Dene Menzel is an Australian musician, composer, arranger, speaker, author and entrepreneur. Following a 10 year career running a successful performing arts company and three reputable pop choirs in Melbourne, Dene published her first book, The Voice Factor, a ‘how to sing’ book compressed in 5 easy steps. which became a #1 Best Seller in 4 categories on Amazon in the US and Australia.
Since her book success in 2013, Dene has founded a number of businesses to share her love of music with the world. One of Dene’s greatest passions, is using her talents for a great cause, inspired by her 6 year old daughter Mackinlay – to create a better world one song at a time. Her 2016 virtual choir project united voices from all over the world over cyberspace – 4 years before the wave of online choirs we see today. In this, her rewrite of Waltzing Matilda led by Australia’s own Kate Ceberano, backed by 200 singers from over 20 countries for International Peace Day, reached over 20K views across social media and a #1 spot on the iTunes charts,
Dene is also founder, and Creative Director of multi-award winning creative branding agency, Branthem which composes signature musical identities for brands for amplified brand recognition and connection, and turns businesses into a day through her team bonding workshop, Brand Jam.
Today, Branthem is a product of 45 years of experience in both music and business. It is a culmination of Dene’s vision for innovation, her commitment to excellence and an unwavering belief in the ‘magic’ of music to connect deeply and authentically with the beauty in the human spirit.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Dene Menzel: My name is Dene Menzel. I’m the Founder of multi-award winning branding agency, Branthem, specialising in composing music and sonic elements strategically, creatively, emotively and authentically to connect brands with their customers – and their people.
To get us started, Can you tell our readers what does your company solve differently in the crowded marketplace? Give an example or share a story.
Dene Menzel: You know how the average consumer attention span has decreased dramatically over the years since the rise of social media? Well one of the things that Branthem does is create signature music for forward-thinking businesses that want to amplify their brand recognition, connection and memorability across marketing platforms.. In fact, these “brand anthems” are strategically designed to amplify your brand over many platforms including radio, video, podcast, phone hold music, live events and more. A great example of this is a first aid training facility we were commissioned to compose for. We needed to create something easy for this brand so that it could also act as a memory recall in case of an emergency.
So we created “In A Heartbeat”, a dance track strategically composed at 120 beats per minute – the requirement for CPR resuscitation, the lyrics sparking thought about their why, “Who would I be there in a heartbeat for?” The client ended up using their branthem in their first aid training program as well as, ringtone, and phone hold music, in their radio advertising and has been the soundtrack to their social media videos – demonstrating just how versatile a branthem can be.
While your company is growing, what are some of the challenges you face? Hiring? Tech development? Raising capital? Branding? Tell us more about the journey.
Dene Menzel: The main challenge for a concept like Branthem is quite unique, due to the fact that we are changing the game in how brands market themselves. Because of this, we find that we need to spend additional time to present the concept in a way that is easy to visualise when onboarding new clients.. We do however find that once we present the concept, our clients love what we create and we are able to move forward.
Everyone has a different story, what influenced your decision to be an entrepreneur, what would you have done differently?
Dene Menzel: I have been an entrepreneur and a creative for many years now, I have always been drawn to change makers and visionaries since I was very young, and fascinated by innovators challenging what has been done before and stepping fearlessly into possibility by bringing new elements together. In that respect, it was inevitable that I would become an entrepreneur. More recently, I have learned how to trust my intuition in my entrepreneurial journey.
I didn’t always do that and learned the hard way with mistakes that were indeed valuable life lessons. If I had to do anything differently it would definitely be to follow my instincts much earlier!
Now for the main focus of this interview: what qualities or characteristics do women entrepreneurs have that make them great leaders? Please share some examples.
Dene Menzel: There are so many incredible womenpreneurs that have demonstrated great leadership to the rest of the world. I believe the common thread between these women is unwavering self belief, an ability to listen as well as articulate their vision, an ability to bring the right team together, and a resilience to not stop until they get the job done. I have seen this in great women – Melanie Perkins Founder of Canva, Michelle Obama, and Maya Angelou we can all learn from these amazing inspiring women.
What are some of the biggest challenges you still see women face while conducting business, compared to their male counterparts? What would you like to see change, and how would you make it happen?
Dene Menzel: I think I might answer this question with a question: How wonderful would it be if business was about the skills, knowledge and experience we brought to the table rather than who or what is bringing the talent? But this doesn’t happen by itself. We need to discipline ourselves to make our skills the focus of the conversation and set the tone for business before we even walk into the room.
With all of your experience as a business leader, what is the most important thing you can tell fellow entrepreneurs that you’d like to share with aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Dene Menzel: My mum once said this to me, and I share it with my own daughter: “Everything you need is in your hands”. I think when you can believe that first, there is no room for impossible.
What do you plan on tackling during 2022? Share your goals and battles you expect to face.
Dene Menzel: I look at 2022 with an openness to opportunity. I have set myself some big projects with big goals which require much research into innovation and technology for platforms that don’t yet exist, having conversations with experts in skill sets I don’t possess, and having the discipline of much patience and resilience as I step stone to achieving my next vision.
How do you keep learning? Podcast? Books? Audiobooks? Videos? Share some of your greatest sources of inspiration? Share an impactful story.
Dene Menzel: Much of my inspiration comes internally from daily meditation. Having a clear mind to block out noise, and allow creativity, clarity, ideas and thoughts to flow freely. I do love reading articles on impactful stories as they occur in the world, and I regard them with great appreciation and validation of those people who have a vision and to make their dreams happen.
Sports people are a fantastic example of this. I do love the tennis and I loved reading about Australian tennis player Ash Barty and her campaign from her early years to now become globally revered as the #1 female tennis player in the world with comparisons to Roger Federer.
I’m sure our readers will be very thankful for the insights you have shared. Where can our readers follow up with you?
Dene Menzel: I love meeting with progressive businesses, industry leaders and change agents, and like minded marketing innovators who are open to infinite possibility.
If this is you, I’d love to connect:
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Dene Menzel for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Dene Menzel or her company, you can do it through her – Instagram
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