DoN: comprehensive audio branding for ZKB

The Zürcher Kantonalbank ZKB is developing its sound identity in a multi-stage process, thereby supporting the digital transformation at brand level. It is being supported by the agency Department of Noise.

ZKBZürcher Kantonalbank has embraced the change in banking and has also expanded its communications with digital formats in line with the change in media consumption. However, it is also clear that a 150-year-old bank with a social mission must act somewhat more cautiously than a young neo-bank if it is to achieve acceptance of digitization across all its customer groups.

The task of sound

How far can the bank modernize itself while remaining a trusted financial partner? As with the rebranding, this overriding question was also at the heart of the development of the brand sound. And it gave the sound a clearly defined role: "For us, there are two decisive drivers in the brand context: technology and trust. Our sound identity should establish a link between the two, while making our unique identity comprehensively tangible," explains Daniel Locher, Senior Brand Manager at Zürcher Kantonalbank.ZKB

Execution and empirical confirmation

These ambitions were realized through a combination of organic and digital sounds, which are familiar and familiar, but quite surprising and unconventionally staged. The brand sound system is designed in such a way that specific applications and target groups can be addressed with different characteristics. In the process, the appeal of a dynamic banking innovator is successively linked to the feeling of trust towards the state bank.

The sound survey developed by Department of Noise together with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW was used to fine-tune the sound identity, with which the effect was surveyed among both internal and external stakeholders of the bank and then adjusted accordingly.

Successive roll-out

Over the next few months, the dynamically designed sound ecosystem will be audible on more and more of the bank's channels: from marketing, sponsoring, and moving image activities to the service center experience and the branch offices. For the latter, a playlist strategy and various soundscapes have been developed to ensure that the Zürcher Kantonalbank brand is also consistently and consistently felt at this touchpoint.

"Sound is often underestimated as a brand element, but it is an important building block for the holistic, emotional experience of a brand," says Monica Dreyer, Head of Marketing and Brand Management at Zürcher Kantonalbank.


Responsible at Zürcher Kantonalbank: Daniel Locher (Senior Brand Manager), Dominik Streich (Creative Director), Simon Baumann (Multimedia Producer). Responsible at KMS Team: Robert Börsting (Design Director). Responsible at Department of Noise: Florian Goetze, Ph!L!pp Schweidler (Strategy & Creative Direction), Michael Stuber (Strategy), Yves Gerber (Creative Producer).

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