Too shy for TikTok? Can’t get into Clubhouse? Forgot granny’s birthday? Or just want to cheer up a friend? Loop it up with this fun easy audio messaging tool called Loops Audio.
The idea for this app started at the kitchen table while Nathalie Hennequin and Lianne Bergeron were brainstorming about how they could bring their own products to market versus always working on other people’s.
Both women have over 25 years in branding and communications and worked internationally before settling in Amsterdam. Triggered by the fact that the employment market is not a friendly one for 50+ women and by the fact that they have both always been slightly ahead of the wave in their professional lives but had never really capitalized on that, it was time to bring their own product idea to market.
What they have seen in their work and surroundings, is that people are screened out and visually overstimulated. Audio is growing exponentially, and they saw a gap. People are, of course, already sending audio messages but creating fun & engaging audio messages is something new. They see multiple market segments for their concept and self-funded their MVP to test their stacking idea and to gain experience and new skills in this area.
One of the challenges that exists is that most people don’t like the sound of their voice. They aren’t used to hearing it in the context of a recording. This can be partially solved by adding other sounds to the message to break up the monotony and strangeness of hearing your own voice. Focussing on the educational space and helping kids own and use their voice in storytelling and presentations can also help reach a comfort level. Teaching people how to use their voice and create good clear messages is also an opportunity that could be integrated into their platform.
About the founders
After a 10-year career in London and another 7 in New York, Nathalie Hennequin (FR), moved to the Netherlands 14 years ago. "I have always been busy with design and drawing. I am one of those people who sees things hyper visually. That’s what brought me into my profession of branding and design. I came to Amsterdam because it is such a design centric city" she says. She has her own agency and has been busy with every aspect of design since her career started.
"I started in the digital media field in 1991 in the USA using the first Kodak digital cameras, the first Macs, imaging software and other leading technology at the time. I spent about 10 years training people all over the world and helping them integrate digital media into their traditional workflows. For me it’s always been about translating information into something others understand". says Lianne Bergeron (CA). She’s since been focussed on communications in every sense of the word. She moved to Amsterdam over 20 years ago for one of these projects and never left!
From a wall of sticky notes and into to the Apple store
Early in 2020, the duo decided to start working together and created Nail It Productions, a company that offers branding solutions to companies but also a space for like-minded women to come together and work on their own start-up ideas. They started dedicating a couple of days a week on their own ideas and the one that stuck was the audio messaging space. Their experience in communications makes them a good fit for this.
One conversation impacted their thought process. It was with a friend of Lianne’s whose team leader sent a voice recording of their internal news rather than an email. He told her how much more impact it had, that he could listen to it while in his car and that many people in his team were just not reading through all their emails. That seeded a bigger idea that has just kept growing.
With the awareness that using your voice and listening to messages is a space that has multiple opportunities and given the amount of information, images, videos and emails in which people are subjected daily, the duo spent the last 6 months covering Nathalie's walls with sticky notes, shaping, and sharpening their idea until the recent launch of the app.
And now loop it up!
The sounds in their app are all original to avoid copyright infringement and extra costs. You’ll hear their friends, family, kids and a number of their own voices in this initial version. As they learn from users, they will adapt, add or delete current sounds to get even closer to their audience’s needs.
But this is only the start of where their ambition is leading them. “By changing the categories and background design, you can target different market segments.” From educational storytelling to an internal corporate communication tool, Loops Audio can be used to create many different types of audio messaging. By adding templates and tutorials, it will become the space for learning about getting your message across in an engaging fun way.
To get started with Loops, download the app (iPhone only), record your voice or add a sound, do it again, stack them up and send. Your new fun audio message is bound to put a smile on the receiver’s face. In fact, this duo guarantees it!
Can't wait to download the app?
Interested in joining them to help build this out into other market segments or are you a woman with a good idea that could use a team to help you with your branding and ideation?
Get in touch with them or better yet, send them a Loop!
The RISE team is deeply grateful to Lianne Bergeron and Nathalie Hennequin for granting us the interview, but above all for sharing her contagious determination and strength not only with us, but all the We Rise members.
Stay tuned, the next month is around the corner, remember each month is a different story. For any interview suggestions or requests, don't hesitate to contact us.