Music is ever evolving. Not just in its sound and construction, but also its role in our lives. With access to music at an all-time high, and other cultural factors, like open office plans, an increase in urban commuters, and proliferation of mobile devices, people rely on music as a tool for productivity and escape just as much as entertainment. As such, people are graduating from the standard headphones that come with their mobile devices, buying more expensive headphones than ever before. How do you create a brand and product portfolio that differentiates itself in the highly competitive and saturated premium headphone marketplace?
We started by conducting extensive expert interviews across the music and audio world— record store owners, high-end audio owners, and interviewing and participating in “audiophile” online communities. We also conducted a massive product audit with a captured community, having users test drive various premium headphones, analyzing the pros & cons of each brand and product.
Research unearthed a clear insight: Many of the more “premium” options on the market focus on either style at the sake of audio and build quality, or audiophile quality at the sake of aesthetic design. With sound quality rapidly growing in importance for more than just audiophiles, there were no players bridging quality sound with quality design.
We designed an actionable brand and product strategy in partnership with the founder. This strategy, anchored on the concept of The Modern Thinking Cap—tools to help focus, inspire, and transport your mind—informed all aspects of the brand’s manifestation, from product design, naming, marketing and business planning.
From naming and brand identity, to product design and materials selection, to launch strategy and communications, we collaborated with partner agencies to bring the brand and product to market. The result? Master and Dynamic has been widely lauded as one of the best products in the audio market, and within three years of its original launch, the brand found itself in 500 stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Selfridge’s in London.