101 Great Minds Brand Edition

amp 101 Great Minds interview with Hubertus Devroye, Director of global Marketing at Dow.

“Challenging times force us reflect on things we took for granted in the good times. Auditory stimulus – sound and tone – are great examples. And what a great opportunity.”
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amp 101 Great Minds interview with Hubertus Devroye, Director of global Marketing at Dow.

“Challenging times force us reflect on things we took for granted in the good times. Auditory stimulus – sound and tone – are great examples. And what a great opportunity.”

101 Great Minds on
Music, Brands and Behavior

BRAND EDITION

HUBERTUS (HUUB) DEVROYE

Director of Global Marketing at Dow

 

“Challenging times force us reflect on things we took for granted in the good times. Auditory stimulus – sound and tone - are great examples. And what a great opportunity.”


 
Hubertus Devroye, Director of Global Marketing at Dow

Devroye joined Dow in Horgen, Switzerland, in July 2010, as the Marketing Leader for EMEAI, and assumed his current role in December 2018. Devroye established one of Dow’s critical global marketing growth programs around “Integrated Demand Generation” and “Marketing Automation”. He has extensive global B2B and B2C marketing, branding and commercial experience based on prior roles with DuPont de Nemours and Sara Lee Branded Apparel over the past 15 years. In his seven years at DuPont, Devroye held both corporate functional leadership and business unit marketing leadership roles. He also led the implementation of a market-driven and industry marketing approach in Construction, Energy, Food and Transportation for DuPont in both developed and emerging markets.

Uli Reese: Tell me about your role at Dow.

Hubertus Devroye:
We created “new” Dow, a world leading material science company, in 2019 out of the DowDuPont merger which happened a few years before. Our CEO, Jim Fitterling, set out on a very interesting course for Dow to become the world’s most innovative, inclusive, customer-centric and sustainable material science company. My role in Dow is to build a strong Marketing function, including one of its critical pillars around branding.  Branding historically, especially in B2B, is treated from a corporate perspective, and not necessarily in the context of Marketing in the businesses – taking a market-back view. So, to the delight of many of our marketers, we moved branding into Marketing as a priority and it’s great to have it back there. Building on the great work already done, we are taking a clean sheet of paper and start looking at how we are going to move forward with great storytelling, visuals, images, sound and tone of voice.

Reese: What is the perception of Dow as a brand?


Hubertus:
When people think about our industry, very often they think we only make the ingredients that go into products that go into solutions that ultimately end up with end consumers.  Emotions are not necessarily associated with the science of the ingredient itself.  However, if you look at what our CEO set out to do, and you put engineering and science in that context, it is very exciting and emotional. In terms of corporate branding we have a strong brand with lots of history and Dow has made a deep impact in many areas.  If you look around you there is probably something of Dow in everything.  I am at Dow and in Dow Marketing because it is fascinating. I’m not an engineer, chemist or a scientist but I love to work with them. I ask simple questions in a highly sophisticated environment.  Very often science is complicated, but the beauty is that the story has a simplicity to it and that’s the opportunity this industry offers. You have all these ingredients, products and solutions touching a human life.  This has become even more apparent during the pandemic.

Building on the great work already done, we are taking a clean sheet of paper and start looking at how we are going to move forward with great storytelling, visuals, images, sound and tone of voice.

Reese: Do you think the oversaturation for visuals is about to change because of smart speaker systems. Alexa is here to stay and now with COVID people don’t want to touch things anymore. Will there be a shift?

Hubertus: For sure there will be a different mindset coming out of this, emphasizing, amongst others, the importance of human voice and sound overall. Sometimes challenging times make us reflect on what we took for granted in the good times.  Sound and music are great examples.  With Spotify and Amazon, we have more access to music than ever before. Sometimes you have to pinch yourself.  In the past you had to go into the record store with a specific choice in mind.  Now you have everything at your fingertips in real-time, and in digital format.  The flip side is we forget that sound or music is an art, and it takes an artist to create sound or to interpret it.  I’m now listening more to the tone of voice in addition to the content. So maybe now’s the time to look at the sonic DNA of a brand.

Reese: So how do you distil the brand into sonic?

Hubertus: You can make great and impactful science speak in all kinds of different ways and I don’t think people have experimented enough with sound in our industry. We have done some, but there’s enormous potential for more and it resonates with me. Our CEO recently said that it’s a super exciting time to be in marketing at Dow, and this is certainly part of it.  A unique opportunity for our industry. I’ve been waiting a long time for this, and happy to be part of this!

Reese: Would you agree that voice is the number one trust builder in digital?

Hubertus: Very true. I work for a global company and during the pandemic we have all been on conference calls or using digital capabilities to stay in touch.  What happened is that everybody in some way has become equal. My team told me they have become a better and more inclusive team in the pandemic because they had to take into account the way they were talking to one another. Trust building had to happen in a different way.  In this case through voice and sound. 

Reese: Audio is the big equaliser but are brands prepared for this?

Hubertus: If you’re asking if “sound” is essential in branding, I would say yes. Have brands done enough with it? Probably not.  Even more than in B2C, you could argue that focus on product in B2B(2C) is even stronger, and therefore it’s true we have not done enough with sound. I’m hoping when we come out of these challenging times and people start to rethink to up our brand impact and awareness efforts, marketers will ask themselves: ‘Are there different ways of storytelling?’ The worst thing we can do is that we go back to that fast pace of living and forget what we observed and learned.

Reese: Today with technology anyone can produce content suitable for broadcast. Does that make a difference?

Hubertus: We have everything at our disposal which is great but it requires marketers to be even better. It’s going to be interesting to see who the truly great marketeers are, who understand the world they are living and operating in, and who can make a true difference. We all have three options when disruptions happen; one, you can hide and wait until the storm blows over, two you can be super grumpy and negative, or three, you truly embrace the change or disruption and go for it.  There are only going to be a handful in the latter category, but that makes it super exciting.  I often feel like a kid in a toy store.

Copyright © 2020, amp GmbH

Copyright regulations apply when using material from this document and when using the supplied video or audio files. This document is intended to be exclusively viewed by the recipient and its subsidiaries. Under no circumstances may the content or part of the content made available or forwarded in any form orally or in writing to third parties, in particular to competitors or affiliates. The publication, reproduction, distribution, reproduction or other utilization of the presented ideas, texts, layouts, concepts, films or audio files without express written permission by amp GmbH.

amp 101 Great Minds interview with Dr. Bernd Schmaul, CEO at Coup

“Soundbranding crowns the brand positioning and injects emotions you cannot visualize.”
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amp 101 Great Minds interview with Dr. Bernd Schmaul, CEO at Coup

“Soundbranding crowns the brand positioning and injects emotions you cannot visualize.”

101 Great Minds on
Music, Brands and Behavior

BRAND EDITION

DR. BERND SCHMAUL

CEO at Coup Mobility

 

“Soundbranding crowns the brand positioning and injects emotions you cannot visualize.”


 
Dr. Bernd Schmaul, CEO, Coup Mobility

Bernd’s professional focus concentrates on startup growth, branding and digital transformation. With more than 20 years of senior management experience in the mobility and technology space, he worked for top brands, such as Lufthansa, TUI, Europcar, Daimler, and now Bosch. Company positions as CCO of TUI-fly, CCO of Europcar, CMO of moovel and most recently as CEO of the e-Scooter Sharing Service Coup are examples for applying all channels of a holistic branding approach.

