Cases & Strategies

Sound Branding


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Sensory experiences in retail are not new. Lighting, ambiance, aromas and music that help build up the brand universe are practices that have already become standard and there are good examples out there. One of the first lectures I had in the MA course was specifically about sensory experience with sounds – and I’m not just talking soundtracks.

Sure, the musical selection makes all the difference. When it is done correctly, it can make the customer stays longer in the store – and buy more!  In a campaign, it can even change the positioning of the brand. Commercials like this one from Levi’s, for example, with “Be My Baby” on track, helped in the company reposition (the strategy began in the 80s with this campaign) in the worldwide market.

In the luxury market, Dior nailed it by choosing Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” for Secret Garden video  (don’t you want to dance in the garden???) and Gucci, by choosing “Heart of Glass” for Gucci by Gucci perfume ad.

What if the brand goes beyond the music and establish a sound? Burberry, for example, has everything to do with the sound of rain. Just remember that the trench coat is its iconic piece and that (bad) weather is an English obsession! So every time you hear the sound of rain you will remind of Burberry! This is sound branding!

I’m now wondering what would be the sound of some brands: Tiffany – the sound of a celebration; Manolo Blahnik – the noise a heel makes when you walk; Ralph Lauren – the noise of the Polo bat hitting the ball….

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