When Raja Rajamannar first approached colleagues and agencies to discuss the need for a ‘sonic brand’ they suspected he had been “smoking something”. Today, however, Rajamannar is spearheading the rollout of Mastercard’s sonic brand identity to its 1.8 billion customers around the globe.
At the heart of their sonic brand is a short melody and so-called ‘mogo’. These two atypical brand assets will blend seamlessly into every consumer touchpoint. Those include television advertisements, the companies call centres, and at point-of-sale within merchant’s stores.
The justification to invest considerable resources into an audible brand was beyond that of traditional channels. Rajamannar foresaw the influence voice assistants and smart speakers would have on the buyer’s journey. He also believed that for any brand to maintain a presence throughout this journey, they must rethink their branding strategy entirely.
Unfortunately, Rajamannar represents a minority of today’s marketing leaders. Those who are willing to put their reputation in the C-suite on the line and take daring decisions. These marketers truly encapsulate what it is to be a ‘leader’.
Mastercard also represents a far smaller portion of organisations. Those that value creativity and innovation as much as the tactical functions that are the ‘bread and butter’ of marketing teams. It is these brands that reinvent customer experience.
The value of Mastercard’s sonic brand will take several years to materialise. There is no doubt that others will have followed suite by this point. Some will have been successful, and others will not have. What Rajamannar and his colleagues have done, however, is highlighted again the prerequisite for creativity and innovation in marketing.