Money & Banking

Mastercard plays to customers’ tunes

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on December 22, 2019 Published on December 22, 2019

Embeds sonic brand melody into Android PoS devices

As consumers engage with payments and tech company Mastercard across the globe — in physical, digital or voice environments — the distinct Mastercard melody that plays out has some of its roots in India.

Mastercard had launched its ‘sonic brand identity’ this February, in what was touted as ‘a memorable melody with adaptations across genres and cultures’. This month, the company embedded its sonic brand melody into the Android-based point-of-sale (PoS) devices across India.

Now, whenever Mastercard cardholders complete a payment transaction on these PoS machines, they can hear Mastercard’s sonic melody. The new sensory engagement aims to provide a seamless familiarity and an additional assurance to consumers that the transaction has been completed securely.

To ensure the Mastercard melody resonates with consumers the world over, Mastercard tapped musicians, artists (also from India) and agencies, including musical innovator Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, to deliver on its sonic brand identity.

The result: a melody that was locally relevant while maintaining a consistent global brand voice. The use of varying instruments helped deliver the Mastercard melody in several unique styles such as operatic, cinematic and playful as well as a number of regional interpretations.

Voice shopping

Rajiv Raja, Co-Founder of sonic branding company, BrandMusiq, maintains companies are increasingly venturing into audio branding — which involves creating and patching an original piece of music to brand products, similar to a visual mark on paper — to showcase the brand’s new rhythm.

“However,” he adds, “sonic identity is quite dynamic. It can be interpreted differently.”

With voice shopping projected to hit the $40-billion mark by 2022, companies tend to consider a signature melody, an audio calling card, to transcribe the brand’s potential.

Speaking to BusinessLine about the evaluatory framework that is created with the science of sound, Raja said, “In Indian raag (classical music), different moods are created by different notes and tempo and taals. Similarly, in western classical music, a combination of notes from Beethoven, Bach and Mozart can bring on a happy mood or exhilaration. Similar to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Spring. This tune is then mapped to the persona of brands.”

BrandMusiq has created sonic identity for brands such as Zomato, Raymond, Myntra, Vistara, Tata Salt as well as for HDFC Bank and IndusInd Bank.

Zomato becomes the first food aggregator in the country to unlock the power of Mogo (a musical logo) a proprietary brand identity model created by BrandMusiq.

The new sonic signature was developed to represent the ethos of the brand and resonate with the overall Zomato experience, creating brand stickiness among its 70+ million active users across 24 countries and 10,000 cities.

Raja says in an increasingly digital world, sonic identity is becoming an important part of the brand and marketing tactics at corporates, especially with digital payments, notifications and voice-enabled transactions coming into play.

Marketing technique

Sonic identity is also a recognition of the growing role voice and audio marketing tend to play in today’s market.

“The whole salience and awareness has grown,” adds Raja. “Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are in most households and consumers would soon be purchasing through voice. It is a market that will take off in the next few years as adoption of IoT products such as smart speakers grows.”

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Published on December 22, 2019
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