The Sound of Legal & General

Sonic Branding
Sonic Logos

The Sound of Legal & General

  • Agency

    Superunion

  • Backed up by

    Goldsmiths University

  • Tested by

    SoundOut

Finance and mindfulness: who would have thought they could be such a great combination.

Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups. Established in 1836, a few years before the first sound recording in history was even produced, Legal & General’s purpose of ‘giving back to society’ has always been at the heart of everything it does.

Our London office was tasked with developing a new mindful sonic brand that reflected Legal & General’s desire to offer something more meaningful to its customers.

The Challenge

The brief we received? To embed reassurance at the heart of L&G’s sonic brand. Through ‘inclusive capitalism’, a concept the brand cares deeply about, Legal & General aims to build a better society by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone.  

We were inspired by the ethos that permeates its company culture and thought: “Could we create a sonic brand that also benefits society in some way?” After all, sound is not just a branding tool; it also has a functional purpose: to help improve wellbeing.

The Approach

But how do you create a sound as iconic as the L&G umbrella logo? How do you translate that into a sound that is bright, calm and real? 

Informed by the data we gathered, as well as L&G’s colour palette, its illustration style and use of white space, the sound aesthetic needed to be modern, clear and considered, vibrant but not brash, providing consistency across L&G’s business verticals while strengthening the emotional bond between the brand and the consumers.

The Solution

If you open an umbrella in real life, you either start singing Rihanna’s song or you start noticing that it actually has its own sound. 

To create recognition for L&G’s sonic logo, we wanted the listeners to hear something that mimics the opening in a very subtle way, so we crafted a unique sonic logo that captures the real sound of an umbrella, and brings to life a feeling of reassurance. But we didn’t stop there. 

As a brand, L&G needs to speak to many different audiences: that’s why we created a flexible sonic (eco)system that includes a sonic DNA track and various adaptations. This way L&G can cater to a variety of touchpoints – from TV/radio, online content, podcasts, events, to customer care and internal communications.

However, by harnessing the powers of science and wellness, Legal & Generals sonic brand has also evolved into something altogether different and unique. By partnering with Goldsmiths University’s Music, Mind and Brain Lab and leading academics in the field, we also measured implicit psychological reactions to the sound of L&G. Thanks to our partnership with SoundOut, we also tested our compositions to measure to what extent they deliver a sense of calm, reassurance and wellbeing to the listener.

Grounded in science and inspired by the brand colours, we created and tested four different ‘functional music’ tracks to target four different emotional scenarios:

???? Red: Functional music to aid focus (e.g. work, study)
???? Blue: Functional music to aid sleep (e.g. at night or 4am scenario)
???? Yellow: Functional music for a moment of pause (e.g. on commute, coffee break)
???? Green: Functional music to calm down emotionally (e.g. feeling stressed, irritable)

The tracks are accessible on Spotify and YouTube without restriction, alongside a limited run vinyl release with artwork provided by Superunion.

The Results

“Thanks to institutions like Goldsmiths, University of London, there is more and more evidence surfacing that highlights the various mental and physiological benefits of music. MassiveMusic has been active in this ‘functional music’ area previously through our Music x Mind initiative, so when we realised Legal & General also shared our passion and interest, developing a sonic brand, empirically tested to help people, made perfect sense.” says Roscoe Williamson, our Global Creative Strategy Director.

Tamara Bates, Group Brand Director at Legal & General, adds: “We’re known for how we look but not how we sound, so the process and collaboration of finding something that is rooted in our brand values and offering something more to our customers means we have another hugely valuable asset that can play a part across our global communications.”

After more than 250 years, this is the first time that L&G is having a systematic approach to its communications through sound with a sonic brand that has consistency and creates overarching recognition. 

With a modern, bright, and optimistic sonic logo, a brand theme, multiple content adaptations and a functional music EP, L&G is now ready to share the sound of reassurance with the world, giving back to society also through the immeasurable power of music and sound. 

Even on the rainiest day.