Reese: Can you talk about your CEO role at Coup?

Schmaul:
As Coup eScooter-Sharing we pioneered the way in Berlin, Paris and Madrid within this new urban mobility space.

Reese: Can you talk about the role of sound in mobility solutions?

Schmaul: A holistic way of branding is essential for the positioning of a company, product or service. The work of Martin Lindstrom’s ‘Brand Sense’ is key: A brand, obviously, is recognized by all our senses, not only visually, but increasingly with our ears. Sound branding is an important differentiator and ingredient of how a brand is positioned and perceived.

Reese: What role will sound have in the experience economy?

Schmaul: Sound clearly has a significant impact. Today, all aspects of e.g. music are being discovered. Whether a sound logo, a jingle, or even a song. For instance, I love Coca-Cola’s approach: Over the years, they have been adapting their Coca Cola song carefully. You immediately recognize the song and know that Coke is coming to town again. Also, microsounds, UX sounds, become more and more important, especially in apps and hardware. The biggest advantage of sound is that there is no need to focus your eyes in a certain direction but still you will be able to recognize whether e.g. a phone (and which brand) is ringing, even which feature is used.

Reese: Sound is the only medium that can stay with you throughout the entire customer experience. Where is voice today, and where is that going to go?

Schmaul: At Coup, we created a customer-centric UX-focused application, where the electric scooters have been accessed only with three clicks - easy, seemless and one of the best. However, apps are the standard today. Looking into the future, we might not need them anymore. With voice recognition we are going to have everything literally in our pocket. So, no need to hold a smartphone in our hand and open the applications. Everything will be controlled over voice. Within this context microsounds open opportunities for sound branding.

Reese: Your parent company Bosch is using sound branding strategically and globally today. Why are brands sometimes late to the table in terms of treating sound strategically?

Schmaul: In my opinion, sounds are recently becoming more and more important due to the fact that new technologies and devices are developed. Today, e.g. with the help of Siri or Alexa, which did not exist 20 years ago. Technology is driving new channels in which we can use sounds to position brands. Due to growing market size, new target audiences and higher utilization of those new channels, the importance of such is rising. The smartphone revolution is driving this as well.

Copyright © 2020, amp GmbH

Copyright regulations apply when using material from this document and when using the supplied video or audio files. This document is intended to be exclusively viewed by the recipient and its subsidiaries. Under no circumstances may the content or part of the content made available or forwarded in any form orally or in writing to third parties, in particular to competitors or affiliates. The publication, reproduction, distribution, reproduction or other utilization of the presented ideas, texts, layouts, concepts, films or audio files without express written permission by amp GmbH.

amp 101 Great Minds interview with Maria Gräfin von Scheel-Plessen, Global Head of Media & Advertising at Montblanc.

“A sonic experience can be a big influencing mechanism and that has often been forgotten.”
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amp 101 Great Minds interview with Maria Gräfin von Scheel-Plessen, Global Head of Media & Advertising at Montblanc.

“A sonic experience can be a big influencing mechanism and that has often been forgotten.”

101 Great Minds on
Music, Brands and Behavior

BRAND EDITION

Maria Gräfin von Scheel-Plessen

Global Head of Media & Advertising at Montblanc

 

"A sonic experience can be a big influencing mechanism and that has often been forgotten."


 
Maria Gräfin von Scheel-Plessen, Global Head of Media & Advertising at Montblanc

 

As the Global Head of Media & Advertising at Montblanc, Maria oversees the global advertisement strategy for 22 markets across all online and offline channels, dedicated to digitally transforming the luxury maison while enabling a seamless user journey and full Marketing funnel with a strong retail network. Previously Maria held leading Marketing positions with Rocket Internet in Singapore and Amazon in Munich and has a strong track record in the tech and premium fashion industries. Maria is a regular speaker at international events such as the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona or the Transformation Summit in Dubai and is sharing her expertise on digital transformation and Marketing strategy and communications on a global scale.

Reese: Can you tell me about your role at Montblanc?

vSP:
I’m the head of Global Media & Advertising for Montblanc for 22 markets. I’m in charge of online and offline marketing and advertising budgets, and my area also includes everything for the media buying side. I also have the social channels, display channels, SEO, SEA and marketing under my umbrella. And I handle everything in terms of campaign management, so a broad spectrum.

Reese: We know what Montblanc is doing but for those who don’t know can you explain more about the brand?


vSP:
Montblanc has existed for 100 years. It’s a prestige brand from a very strong heritage background. What we do is to establish, communicate and support what we call the ‘art of writing’. Everything has become more and more digitally focussed but we still believe that the art of writing is a good and honest way to express your emotions. Writing the letter and connecting to your loved ones is something that has become extremely important during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time we are also tapping more into lifestyle products such as leather goods, headphones and smart products.

Reese: How important is audio identity in brand building and branding for Montblanc?

vSP: It’s important because it’s a gateway to the consumer, especially since there’s been such a strong shift in terms of digital media investment. You need to ensure that the consumer has a chance to understand the character and heritage of the brand. In the luxury world we talk about high value and highly emotional products, so we need to connect with the consumer on that level.

Reese: If you look at the consumer experience of using audio is it something you are satisfied with, or need to improve upon?

vSP: I would say it’s something we are working on. We have just changed creative agencies and we have a new team on our creative brand side. I think the focus on sonic experience has been a bit neglected but now they are seeing how important it is in terms of differentiating yourself as a brand.

Reese: Why do you think there is such a huge proactive shift from brands coming into audio?

vSP: For me it’s because there’s been a shift in terms of the audience that we’re targeting, which is Generation Y and Z. These audiences are naturally emotionally very stimulated - and they are spoiled! For previous generations digital was a bit of a miracle so there’s a big difference. We need to speed up our game in terms of advertising and targeting. It’s important to present a repeating reminder of who you are as a brand, and this can only be established if you have a sonic experience that’s easy to recognise.

Reese: Do you believe a brand should have a long-term strategy in terms of sound?

vSP: Yes, definitely. Otherwise it won’t be authentic, right? It would be just a one-time shot or just the one campaign activation.

Reese: Why are so many brands – I’m sorry to say – not authentic?

vSP: Two points. One is that when you start working with creative agencies, music and sound often comes last in the campaign creation process. We have the budget, the time frame, the product, and then we don’t care who is going to be the brand ambassador, so often you are looking at not what matches the brand but what matches the personality of the brand ambassador. So you’re already losing some authenticity because you’re giving up some of your brand DNA. And secondly, especially in the luxury or the premium high-end industry, you have to take into account a strong retail network. Boutiques, for example, have a special sound integration when the consumer walks in. The omni channel experience is a place where often we’re not as strong or authentic because the consumer has a different experience offline as opposed to online.

Reese: So many brands I talk to don’t understand what it means to own their music. Do you own any of the music on your videos online?

vSP: No. For me it seems like the creation of music is more niche. This is often not the core expertise of the agency we work with and if it is they don’t sell it like that. We have such a diverse range of products and we operate on a campaign by campaign basis, so they often see a big challenge in using the same visual experience and sound experience for different types of products. A debatable point is can all Montblanc products – watches, writing instruments, headphones - sound the same way or do they need a different identity? That’s often the point at which we struggle.

