Michael Boumendil, EDHEC 1994, Chairman and Founder of Sixième Son, shares with us his EDHEC experience
EDHEC Business School created its sound identity in 2020, in collaboration with Boumendil, EDHEC 1994, Chairman and Founder of Sixième Son. Michael Boumendil shares with us today his EDHEC experience…
EDHEC Business School created its sound identity in 2020, in collaboration with Boumendil, EDHEC 1994, Chairman and Founder of Sixième Son.
Michael Boumendil shares with us today his EDHEC experience and his point of view on the sound identity of brands :
What role has EDHEC played for you to date?
I’m deeply indebted to EDHEC. I defined the sound identity concept at the age of 19 and that implied inventing a profession at the crossroads of art and business. It was EDHEC that convinced me I had a promising idea. Without EDHEC, I probably wouldn’t have created Sixième Son.
What values did you acquire at EDHEC and what have you kept from it now in your career?
EDHEC helped me in many areas. I acquired skills there, but also the confidence and courage to go down unsuspected routes. Running a company is a great “job”, but a solitary one, and it’s sometimes hard to look at your own decisions objectively. But EDHEC always managed to challenge me, both positively and professionally.
How does a brand’s sound identity act as a vector of meaning for the brand and its DNA?
Each choice is a vector of meaning. Dynamic music does not convey the same emotion as a slow piece, rock or electro. Music is a language and as such, brands need to know how to tell their story in music. The key point is not to make a mistake with the story and to remain true to what defines you.
How has the ongoing health crisis changed brands’ needs in relation to sound identity?
The health crisis has dealt a new set of cards regarding what is essential or superfluous. As of today, for a brand to be audible, it needs to tell us what is real for itself and for the rest of society. The health crisis has prompted us to put things back in their place: a brand therefore needs to be very clear on what it brings to the table. A fuzzy contribution means a diluted identity. But a clear contribution means the brand’s identity carries meaning, which then needs to be expressed either in graphic form or via sound.
How does EDHEC’s new sound identity fit with EDHEC’s strategic plan 2020-2025? What message does it convey?
EDHEC’s new plan takes it further down the road in asserting its vision. The School’s sound identity underlines the values that differentiate it: ambition, independence, agility, innovation, without arrogance or misplaced emphasis, but with creativity and a dash of impertinence that suits EDHEC well. This ability to innovate is not a simple concept, but a reality that the brand fuels by placing itself at the service of the economy and students and by instilling a certain ethical approach to business.
Why did you gift this sound identity to EDHEC?
First of all, because I feel indebted to EDHEC. Sixième Son wouldn’t have had the same success if EDHEC hadn’t equipped me with what I needed to put the project together. Next, the fact that EDHEC helped me invent a profession might encourage certain people to take risks, which is important because the real risk for me lies in not trying anything. Even if Sixième Son hadn’t worked, I would have learned so much from the experience that it would have transformed me, like EDHEC transformed me. The EDHEC community shows there are paths already marked out that might suit some people, but also some new trails to be blazed.
Why is it important for the EDHEC community to support the Foundation’s projects?
For me, it’s essential for EDHEC alumni to help each other and the School. First of all, from a selfish standpoint, because helping the School means helping yourself. Next, because we can’t achieve our objectives alone, we need to confront our ideas with the experience of others. Nobody has an innate knowledge of all the aspects of management. Lastly, seeing talented young people fulfill themselves is the only way that we can solve together the sizeable challenges that face us as tenants of this tiny planet. We’re links in a chain that began thousands of years ago. The more the subsequent links are strong and supportive of each other, the more the chain can develop in a healthy, lasting and successful way.
Discover here the backstage of the creation of EDHEC's sound identity