It was 1980. The film of the year was The Empire Strikes Back, Queen had their first number 1 hit in the US with Another One Bites The Dust, and Ute Stille began her career at Sennheiser. That was 40 years ago. This means that Ute has witnessed more than half of the company’s history. “Of course things were different back then. Smaller. Easier to manage. You knew everyone and always knew what was going on in other divisions. Obviously, the company has grown enormously over the years and this is no longer possible today.”
For the majority of this time, Ute worked in finance, although she took on different roles. Then in 1990 the managers launched a competition for the employees. They were looking for a new slogan for the brand and everyone was invited to submit a suggestion. “I was interested in this competition even though I had never worked in marketing—or in advertising, as we called it at the time. I thought I may as well try my luck,” recalls Ute. So she thought about what Sennheiser meant to her. She realized that Sennheiser had always been more to her than just sound and technology. Finally, she came up with a slogan: More Than Sound. Sennheiser.
Ute shows us a typed letter from Prof. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser congratulating her on winning first prize plus a Grundig Walkman worth DM 400. “I still have that Walkman. I felt extremely honored. I also really enjoyed having the opportunity to contribute something out of the ordinary.” Perhaps Ute is on to something. The next time well-known agencies from New York, London or Berlin are vying to deliver the best brand claim, they should just ask the employees.