Reese: Before we wrap up, is there anything else that is important for you to say?

vSP: We talk so much about influencers and micro influencers these days but I think it makes sense for us to understand that even music and sound can be a big influencer and a tool for influencing others. It’s important to go back to your core, focus on your roots and find the right transition from the past to the future, a new target and new customer base. But on the way you can’t forget the character of the brand; the offline extension, the visual extension and sound extension. A sonic experience can be a big influencing mechanism and that has often been forgotten.

Copyright © 2020, amp GmbH

Copyright regulations apply when using material from this document and when using the supplied video or audio files. This document is intended to be exclusively viewed by the recipient and its subsidiaries. Under no circumstances may the content or part of the content made available or forwarded in any form orally or in writing to third parties, in particular to competitors or affiliates. The publication, reproduction, distribution, reproduction or other utilization of the presented ideas, texts, layouts, concepts, films or audio files without express written permission by amp GmbH.

amp 101 Great Minds interview with Tiana Conley, VP Global Cereal at Kellogg’s

“If I think about the role of sound in branding, I believe it’s largely under-utilized. Sound is important because it appeals both to the heart and the mind. And in marketing, you’re trying to appeal to the hearts and minds of consumers.”
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amp 101 Great Minds interview with Tiana Conley, VP Global Cereal at Kellogg’s

“If I think about the role of sound in branding, I believe it’s largely under-utilized. Sound is important because it appeals both to the heart and the mind. And in marketing, you’re trying to appeal to the hearts and minds of consumers.”

101 Great Minds on
Music, Brands and Behavior

BRAND EDITION

Tiana Conley

VP Global Cereal at Kellogg’s

 

"If I think about the role of sound in branding, I believe it’s largely under-utilized. Sound is important because it appeals both to the heart and the mind. And in marketing, you’re trying to appeal to the hearts and minds of consumers."


 
Tiana Conley, VP Global Cereal, Kellogg’s

Tiana serves as the Vice President of Global Cereal for the Kellogg Company, where she is responsible for the $6 billion flagship portfolio with treasured brands such as Special K, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Corn Flakes. Prior to joining Kellogg, she was Marketing Director of global tequila at Beam Suntory, where she led a portfolio of 5 brands and oversaw operations at the Casa Sauza Heritage Center in Tequila, Mexico. Before joining Beam Suntory, Ms. Conley held a variety of marketing roles at Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble, including leading the $4 billion Global Bath Tissue Portfolio as well as leading the P&L for the North American Olay brand.

Reese: Can you tell me a little bit about your role at Kellogg’s?

Tiana Conley:
I currently oversee the global cereal portfolio, which is our flagship portfolio: our bread and butter, to use a food analogy! So it’s an important business to us, and one that’s rooted in an occasion that is really special to us – breakfast, which has interesting implications when it comes to sound. Our brands include Special K, Frosted Flakes, Coco Pops, Raisin Bran…In addition, I started off with Pringles in my portfolio, before I became focused on cereals, so I can talk about sound from that perspective as well.

Reese: So what’s the role of audio at Kellogg’s for these brands – especially looking at the consumer experience and the consumer journey?


Tiana:
I wouldn’t say we have a sharpened corporate point of view on the role of audio in particular. But it’s one of the assets that bring our brands to life. Of all the companies I’ve worked at, probably Kellogg has the most assets with some sort of sound equity. For me, if I think about the role of sound in branding, I believe it’s largely under-utilized. Sound is important because it appeals both to the heart and the mind. And in marketing, you’re trying to appeal to the hearts and minds of consumers, right? So sound can be a bridge that’s transcending both functionally and emotionally, which is really powerful.
If you think about Pringles, which has a really strong acoustic signature in the “pop” of Pringles, the role that plays functionally is to convey the crispness of the product, while the role it plays emotively is to reinforce this playful ritual of eating.

Reese: As you just said, music and sound is so under-utilized by brands. Why is that?

Tiana: I think sound has always been important, but although it has always played a role and has always been influential, people are only just now coming to that realization. So sound is important in terms of thinking about how your brand will come to life across all the different touch points. We tend to forget as marketers that there is real science about the way people internalize things. For example, we know an olfactory response takes you back to memories. When I smell Frosted Flakes, it reminds me of my childhood! So I think people are just now making that connection between scientific understanding and how to motivate and drive consumer behavior – how these scientific and psychological components translate into consumer outcomes, as behavioral science becomes more important.

Reese: The benchmark is that a consumer should be able to recognize your brand with their eyes closed, purely through sound, wherever they find you. Can you empathize with that?

Tiana: Certainly. Some of the businesses we’re in were present in the era of the jingle, and it’s good fortune that some of that identity in terms of audio is left over…If I think about an asset where we have something that we could build on, I can again take one my own favorite brands, Frosted Flakes. In terms of our mix we have Tony the Tiger, our character, and then we have “They’re grrreat!” as one of our key sound equities. So I think it’s about leveraging those distinctive assets across relevant media in a way that’s optimal. In places where we don’t have some kind of sonic branding component, how do we make that own-able? And how could we extend that across Kellogg more broadly? Thinking about sound in that context felt really interesting to me – and potentially powerful. How could Kellogg be the soundtrack to the morning?

Reese: I think what’s going to be important for all brands is to stop consuming pop culture and start becoming pop culture. “They’re grrreat!” is a good example of that. But what I think brands really need is a sharable sonic DNA, which allows them to co-create.

Tiana: The translation and trans-creation concept is not wildly foreign to us. You mentioned that Kellogg is part of pop culture. A lot of times what we’ll see is an articulation visually of our assets that reflects something more current – something a little more like pop art. This is already a digital world – and we can see the implications of that as the entire world experiences a lockdown simultaneously for the first time in history. What it has underscored is not only how critical it is to come to life in a multi-sensorial fashion online, but how there will be a premium on experiences when it’s safe to engage offline. Whether you’re in the online or offline world, it’s not enough to say, “I’m a brand and here’s my brand experience – it’s fixed.” What’s going to be critical in the future is to offer consumers an interactive experience that taps into the co-creation idea you were talking about before – that they feel a part of.

Reese: In marketing these days, with Gen Alpha and Gen Z, nobody knows how to reach anybody anymore. Consumers own the brand at the end of the day. So what they want to see is: do you really care?

Tiana: Music has the power to be both positive and negative. And going back to what you were saying before, is it leveraged in a way that’s authentic? Because music is the language of life, it’s the language of emotion. We’ve experienced the sea of sameness that’s the sound of coronavirus advertising – and I am so sick of the same piano track, the same sappy music, and people telling me how I should feel about this. In fact throughout my career, every time I’ve had to work on some sort of “anthemic” advertising, it’s always had the same sappy track. And I’m, like, “Guys, there are other ways to convey things that are meaningful, important and serious!” If you’re not authentic, people can see right through that. So if you ask me about brands I admire, I’m going to go old school on you and say McDonald’s. But the “why” behind that is because I always saw them as a pioneer in the category of sound – and I’m going to take it back to the fact that they really mastered radio. They have always understood the role and the value of sonic branding. They’ve always been able to master their riffs to flex multi-culturally, to resonate with their different consumer audiences…I say this as a person who’s multi-cultural myself: I’m half Asian and half Black. And I always felt growing up that McDonald’s spoke to me differently than they spoke to everyone else. And they spoke to me through radio, which was the channel I was consuming.

