MasterCard Sonic: Brand Identity
Mastercard’s sonic brand identity is centered around the sonic logo the company launched in February this year. Detailed below is more information about the company’s sonic branding. Additional insights about Mastercard’s brand identity, such as its text-free logo, the company's goal of seamless familiarity, and the use of overlapping circles in red and yellow have also been added.
Sonic Brand Identity
- To address the rising popularity of voice commerce, or when consumers buy products using a voice command feature from their devices, Mastercard launched a sonic logo in February this year. With the growing popularity of smart speakers, the voice shopping industry in the US and the UK is expected to exceed more than $40 billion in size by 2022 from $2 billion in 2018.
- Mastercard's core 12-second sonic branding can be heard from 1:04 to 1:16 of this video. The company's sonic branding will be used in commercials, ringtones, home music, and POS and be "adapted globally in different versions to ensure local relevancy."
- To reinforce the brand, the sound is played every time a consumer interacts with Mastercard. Examples of the sonic logo playing after a successful Mastercard transaction can be heard here and here.
- Mastercard worked with different professionals from across the world, including musicians, artists, and agencies, to create the signature sound and guarantee local relevance while staying consistent across cultures.
- The company also made specific adjustments to the sound to fit in various situations and activities, so Mastercard users hear different distinctive adaptations for each scenario. For example, there are playful, cinematic, and operatic versions.
- In January this year, Mastercard dropped its name from its logo to solely rely on an image of a pair of interlocking circles of red and yellow. Mastercard is just one of the few brands that no longer rely on its name in its marketing and promotional materials. Other brands that have removed their names from their logos include other established brands like Apple, Nike, and Target.
- According to Mastercard, eighty percent of individuals recognize their logo even when the word 'Mastercard' isn't present.
- Removing its name from its logo also indicates the evolving nature of exchanging currency. Raja Rajamannar, the company’s chief marketing and communications officer, states that the company is progressively moving its branding technique in anticipation of a post-credit card world where different forms of digital payment will rule.
- Mastercard has been trying to rebrand itself as a "technology company in the global payments industry" in recent years.
- Zab Johnson, executive director and senior fellow at the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative at the Wharton School, expressed that "Mastercard is using the word 'drop' for something totally different — they’re trying to move away from the card aspect towards a more virtual financial space, where cards might not be the wave of the future." The organization is attempting to drop "card" from its name without really changing its name.
- With more than 80 percent of people spontaneously recognizing the brand's text-free logo, the company is looking into creating a seamless familiarity every time the user interacts with the brand, regardless of the avenue, by creating its sonic logo.
- Anywhere in the world clients use Mastercard—physically, digitally, or in voice environments—the distinct Mastercard tune will create a seamless familiarity.
Overlapping Circles and the Use of the Colors Red and Yellow
- According to Pentagram, the design consultancy firm that worked with Mastercard for its logo, the intersecting circles express the idea of connection, and the basic circular shapes is a representation of "inclusiveness and accessibility," which is key to the company's brand message of "priceless possibilities."
- The original Mastercard logo used a subtractive color mix, which created a darker shadow when the red and yellow circles overlap. On the other hand, the new logo uses an additive color mix, which produces brighter orange. The brighter color projects a lighter and fresher effect, giving the image "a bolder, more optimistic feel."