JBL EVEREST - CMF

Redefining a brand

 

A break in the crowd

Music plays an integral role in the lives of today's connected consumers.  The JBL brand has offered signature sound in the professional and automotive market, but was experiencing trouble gaining traction in the consumer space.  The current landscape of personal audio is split between on-trend styling or sound quality, but rarely do these two attributes compliment each other in an outstanding product.  With a new generation of JBL ambassadors, the Everest line was created to provide an alternative to the big name aesthetic while experiencing award-winning performance.

 

Initial iterations

Members of Harman's Global Design Team developed an elegantly simple form language that resonates with users who are not looking to extremely stand out, but quietly stand at the forefront of new trends.  My challenge was creating the Everest line CMF to reflect JBL’s new position as a lifestyle brand, convey fashion and technology, and provide visual distinctions in the product line architecture.  The line needed to possess a familiar aesthetic, but still give enough individuality to new adopters of the JBL brand.  Initial color iterations ranged from subtle to complex with monochromatic, two-tone color pops, and powerful gradients.

 

Creating a visual distinction

Business unit leaders, retail buyers, and Harman's Insights Group provided an established direction in which to develop the Everest CMF.  As the colorways became more defined, my efforts shifted to provide subtle distinctions within the line architecture.  Bluetooth models were paired with poppier hues, contrast colored touchpoints, and a combination of gloss and matte finishes; focused towards a lower price point and younger consumers.  Elite models, featuring active noise cancellation, needed to convey a touch of luxury and heightened technology.  These SKUs, at a higher price point, featured matte finishes with hits of metallic along the ear cups and hinges.  This subtle distinction through materials enhanced the value of the Elite trim and provided a clear distinction between features.

 

Shifting stages from design to production

Communication was a critical component in bringing Everest to reality.  One of my largest responsibilities required checking factory samples and providing commentary on many components, spanning from accurate color matches between ear cups and hinges, to the finer details of PVD coatings and button tolerances.  Through our team's numerous factory visits, conference calls, and sampling, stakeholders could feel confident that the new JBL audience would be given the proper introduction to a newly positioned brand.

 

A brand that Embraces new energy

JBL signature sound is not only accessible, but desirable, for a new audience.  The line features a range of colors and materials that exemplify the core values of the new JBL brand: energetic, inhibited, and spontaneous.  With six color options, users can integrate Everest with their current style, while offering a subtle pop of energy, spontaneity, and complexity.  The Everest line CMF provides visual distinction and communicates features through pairings of materials and finishes, offers on-trend colorways, and positions JBL as a lifestyle brand that can stand out amongst a crowded market.