Copyright © 2020, amp GmbH

Copyright regulations apply when using material from this document and when using the supplied video or audio files. This document is intended to be exclusively viewed by the recipient and its subsidiaries. Under no circumstances may the content or part of the content made available or forwarded in any form orally or in writing to third parties, in particular to competitors or affiliates. The publication, reproduction, distribution, reproduction or other utilization of the presented ideas, texts, layouts, concepts, films or audio files without express written permission by amp GmbH.

amp 101 Great Minds interview with Filippo Bonsanti, VP Global Marketing at Indeed.

“In recent years audio has become the soundtrack of our lives: a barometer of our moods and the mirror of our personalities.”
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amp 101 Great Minds interview with Filippo Bonsanti, VP Global Marketing at Indeed.

“In recent years audio has become the soundtrack of our lives: a barometer of our moods and the mirror of our personalities.”

101 Great Minds on
Music, Brands and Behavior

BRAND EDITION

Filippo Bonsanti

VP Global Marketing at Indeed



“In recent years audio has become the soundtrack of our lives: a barometer of our moods and the mirror of our personalities."

 

 Filippo Bonsanti, VP Global Marketing, Indeed

 

Filippo is the Vice President of Global Marketing at Indeed. In the last 2 decades he has worked in various industries such as consulting, FMCG, e-commerce and travel where he has matured B2B and B2C experience in digital and traditional Marketing in over 20 countries. Filippo holds a BSc and an MSc with top marks in Engineering from Turin Polytechnic and TUE Eindhoven and an MBA from INSEAD. In his spare time Filippo offers pro-bono mentoring to start ups from different sectors around Strategy, Marketing and Business Development.

Reese: Can you talk about your role at Indeed?

Bonsanti:
at Indeed I have the pleasure and honor to lead each of our Country Marketing teams around the world plus some central functions such as Marketing Strategy, Planning & Operations, Advanced Modelling and Client Evangelism. On top of that I also run the Indeed’s Enterprise Marketing practice globally.

Reese: What does Indeed do?


Bonsanti:
Indeed is the #1 job site in the world with over 250 million unique visitors every month. Indeed strives to put job seekers first, giving them free access to search for jobs, post resumes, and research companies. Every day, we connect millions of people to new opportunities. At Indeed, our mission is to help people get jobs!

"I expect that every industry, even the least advanced in terms of Marketing, will progressively develop some sort of sonic identities and will become proficient at embedding them along their customers’ journeys."

Reese: Why is there a growing importance of audio in the digital age?

Bonsanti: Audio’s importance has been increasing significantly in the last years for a number of reasons. First of all, portability: thanks to smartphones and digital players, sound is always at the tip of your fingers. Second reason is convenience: think about the old times when you had to move around with a pile of CDs or cassettes, in contrast now everything is invisibly stored online. Third factor is the quality of the experience: 5g and optic fibers pumped up bitrates and new reproduction technologies make high fidelity listening now accessible to everyone.

Fourth reason is choice: user generated content paired with independent publishing and new formats like podcasts have multiplied the offer and expanded niches that were underdeveloped until a few years ago. Finally, new diffusion channels such as digital radio and streaming services have made discovery easy while suggestion algorithms have increased stickiness.

In short, audio has become the soundtrack of our lives: a barometer of our moods and the mirror of our personalities.

Reese: What role does audio play in your customer experience?

Bonsanti: Studies show that images and experiences coupled with the right sound can trigger specific emotions thus augmenting long term memorability. And this is a golden discovery for us Marketers! By successfully leveraging it, we can drive better ad recall, brand association and word of mouth therefore raising the consideration and propensity to buy of our audiences.

This is why at Indeed audio holds a very important role in our campaigns and has been an integral driver of their performance. In the course of the years, we have experimented with sound in different ways.

For example, in Japan, our most successful campaign was tied up to an incredibly recognizable jingle, up to the point that a song was made out of it. On the other hand, in Germany we have created a series of ironic TV spots that play with the similarity of some words to our brand name “Indeed”.

Reese: If you look at the future, how do you think sound as an experience is going to evolve this decade?

Bonsanti: I expect that every industry, even the least advanced in terms of Marketing, will progressively develop some sort of sonic identities and will become proficient at embedding them along their customers’ journeys.

This is because we live in an era when, as average consumers, we get bombarded by up to 10.000 selling messages a day. Our brains have progressively developed the ability to filter out a vast majority of that noise! As a consequence, brands are desperate to find new ways trigger affiliation in their audiences and research has proven that since the beginning of our civilization, sound has been a key element in the formation of trust. Think of a mother calming her child with her voice, the chants shared by the same members of a tribe to cement their union or a password shout during the night at a friendly guarded outpost to be let in.

Then the problem that brands face is: how can we make a sound familiar?

It turns out that there are 4 main drivers that help us answer this question: how often a sound is heard, how close it is to own preferences and how consistent and distinctive it is. Frequency is a function of Marketing investments, while the last 3 points can be addressed by developing an amazing sonic identity.

Reese: What do you think about consistency? You mentioned podcasts, which are becoming more important. They are so intimate because they leave room for visual fantasy and space for imagination.

Bonsanti: Agree. As I mentioned in my previous answer, I think that consistency is one of the principal levers to develop a sonic identity. And podcasts are assets where brands can deliver consistently in 2 ways.

On one side there is objective consistency: this can be reached with technicalities (such as volume, rhythm, tone of voice, riffles etc) and helps marketeers to establish brand familiarity and boost memorability. 

On the other side there is the subjective consistency, which is the perceived feeling that something is close to our own value system. It is what makes brands loved and it gets triggered by the way our brains work.

Neuroscience has in fact explained that our heads fill in any informational gap with familiar (and therefore preferred) assumptions. This means that whenever we get described something, the least details are provided, the more information will be supplied by our brain and the closer the image we form will be to our own internal universe. This is why for example books are in general rated better than their equivalent movie transpositions. Visual fantasy and imagination play exactly the same role in podcasts, that prove to be an effective channel to support the affirmation of a brand identity.

Reese: A lot of brands try to shift perception from for example from respect to love, and music is a great tool for that. Once you have a sharable sonic DNA, you can create pop-culture as a brand. Do you think that this is a trend that will be persistent for a long time?

Bonsanti: It has been proven in many tests that music has the ability to regulate a broad range of both positive and negative emotions: research has in fact measured that advertising campaigns containing music, are 27% more likely to report statistically significant business outcomes compared to those with no music. So, it is undoubtful that music has a fundamental part in brand creation.

Since you ask me if I see this trend ever to fade away, I would like to answer with an analogy: I believe that music relates to branding as smell relates to food. Very few people know that 75% to 90% of the flavor we perceive while eating is contributed by smell and not by taste! Do you expect that aroma will play a less important role in any Michelin star restaurant in any near future? (laughing).

Reese: Is there a brand You admire in the way they use sound?

Bonsanti: It is Alfa Romeo, the Italian car manufacturer. Their whole brand positioning is about passion.

