If we can’t outspend Amazon, Google and Apple how might we out-think them?

Breakthrough Strategy | Future-proof Innovation | Brand Marketers | Consumer Insights Teams

Sonos’s annual revenue increased by $482 million


The Challenge

Sonos faced fierce competition from industry giants like Amazon, Google, and Apple, who introduced voice control and online streaming to the speaker market. With limited resources, Sonos needed to find a way to out-think these tech giants and meet the changing needs of future consumers.


Our Approach

To tackle this challenge, we took a holistic view of consumer needs, attitudes, and in-home lifestyles. Rather than bolting on functionality, we needed to understand how they could be harmoniously incorporated.

Collaborating with The Sense Network, we engaged diverse experts, including a Hollywood virtual reality producer, an aromatherapist, and a materials designer, to redefine the future of voice control. Their unique perspectives guided us in developing a consumer-centered innovation approach that maintained Sonos’s legacy of quality while adapting to evolving trends.

Sonos Speaker with Voice Control

The Result

In response, CEO John MacFarlane announced a shift to voice control and streaming music services (instead of local playback) and an integration with Google Assistant and Alexa. By embracing voice control and integrating Sonos speakers with major streaming platforms and virtual assistants, customers could now buy quality hardware with features that matched their changing needs.

This strategic shift resulted in a remarkable revenue increase of $482 million (64%) since 2015, solidifying Sonos’s position as a leader in the market.


The Sense Network ushered in a new era of consumer-centered innovation for cross-functional teams at Sonos – more agile, more collaborative, and ultimately more impactful. The Sense Worldwide team are trusted partners on our journey to deeper audience understanding and empathic immersion.

Executive, SONOS


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