Music for Retail — Case Study

Dr. Martens

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Iconic shoe brand Dr. Marten's has maintained a deep and long lasting relationship with music for over five decades. They have stores globally, and are expanding rapidly in Europe.

20160519 The-Great-Escape-Festival Dr-Martens Gobinder-Jhitta 2016-Live (114 of 281)

What We Did

Our objective is to make music the heartbeat of the Dr. Martens brand. The in-store music tells the brand story, appeals to the key target customers and makes the stores comes to life. We use music to make Dr. Martens as authentic today as it was in the ‘60s and ‘70s, a brand that is the apex of rebellious counterculture while being consistently, universally loved and a brand whose diverse outlook has a unique playlists to match.

We consult with the marketing team, and other key stakeholders including store teams, to curate playlists and subsequently schedule for each store. Music is selected on the following criteria -

  • Authenticity: Being true to your core values
  • Durability: Upholding your industrial heritage and utilitydesigning
  • to high standards of functionality
  • Rebellious: Refusing to accept the norm
  • Empowering: Enhancing identity and self expression
  • Diversity: Embracing alternative lifestyles

20170420 Dr-Martens Camden Store Launch-3744

Following these guidelines allows us to curate playlists that mix contemporary music and classic - from heritage artists such as The Clash and The Specials, to the disrupters of today Mykki Blanco, Kojey Radical and Zola Jesus.

Customer Connect

Dr Martens recently launched an in-store campaign celebrating The Who. Open Ear curated a publically available The Who playlist on Spotify and then set up Customer Connect In-Store allowing customers to scan a code to access and subscribe the playlist.


"Like for like, the best sounding player we’ve encountered across the background music market. Open Ear are superior on sound quality, volume levelling and playback."

Rich CufleyTechnical Director of Sound Services / Funktion One

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