In the course of the years they have produced several cross-channel campaigns that embedded very well music to convey such a message in a powerful and emotional way.

And they did not just stick to sound but also enriched their messages with very strong copy, for example adding Shakespeare quotes to make their sonic branding even more appealing.

Copyright © 2020, amp GmbH

Copyright regulations apply when using material from this document and when using the supplied video or audio files. This document is intended to be exclusively viewed by the recipient and its subsidiaries. Under no circumstances may the content or part of the content made available or forwarded in any form orally or in writing to third parties, in particular to competitors or affiliates. The publication, reproduction, distribution, reproduction or other utilization of the presented ideas, texts, layouts, concepts, films or audio files without express written permission by amp GmbH.

amp 101 Great Minds interview with Mike Fuhrmann, Chief Marketing, Customer & Communications Officer at Generali.

“If a company’s sound strategy ends at a sound logo, a huge potential is being neglected. Brands must send the right signals – and the same signals – everywhere and always. This means paying close attention to a number of parameters such as continuity, consistency, fit and monitoring.”
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amp 101 Great Minds interview with Mike Fuhrmann, Chief Marketing, Customer & Communications Officer at Generali.

“If a company’s sound strategy ends at a sound logo, a huge potential is being neglected. Brands must send the right signals – and the same signals – everywhere and always. This means paying close attention to a number of parameters such as continuity, consistency, fit and monitoring.”

101 Great Minds on
Music, Brands and Behavior

BRAND EDITION

Mike Fuhrmann

Chief Marketing, Customer & Communications Officer at Generali



"If a company’s sound strategy ends at a sound logo, a huge potential is being neglected. Brands must send the right signals - and the same signals - everywhere and always. This means paying close attention to a number of parameters such as continuity, consistency, fit and monitoring."


Mike Fuhrmann, Chief Marketing, Customer & Communications Officer, Generali

Mike Fuhrmann is Chief Marketing, Customer & Communications Officer at Generali Switzerland.  He is an international marketing expert who has worked on both sides – at creative agencies as well as within the marketing teams of global corporations. Mike led various global workshops about brand building in a digital age as well as digital transformation projects of companies. He is a strong ambassador for brand activation through powerful and authentic storytelling that emotionalizes the brand with its customers and its employees. Besides this, Mike is an award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter who lives with his family in Zurich, Switzerland.

Reese: How important is music and sound in branding?

Fuhrmann: Very important. Unfortunately, most companies are spending a fortune on creating identifiable and ownable visual brand assets, but when it comes to music and sound, they mostly rely on stock material or license expensive hit-music. Especially for transactional brands like Financial Service Companies, sound branding is a huge chance to connect with their customers on an emotional level.

All brands are using music everywhere – for TV-ads, youtube, point of sale, call center, events, etc. The problem is that the used assets don’t belong to them, neither are they thought-trough or controlled in any way. Essential marketing budget is spent for the sole purpose of not being silent. It does not pay into the individual brands value nor does it help to become identifiable via the sense of hearing.

This counts not only for music, but also for sounds. A lot of brands still rely on the taste of software-programmers instead of understanding these sounds as a powerful communication element. When I worked in Neuro-Rehabilitation with state-of-the-art therapy robots that combined high-frequent robotic-assisted movement repetitions with gamification, I was wondering why these therapeutic games had cheap game sounds instead of using neurological sound cues that stimulate the brain’s learning capabilities.

"Music and sound connect people, and for a company that is in a low-interest category like insurance, you need to touch not only the minds but also the hearts of your customers. And music is an effective key."

Reese: Why is there a growing importance of sound in the digital age?

Fuhrmann: The world is becoming digital and the Corona situation has had a further enormous push on the digital transformation of companies. We take part in video-meetings, run webinars, use podcasts and order groceries online. There is also an increase in using voice assistants. Look at how Siri, Alexa, Google Home opened a new market, but most brands are invisible or just don’t exist there.

Brands should leave their auditive footprint in the heads of potential buyers. A study found out that radio-commercials without any memorable sound-elements are much less likely to be remembered by the audience. In addition, digital products lose out on their natural mechanical sounds. The turning-signal once was the sound of a relay turning the light on and off. Nowadays, it’s just a computer-generated sound that imitates the original, to inform the driver that the function is active.

Reese: Does effective Sonic Branding have an impact on business performance?

Fuhrmann: The core ideas of branding, like differentiation, recognition and charging the brand with values does definitely also work with sound and music. You know it’s Intel when you hear it.

With the Intel sound, they found out, that, in view of recognition, the sound works exactly as good as the visual, but when combined, they perform even better. The quality-perception of products and services can be increased by fitting sounds. A study from Oxford University showed that people were willing to pay more money for the same product just by being exposed to another background-music.

A thought-through sound identity can even save marketing budgets, as you manage licenses centrally, use music pieces cross-media and create your own brand music database without any additional cost or license issues.

Reese: Should Brands have a long-term strategy in place when it comes to use of music/sound in branded communication?

Fuhrmann: Absolutely! Unfortunately, it is seldom a priority and, therefore, often neglected. For me, these days are over. It’s crucial that a good brand sound comes out of the brand itself and does not depend on the music preference of the marketing manager. Sound needs to reflect brands key attributes or project the desired image. Like Bacardi beach lifestyle or the prairie of Marlboro. Furthermore, these sounds should also differentiate the brands from their competitors.

If a company’s sound strategy ends at a sound logo, a huge potential is being neglected. Brands must send the right signals - and the same signals - everywhere and always. This means paying close attention to a number of parameters such as continuity, consistency, fit and monitoring. It also means that music choices shouldn’t be made based purely on personal taste.

Reese: Do you believe that music can have an impact on consumer buying behavior?

Fuhrmann: Why is the question about belief and not knowledge? There are a number of studies that measure the impact of sound on consumers buying behavior and the results are very positive across all touchpoints.

Reese: Looking into the future, do you think sound will play a more important role in branding?

Fuhrmann: There is strong indication that sound is going to become even more important in the future. Radio was not the media of choice in recent years, but trends show that sound biased media is getting more attractive. This is where your sound should be. Couple this with the possibility of targeted advertising over voice control systems. The question is not how you look and feel anymore. It’s how you look, feel and sound. Compared with the cost of TV advertising, these new low-cost possibilities give an excellent opportunity for creating brand recognition and connect more powerful to the consumer’s emotions.

Reese: Is there a brand you admire for the way they approach music in their brand communication?

Fuhrmann: Frankly, there are not many good examples of sound being used constantly in all brand communication channels, but there are many examples of good use of sound logos.

In my early years of marketing, I had the opportunity to work on sound branding for telecommunication companies. I was deeply impressed by the results of how music influences people – in a troubled company it gave employees a feeling of belonging and reduced fluctuation rates.

One of my goals at Generali is to emotionalize the brand. In the mid of last year, we started our partnership with the Swiss rapper, Bligg. We increased not only brand preference but also company pride. After Bligg performed on our employee event, the team was full of pride. It was called “the best Generali party ever”. Music and sound connect people and for a company that is in a low-interest category like insurance, you need to touch not only the minds but also the hearts of your customers. And music is an effective key.

