Mastercard. Picture: SUPPLIED
Mastercard. Picture: SUPPLIED

As technology becomes increasingly embedded in consumers’ lives, brands need to find ways of creating emotional connections with consumers that don’t rely on visual cues. This is one reason more and more global brands are looking to create sonic, or audio, brand identities. Last month HSBC, one of the largest banking and financial services institutions in the world, launched its first audio identity as part of the next phase of its global brand refresh. And now Mastercard has debuted a new sonic brand identity as part of its continued brand identity transformation.

Mastercard’s sonic identity comes just weeks after the company announced it was dropping its name from its logo. Its sonic brand identity will be used whenever consumers engage with the brand irrespective of whether that interaction is in a physical, digital or voice environment.

Beatrice Cornacchia, senior vice-president, head of marketing & communications, Middle East & Africa at Mastercard International. Picture: SUPPLIED
Beatrice Cornacchia, senior vice-president, head of marketing & communications, Middle East & Africa at Mastercard International. Picture: SUPPLIED

According to Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard, sound adds a powerful new dimension to its brand identity and will be a critical component to how people recognise Mastercard today and in the future. “We set out an ambitious goal to produce the Mastercard melody in a way that’s distinct and authentic, yet adaptable globally and across genres.  It is important that our sonic brand not only reinforces our presence, but also resonates seamlessly around the world,” he says.

The melody is the result of a collaboration between musicians, including Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, artists and agencies from across the globe and took 18 months to produce, says Beatrice Cornacchia, senior vice-president, head of marketing & communications, Middle East & Africa at Mastercard International.

Forming the foundation of the brand’s sound architecture, the melody will extend to numerous assets including musical scores, sound logos and ringtones, to hold music and point-of-sale acceptance sounds.

The Mastercard melody is intended to be distinct and memorable, and adaptable across genres and cultures, explains Cornacchia. “Like our logo, which is instantly recognisable globally, our intention is that this melody will become similarly recognisable. However, we will be localising its use by inserting local nuances.”

The evolution of MasterCard. Picture: SUPPLIED
The evolution of MasterCard. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mastercard’s sonic brand is a new frontier for the company as it seeks to connect the brand with consumers on a new dimension in an increasingly digital and mobile world, says Cornacchia. “This new digital world has ensured that the way consumers interact with brands has changed,” she says, adding by way of example that voice payments have increased dramatically.

It’s important that Mastercard, one of the most recognisable brands globally, plays a role in these new frontiers, she says. “The Mastercard strategy is to touch all the senses. We’ve successfully navigated two senses and will be continuing on this journey.”

The big take-out

Mastercard has launched a sonic brand identity to provide a seamless familiarity in an effort to connect with consumers on a new dimension.