decided it was time to bring our own products to market as we had been helping others do that for many years. Our backgrounds in communication, engagement & brand design, as well as the growth the audio market got us thinking about this space. A conversation with a friend in corporate triggered it even further. He mentioned that his team leader had sent a WhatsApp audio message to them. It was too long and a bit boring but he listened to it in the car on his way home. I thought, hey!, there is an opportunity here. For our MVP, we focused on our concept of easy, engaging audio and added the element of fun in order for it to become a consumer app.
You’ve worked at the forefront of creativity for the past years. Are boring internal communications a syndrome affecting just some industries, or something you noticed in advertising agencies as well?
Ha! Well I’m not sure I want to venture into saying that the advertising space has boring internal communications but I do know that not all are creating engaging internal messaging. People that are delivering internal messaging, be it product developments, events, weekly news or onboarding, typically haven’t been trained in creating good messaging.
Why do you think people tend to act more formally at work and what impact does this have on their performance?
I think that trend is changing rapidly with companies focusing on more relaxed cultures, games, weekly events etc. In that way, working for many of these new companies is becoming a lifestyle that gets rid of the ‘formality’. I think when you feel relaxed, you are just better, more creative and more likely to say what you really think.
I can imagine that improving the way people communicate internally can have a positive impact on employees. In the same line of thought, what else can companies do to make it better for their people?
Listen to them. Really and truly be employee centric.
Authenticity in communication, making things personal, being interested and available.
What is your biggest challenge currently and how are you tackling it?
Focus! We see multiple segment possibilities. We tackle each by validating them one by one. There are two of us, so “divide and conquer” is our current strategy.
Calling onto your communications expertise, when do you advise startups to start marketing themselves?
I expect that there are multiple views about this but ours would be the sooner the better. Start claiming the space by writing articles or posting content based videos. Find ambassadors, build a landing page that you can send to people and create some traction for your product. Piggyback on other brand’s campaigns. Show up at conferences, online events, Linked-in.
Do we practice what we preach? Eh… yes! As of today!
Communication needs to be honest and hit a personal note if we want it to be significant. Let’s have fun doing it. It’s the Year of the Ear after all!