Copyright © 2020, amp GmbH

Copyright regulations apply when using material from this document and when using the supplied video or audio files. This document is intended to be exclusively viewed by the recipient and its subsidiaries. Under no circumstances may the content or part of the content made available or forwarded in any form orally or in writing to third parties, in particular to competitors or affiliates. The publication, reproduction, distribution, reproduction or other utilization of the presented ideas, texts, layouts, concepts, films or audio files without express written permission by amp GmbH.

amp 101 Great Minds interview with Michael Lüttgen, Managing Director International at Kaufland.

” The quality and the correct implementation of music is as important as all the other parts in branding.”
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amp 101 Great Minds interview with Michael Lüttgen, Managing Director International at Kaufland.

” The quality and the correct implementation of music is as important as all the other parts in branding.”

101 Great Minds on
Music, Brands and Behavior

BRAND EDITION

Michael Lüttgen


Managing Director International at Kaufland

 

"The quality and the correct implementation of music is as important as all the other parts in branding."


 
Michael Lüttgen, Managing Director International, Kaufland

Michael Lüttgen has been working at Kaufland as the International Managing Director for almost three years. He has over 15 years of international experience in marketing, and his expertise combines an in-depth understanding of e-commerce, sales, product management, and online marketing.

Reese: How did you first start to think about the implementation of sound into your brand?

Lüttgen:
First of all, we started to look at different options in order to give sound the credit it deserves. One of them was a traditional sound logo. We were thinking if Kaufland could make use of this particular asset to grow recognizability and build brand equity. We looked at a pile of agencies due to enormous production processes. For us, we decided that only a sound logo wouldn`t be the solution for our problem. The results of all these processes just weren`t making the right difference in order to achieve our goal.

Reese: How did this process look like?


Lüttgen:
We sat together with our lead agency, just like we usually do. We thought about what we needed and also looked at our competitors and what they are doing. We took a closer look at our brand values, our brand DNA and our target customers. We asked ourselves how we want to be perceived by the target customers, what do we want to be for them. In particular also, what a purchase at Kaufland, beyond all national borders, evokes in terms of feelings and emotions.

The advertising agency then contacted various sound agencies, which all proposed traditional sound logos to us. I think we listened to several hundred different sound logos. We sometimes took one and implemented it in a touchpoint. For example, in a radio spot, a TV ad or also digital media. After many tries, we were just not happy with what we had seen so far and started to think that we are just too demanding about how strong the topic needs to be handled from the beginning. Also, if this was really so different from what all others are doing, then we actually have the ability to stand out. For the proposed sound logos the investment of media time in those 1,5 seconds was just too high and we didn`t believe that there was enough value added.

The topic of flexibility was also something we were considering during this process as we have many different campaigns with different focuses. We were not quite sure if the one-fits-all approach would convince us. According to that, we noticed that we really have to approach sound in a more holistic way. The music concepts used in TV or radio advertisements didn’t fit to the sound logo we put at the end at all. We started to look at more holistic sound concepts and thought about the way that songs in Kaufland spots should sound like. A kind of sound DNA was created according to different moods. Sadly, I had the feeling that this was still too generic.

Reese: Only to be sure, there were no assets created specifically out of your DNA. All that you could do is make use of existing tracks, which were tagged with the attribute you were looking for, for one specific asset.

Lüttgen: Exactly. For example, in our POS radio we predominantly play music. Through the process, we would basically only find out which songs would make sense to play at this touchpoint with the goal to create a better overall mood. I listened to the result with my colleagues later, and I couldn`t hear any difference. That`s what we have basically done so far.

Right now, we are also shifting our media budget to digital. In regard to single creations, we increasingly notice that what we did earlier for the traditional TV spots won`t work in digital channels. We don`t have the time to tell emotional stories which start slow and end with a firework. If we don`t reach the attention of our customers in the first 1,2 seconds, there will be a problem. The way that we implement music in our creations needs to be changed completely. Most of the time, music comes into the process too late. At Kaufland, the adaptation of digital touchpoints came into our agenda too late. We thought about moving images and then broke them down to the different channels. In terms of music, that just doesn`t work any longer.

I am quite sure that the topic of music and sound needs to be approached in a different way. It has the ability to go directly to the heart, which is very valuable for us as we are in a strongly competitive market. We want to build sympathy and create a positive customer experience.

Reese: What especially was the DNA made out of?

Lüttgen: To be fair, we didn`t finish the whole process. We made some exercises to see how it would look like in the end. The agency listened to a whole bunch of our previous productions and always asked us test questions, for example, how we want to be perceived by our customers or if the brand is more introverted or extroverted,activating or relaxing. On this basis, they suggested music genres. Basically, we could take any song from a traditional music databank which is tagged with the special attribute we are looking for and implement it.

Reese: Music goes directly into the subconscious. I can close my eyes, but I can`t close my ears. What does that mean for brands in general?

Lüttgen: I`m convinced that music doesn`t only go directly into the heart of the customer but can also influence a buying decision. The quality and the correct implementation of music is as important as all the other parts in branding.

Reese: Shouldn`t it also be treated equally then?

Lüttgen: In general, we always have a conflict that we need a direction and be recognizable. It doesn`t make sense to use the same models and the same kind of music in every spot. We need to be flexible with our work, but also become recognizable through consistency over time. Only if this is a given, we can be sure that we give our customers the best possible experience. Those experiences aren`t just bound to a three second sound logo at the end of a spot, they are way more than that.

Copyright © 2020, amp GmbH

Copyright regulations apply when using material from this document and when using the supplied video or audio files. This document is intended to be exclusively viewed by the recipient and its subsidiaries. Under no circumstances may the content or part of the content made available or forwarded in any form orally or in writing to third parties, in particular to competitors or affiliates. The publication, reproduction, distribution, reproduction or other utilization of the presented ideas, texts, layouts, concepts, films or audio files without express written permission by amp GmbH.

amp 101 Great Minds interview with Gemma Albí Verdú, Global Brand Communications Director at Gap.

“Most of the times I end up being in briefings where we discuss the story, the photographers and the location for months, but music comes into the process at the very end of the timeline with only very little attention and budget.”
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amp 101 Great Minds interview with Gemma Albí Verdú, Global Brand Communications Director at Gap.

“Most of the times I end up being in briefings where we discuss the story, the photographers and the location for months, but music comes into the process at the very end of the timeline with only very little attention and budget.”

101 Great Minds on
Music, Brands and Behavior

BRAND EDITION

Gemma Albí Verdú

Global Brand Communications Director at Gap

 

“Most of the times I end up being in briefings where we discuss the story, the photographers and the location for months, but music comes into the process at the very end of the timeline with only very little attention and budget.”


 
Gemma Albí Verdú, Global Brand Communications Director, Gap

Gemma Albí Verdú is the Global Brand Communications Director for Gap. She has fundamental experience in brand communications, and is always striving to create new and unseen content in the world of fashion. Before her work at Gap, she has held different positions at various fashion brands like adidas or Reebok. Gemma is also experienced in the work on agency-side. She is a creative communications professional, who always looks for exceptional results in everything that she does.

Reese: Do you think that brands treat sound like it should be treated?

