ISD Team

Harrods is the world’s most famous retail brand. The store engaged The Sound Agency (working in partnership with sensory marketing specialist BRANDsense agency) to design the store’s sound so that it matches the standards of the other sensory brand expressions. We carried out a comprehensive programme that included the following:

  • a full sound audit of the store with 264 separate measurements, each with a recording and analysis, plus 119 recommendations for action;
  • a BrandSound™ workshop for the store’s sales and marketing team that resulted in 28 tactical recommendations;
  • a BrandSound™ plan involving 140 zones, 34 playlists and 23 generative soundscapes;
  • a presentation of the audit and plan to the top management team;
  • a staged implementation, starting with the Toy Kingdom in July 2012.

The new Toy Kingdom opened in July 2012. It is to our knowledge the first retail space ever to feature generative soundscapes, as well as a range of localised sound features. The soundscapes are: Big Top; Enchanted Forest; Wonderland; Odyssey; and Reading Room. The features include the circus ringmaster, bouncing balls, fairy voices, hyperspace drive, cars, trains, children’s footsteps and more. The result is a spectacular fusion of sight and sound that delivers super-additivity and creates a magical and thrilling space that delights old and young alike.

This project shows the potential for well-designed sound in retail, as an alternative to generic music. It shows how retail can deliver an extraordinary multisensory experience that creates a destination, not just a shop.

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