Sonova International and Terri & Sandy  

It’s Not Just a Hearing Aid, It’s a Multifunctional Marvel 

Back in January 2014, a key Phonak competitor took the hearing aid world by storm when it introduced the first hearing device with iPhone connectivity — at CES in Las Vegas, no less. It was a watershed moment for the industry, garnering national media attention, in part because Apple made it “cool.” Phonak set out to reclaim its reputation as the industry’s technological leader with the introduction of Marvel. This breakthrough product combines seamless connectivity to all Bluetooth devices, with clear, rich sound quality, hassle-free recharging and the convenience of remote service, all in one beautiful instrument.

But people still see hearing aids as the first step in the slow walk toward old age. This stigma causes people to wait an average of seven years to get a hearing aid. Marvel set off to sell itself differently: “It’s not just a hearing aid, it’s a multifunctional marvel.”

Targeting an affluent, urban, younger audience with an average age of 50, it launched with a series of webisodes, featuring two best friends, Sarah and Ellie (think Grace and Frankie), as well as print, an interactive website and communications targeted to audiologists. 

But it also set out to wow audiologists who had come to regard Phonak as behind its competitors. In-depth interviews revealed this group is passionately committed to helping individuals deal with hearing loss and upset that so many people put off getting a hearing aid because of the associated stigma. 

The launch has led to multiple successes, including the Accessibility Award Recipient at the Consumer Electronic Show and the Edison Award Recipient for Consumer Electronics.