Albí Verdú:
No, I think we aren`t treating sound like we should. The process concerning sound is flawed and we have the same problem as many other brands have as well. In meetings, we are only talking to ourselves. The concept we are talking about only makes sense in the room we are in during that point in time. Outside, in a real environment, it`s a completely different experience. I think that’s something that we need to learn and become better at. The perception that people get and the message that comes across can be so different to what we actually intended to say. That`s why it`s so important to have strategies and different points of view. You are not going to make a brand successful with one experience or one commercial. It`s the sum of all those parts that will build your brand personality, which makes your brand recognizable. That`s how you stay in the customers` mind. Music is a crucial part of the whole process, but it has been treated very poorly.

"Brands need to have the same consistency with music and sound as they have with everything else."

Reese: A great example for a successful implementation of music are the James Bond soundtracks. Each artist took different sound elements and created a distinctive piece of music. All songs were popular in their respective point in time, and even today, we are able to clearly match them to the James Bond brand, as the sound elements have been used over and over again.


Albí Verdú:
What I really like about that is, that you could also apply this concept to brands as well. It`s about creating something that you actually own, and which will develop into a distinctive brand sound over time.

Reese: And it`s a great way for brands to become credible.

Albí Verdú: Exactly. That`s because everybody is doing the same and you can be the brand that sticks out. It`s a great opportunity to differentiate yourself from others. I think we should be a lot bolder in our actions and that needs to be reflected in every part of our DNA. Brands need to build this DNA over time because it`s not going to work from one day to another. Especially for us, because we are working in the fashion industry, music needs to play an even bigger role than it does right now. We sell lifestyle and values and we need to embrace music and sound in order to become pop culture again. That`s the power of music and sound. It moves you because you are connecting with it through emotion and it can make you lose any sense of rationality. It has the ability to establish a totally different connection to the brand. The product becomes secondary and it is all about the experience.

Reese: Brands don`t have to compromise. They have the ability to stay flexible and creative. But at the same time, they are also paying into their brand equity because customers are going to recognize the brand across all touchpoints.

Albí Verdú: Something that we always talk about, is that we need to be a part of the conversation about pop culture again. But that is actually not completely true. We need to kick off the conversation. Only then, the brand will be able to show its real strength. You need to be ahead of the game. I think the creation part of that is very important. Brands have to create a piece of pop culture and twist and turn it, not just jump onto an existing piece just because it`s on trend, especially from a music point of view. That`s where a lot of brands could do better, as this doesn`t build any equity. Most of the times, I end up being in briefings where we discuss the story, the photographers and the location for months, but music comes into the process at the end of the timeline with only very little attention and budget. That`s something that I really want to change in the future. We need to allocate the same amount of love, attention, and care for visuals as well as for sound. I think not really a lot of companies are doing that.

Reese: That`s true. But brands are still spending so much less on music than on other things, even though it comes with so many advantages.

Albí Verdú: There are many people involved in the process, but you don`t have somebody solely responsible for music. I think most marketers on the brand side and some creative agencies don’t have the required knowledge to build strong music and sound brand strategy or they don’t put enough attention to it anymore. Brands need to have the same consistency with music and sound as they have with everything else. We need to have the right help in order to approach this problem in a professional way and create music guidelines as we do for our logo executions. If music and image are approached in a holistic way, it will be very powerful and memorable for the consumer.

Copyright © 2020, amp GmbH

Copyright regulations apply when using material from this document and when using the supplied video or audio files. This document is intended to be exclusively viewed by the recipient and its subsidiaries. Under no circumstances may the content or part of the content made available or forwarded in any form orally or in writing to third parties, in particular to competitors or affiliates. The publication, reproduction, distribution, reproduction or other utilization of the presented ideas, texts, layouts, concepts, films or audio files without express written permission by amp GmbH.

amp 101 Great Minds interview with Andrea Newman, Global Head of Brand at HSBC

“I still don`t think that many brands have really embedded audio in a way that they are able to draw the full potential out of it.”
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amp 101 Great Minds interview with Andrea Newman, Global Head of Brand at HSBC

“I still don`t think that many brands have really embedded audio in a way that they are able to draw the full potential out of it.”

101 Great Minds on
Music, Brands and Behavior

BRAND EDITION

Andrea Newman


Global Head of Brand at HSBC

 

“I still don`t think that many brands have really embedded audio in a way that they are able to draw the full potential out of it."


 
Andrea Newman, Global Head of Brand, HSBC

Andrea began her career at HSBC 21 years ago. She worked as a secretary in Global Public Affairs department and worked her way up to become the Global Head of Brand of the company. She steers the brands and invests in creativity every day. She has overseen the development of the brand from a federation of over 50 brands to create one unique brand, which unifies all under one roof. Andrea manages the group`s global agency and marketing services network as well as the advertising within 48 airports across the globe. She doesn`t only focus on her work for HSBC, but is also a Non-Executive Director at YouGov, an international data and analytics group, operating within the Market Research space.

Reese: What is your role at HSBC?

Newman:
I am responsible for the creative output of the brand. To date, that has meant anything from our airports program, TV commercials, implementing the new brand identity, through to launching our brand sound most recently. My team is also responsible for brand management, media, activation, agency management, and a four-course brand strategy. However, we`re moving from a global brand strategy to a more locally relevant brand strategy, but within an international framework. Mostly, we have been working with the markets to help them understand and achieve their local brand ambitions.

Reese: Why are you changing your strategy?


Newman:
We are actually very different in each market we operate in. In some markets, we are a big commercial banking brand, in others a big retail brand, or also a private banking brand somewhere else. Our brand promise is “Together we thrive” and that needs a strong local resonance behind it. For that to work effectively, you have to set it against a local cultural context, and I don`t think you can always do that globally. It`s a big shift for us to drop that “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Reese: How do agencies deal with your sonic identity?

Newman: Our agencies were included in the briefing process when we decided to launch our sonic identity, and I really wanted something different. So, I also met with sonic branding agency myloveaffair, and I knew immediately that they were going to help HSBC be bold and adventurous with the project, and were the perfect partners to help us achieve our objectives.

Reese: How did your process look like?

Newman: It was quick - really quick. Myloveaffair called me and within a few weeks everything was ready. I was surprised to see Jean-Michel Jarre on the screen during a call with the agency, saying that our briefing was wrong and how we should do it all in a different way. That was in July. I really wanted to present this project at our Global Marketing Leadership Conference in September. Two weeks later we went to his studio in Paris and I was really nervous because I didn`t know what I would do if I didn`t like the work. We listened to his work and everyone who was there said “wow, he did it!”. It was an incredible experience. Only three people at HSBC knew we were doing this, and we brought him as a surprise to our marketing conference. No one knew that he would come on stage and play our new sonic branding. For the first time ever, there was a standing ovation because everyone loved it.

Reese: So, it wasn`t tested?

Newman: It wasn`t tested, because I`m not sure what we are asking customers to say. I like it or I don`t like it? It was really important that the staff liked it, which was definitely the case. We didn`t do a big external launch, but provided the sound book Jean-Michel developed, including the seven different tracks, to the markets. Most of the markets launched it quickly. We had about 90% positive sentiment on social media and that was a kind of a test in itself.

Reese: What are the touchpoints you used it on?

Newman: The touchpoints we ended up using were not the ones we expected in the beginning. Actually, the first time, was on a Taiwanese credit card commercial.

