Huge changes in the way that people purchase and consume music, video and games products have required high street retailers to respond, as consumers increasingly turn to digital technology, internet downloads and file-sharing. After a review of its brand HMV decided to reinvent its stores as multi-channel social gateways to its catalogue of music, video and games software titles.
Over the past couple of years the company has worked with branding and design specialists venturethree to define what HMV should represent as a brand, and to determine what changes were needed to ensure the company stays relevant to today’s consumer. In developing HMV’s strategy, one of the key aspects identified by venturethree was that the company should align itself more closely with people’s emotional relationship with music, films and games.
The famous trademark image comes from a painting by English artist Francis Barraud, A.R.A. and titled His Master's Voice. It was acquired from the artist in 1899 by the newly-formed Gramophone Company. According to contemporary Gramophone Company publicity material, the dog, a fox terrier called Nipper, had originally belonged to Barraud's brother Mark. When Mark Barraud died, Francis inherited Nipper, along with a cylinder phonograph and a number of recordings of Mark's voice. Francis noted the peculiar interest that the dog took in the recorded voice of his late master emanating from the trumpet, and conceived the idea of committing the scene to canvas.