Modern Marketing

Branding 101: How to anchor a brand in sound using AI and talent feat. Mastercard

  • Mastercard is pushing the envelope by delving into the realms of sonic branding, to impact and connect more closely to their customers.
  • No one does this better than Mastercard, which has not only launched its own sonic logo, but put considerable weight behind its sonic branding venture by launching an album and building a an AI-powered studio that helps its employees create renditions of its sonic logo for different contexts.
close

Email a Friend

Branding 101: How to anchor a brand in sound using AI and talent feat. Mastercard

Today content reigns supreme, and brands have to fight to be remembered. For some brands like Klarna, the route to being memorable is choosing colors, text, and imagery that stands out. “But why only prepare a feast for the eyes?” says Mastercard, a brand which has carved out its own identity in the realms of sound in the past five years.

Five years ago, Mastercard released its own sonic “DNA”, a 30 second melody which the brand engineered specifically to be adaptable to multiple contexts and regions. The firm also adapted this 30 second melody to a 3 second version to be played during advertisements and a 1.6 second version that is played when customers make payments with the company’s card.

“Just as our iconic red and yellow interlocking circles immediately evoke Mastercard visually, our sonic brand is designed to build brand awareness through sound. Our sonic DNA is a meticulously crafted architecture that enhances brand recognition in audio environments,” Mastercard’s CMO, Raja Rajamannar told me.

Why build a sonic brand

Unlike visual branding like logos, sounds are transportive and highly evocative. For me, it’s nearly impossible to listen to Unwritten by Natasha Beddingfield and not think of the Pantene commercial playing on TV while I sat with my mom eating snacks on the couch, more than 10 years ago.

But most brands stop after leveraging a popular song and singer. Those that haven’t have put out sounds in the world that are reminiscent of their brand. Think of Twitter’s bird chirp notification bell or the iPhone camera shutter or the phone’s bootup sound.

It is possible to make this sound-based identity travel even further, especially for those brands that can’t rely on hardware and UX.

Our ears are excellent at recognizing and remembering beats and rhythms – it’s why oral history has so often relied on song, and so sonic branding is a way to be there when there is no billboard or splashy packaging.

How to build a sonic brand


subscription wall for TS Pro

0 comments on “Branding 101: How to anchor a brand in sound using AI and talent feat. Mastercard”

Getting customers to act, Modern Marketing

Ears are the gateway to a consumer’s heart: 5 brands that are hitting all the right notes in sonic branding

  • Some of the biggest brands in the industry like Amex and PayPal are using sound to connect with their audiences.
  • We explore the different directions brands have taken with their sonic identities and how they add more fuel to their sonic brand launches by working on adjacent marketing strategies that give the launch more shelf life.
Rabab Ahsan | July 23, 2024
Creating win-win partnerships, The Customer Effect

Behind the US Bank, Greenlight partnership

  • Serving Gen Z has created a conundrum for banks: they know they need to have an offering for younger customers but they don't quite know what to build for them.
  • U.S. Bank recently partnered with Greenlight to roll out a family banking offering to its customers within its mobile app.
Zachary Miller | June 25, 2024
BNPL, Getting customers to act, Modern Marketing

Branding 101: How Klarna translates its branding principles into product and UX design

  • Given mounting competition, one way a brand can build awareness among consumers is branding, and Klarna is one of the best.
  • Dive into Klarna's branding principles and marketing campaigns to find out how the Swedish brand manages to stand out, marrying its design ideals to its products.
Rabab Ahsan | June 11, 2024
Artificial Intelligence, Member Exclusive, The Customer Effect

How to build a chatbot: Lessons from Bank of America, Klarna, and Lili

  • Everything from the UX, to the scope of a chatbot can impact how meaningful customers find interacting with a digital assistant.
  • While larger companies are able to heavily involve their own product and software development teams in building a chatbot, smaller firms in the industry should keep their focus narrow, find the right partners and ensure they are responding to how customers are engaging with heir chatbot.
Rabab Ahsan | June 04, 2024
Banking, Lending, The Customer Effect

Unpacking the consumer impact of the Capital One and Discover deal

  • The Capital One-Discover deal may be driven by the complementary attributes of their customers, potentially leading to changes in product offerings and services to better serve consumers.
  • The combined entity could introduce a rewards based debit card as well as relaunch Discover's credit cards for SMBs. Beyond products however it is unlikely that the UX will change dramatically.
Rabab Ahsan | May 14, 2024
More Articles