Reese: Was it created for ATL communication?

Newman: It was created for everything. We have the mnemonic at the end to go with our logo and different versions of that. But there`s also an hour-long version of one track. It was used in the Taiwanese credit card spot, in telephone banking in the UK as hold music, some markets have used it in their branches, in internal conferences, private client events, all sorts of things. I don`t think we have one market where it`s totally packaged up and used across every single touchpoint, but we still see it as an experimental process.

Reese: Why in the first place, were you looking for something new? Why were you not happy with what the agencies gave you? What got you to the point to take some money and create a sonic identity?

Newman: Ten years ago, we were a truly iconic brand, but over time we had become a proliferation of lots of different brands. We spent two years prior to launching our sound identity, working on our visual identity and really tidying up our brand visuals. In 2017 I was sitting in our global leadership conference and our global CEO at the time came on stage to the music from “The Greatest Showman”. I remember sitting in the audience, thinking that we should have our own music. We are on a journey to become an iconic brand again. And that`s the armor we need.

 

Reese: Do you think we are in the golden age of audio?

Newman: I don`t know. A lot of the time, the key is being distinctive. You don`t notice so many other brand’s audio, do you? It`s a tough process. It`s a bit like developing visual work. You have to be really distinctive. I still don`t think that many brands have really embedded audio in a way that they are able to draw the full potential out of it. 

Reese: To me, the biggest misconception about sonic branding is, that so many brands go to their advertising agencies and ask for a sound logo like McDonald`s or Intel`s. I`m always asking myself why they want a faster horse if there are cars?

Newman: Some brands are marketing-led organizations, and others are not. Only very few brands are so marketing savvy that they invest the time and the consistency to get to the result in the right way. 

 

Copyright © 2020, amp GmbH

Copyright regulations apply when using material from this document and when using the supplied video or audio files. This document is intended to be exclusively viewed by the recipient and its subsidiaries. Under no circumstances may the content or part of the content made available or forwarded in any form orally or in writing to third parties, in particular to competitors or affiliates. The publication, reproduction, distribution, reproduction or other utilization of the presented ideas, texts, layouts, concepts, films or audio files without express written permission by amp GmbH.

amp 101 Great Minds interview with Katia Bassi, Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Lamborghini.

“I believe that music is very much connected to a brand that is close to your heart, and the experiences you had with the brand.”
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amp 101 Great Minds interview with Katia Bassi, Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Lamborghini.

“I believe that music is very much connected to a brand that is close to your heart, and the experiences you had with the brand.”

101 Great Minds on
Music, Brands and Behavior

Brand EDITION

Katia Bassi

Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Lamborghini

 

"I believe that music is very much connected to a brand that is close to your heart, and the experiences you had with the brand.”

 

Katia Bassi, Chief Marketing & Communication Officer, Lamborghini

 

Katia Bassi is the Chief Marketing and Communication Officer of Lamborghini. In this role, she is responsible globally for the strategic direction of brand, marketing, partnerships, sponsorship & co-branding. She’s the first woman ever to join the Lamborghini board. Katia graduated in Political Science and Law and holds a Master’s from Columbia University. Before joining Lamborghini, she was Vice President of Aston Martin Lagonda and Managing Director of AM Brands, Licensing Manager at Ferrari, Commercial Director of FC Internazionale as well as Country Director – Italy for the NBA.

Reese: Can you talk about your role at Lamborghini?

Bassi: I`m the Chief Marketing and Communication Officer since a couple of years. I have the privilege to be the first woman ever to be on the Board of Directors, not only for Lamborghini, but for the whole Group. I think that the brand has been very brave to take this step, but it`s also a great opportunity to be able to listen to another point of view, because in the mainly male dominated automotive business, it`s very easy not to listen and to be driven more by products than by communication and marketing. Most of the people don`t consider it a science, but I definitely consider it as one nowadays.

Reese: When you think about music, as well as sound, voice, product sounds and so on, how important will their role be in branding?

Bassi: Lamborghini`s focus lies on the sound of the engine. The engine shouldn`t be only a noise for the customer, but a real sound. To be able to expand this concept of sound to the whole company is also very important. In particular in the digital age, because everything we do is spread and shared within a few seconds. Images are the key but I`m pretty sure that in the near future, also music is becoming more important as a digital platform. It`s already important per se, as something that also creates a momentum with closed eyes. In fact, from the trend that I can see, everything transforms from screens to screenless. I believe that music is very much connected to a brand that is close to your heart, and the experiences you had with the brand. Therefore, this topic will become more and more crucial for brands.

Reese: In a screenless ecosystem, where visuals don`t make sense at all, how can I be found by my customers? How important will a sonic identity be in this case?

Bassi: It`s part of the evolution of the brand. It`s part of the evolution of the marketing strategy at the end of the day. When we started many years ago, we didn`t even think about social platforms for example. The video side was always very important, as TV was the most important medium back then. That`s completely different now and we as brands have to be like chameleons. We don`t forget about the things that happened in the past, but we have to react to the new needs of consumers. The sound system in the car is probably becoming the next digital platform of the future. Even if I don`t see the images, I can always listen to the content. When we talk about automotive brands like us, where emotions are key, every sound will immediately be linked to good vibes and a great experience with your car. As music is able to transport those experiences, it`s important for brands to approach this topic not in a light-headed way. You need to build the sonic path in the same strategic way as the visual one. Just like the brand pillars, the brand image, the objectives, and so on.

Reese: In the first edition of this book, everyone agreed that 50% of the value in audio-visual communication is found in audio. But the budget of audio is maybe about 5%.

Bassi: I agree. But I have to say something about images and video. In the last 3-4 years, we started to consider music as an important element in communication. Videos were always trying to communicate who the brand is in terms of images, through some personas, through some elements that are close to the brand. Visual elements in videos are easier to identify as the music. Music is very much personal. The most important thing for me is that the car is perceived in the best possible way. The concept of cheap but good is a thing of the past. You have already spent so much money on the visuals that music has always been in the last place, because the focus was obviously only on the visuals.

I believe that music is very much connected to a brand that is close to your heart, and the experiences you had with the brand."

Reese: But why is it that way? What is the reason for this decision?

Bassi: Probably because I personally consider the first thing that should be conveyed to the customer is what the brand stands for. This can be done in the easiest and most understandable way through images. After that, it`s normal to think about music as one of the following parts. Music is auxiliary in this process, but we always have to talk about the brand first.

Reese: Brands act like teenagers. They constantly change because they don`t know who they are.

Bassi: Exactly. You see many brands are doing that. They diversify the message based on the product and not on the brand. The automotive industry is very traditional, they focus on the product, not on the brand. If you see the videos, you see beautiful landscapes, auxiliary music and it`s all very traditional. The communication of all the brands is basically the same. The segment is innovative, but from a marketing point of view, there is nothing innovative going on. That´s why we are making use of data in order to give the best possible experience to our customers. We have many events every year where we go to, to show our customers that we care about them. Marketing is not only visuals. It`s the connection you want to establish and strengthen between the brand and the customers. Music is a part of that, and it will definitely play a bigger role within this whole process in the future.

"You need to build the sonic path in the same strategic way as the visual one. Just like the brand pillars, the brand image, the objectives, and so on."

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