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Expressing IdentitiesthroughSound Branding


Developing a Sound Identity to support an iconic brand in envisioning its own future.

Who are you? And what is your identity? For HUGO BOSS, answering these questions isn't going to come easy. After all, the brand has split into two - HUGO and BOSS, each ready to embark on its own journey. But: They want you to know exactly who they are. And they will tell us about their newfound identities also through their sounds.

After taking over as CEO of HUGO BOSS AG, Daniel Grieder decided to take a revolutionary and ambitious step. He initiated a relaunch of both HUGO and BOSS, two brands that appeal to different customers. On the one hand, HUGO represents the young, progressive Gen-Z; on the other hand, BOSS focuses on the success-oriented, yet trendy millennial ready to take on the world.

Both have a common motif. Whether it's being younger or relatable – ultimately, both strive to move people. And what better way to move the world than through music? It's a work of art that transcends cultures, generations and subcultures. Music is for everybody. It gives people a sense of identity and belonging. The same goes for brands; we believe that a company has its own corporate sound and brand voice. For HUGO and BOSS, their audio branding was a vital move to making the first step into a new era.

When we look at the young consumer base, we see forward-thinking generations driven by culture and creativity. We believe that the best marketing campaigns start with cultural trends themselves, and music is one of the most expressive forms of communication. It really gets the message across and tells a story.

Robin Hofmann, CEO HearDis!

Music conveys a message; it's an essential part of a brand's identity, especially for those with a long heritage like HUGO and BOSS. We connect through sound, we build relationships with brands and we feel like they're one of us. This makes music an important part of the overall strategy, especially at key touch points like brick-and-mortar, where the customer experiences the brand through the product and the atmosphere of the surroundings.

To create a voice for HUGO and BOSS, HearDis! worked on an audio branding that was tailored to each brand's identity. To develop this individual sound, we analyzed the core values and attributes of the brands and translated them into music. The results for HUGO can be heard in their campaigns: Fun, trendy music that resembles the sound of popular music. For BOSS, the sound is more sophisticated and conveys one of their core values: confidence. This can be heard in songs like "All the stars" by SZA and Kendrick Lamar, which is played throughout their campaigns. BOSS is ambitious, HUGO is carefree.

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