We talk a lot about how brand recognition is important, and how being consistent with your brand is the key to making that successful. This is usually accomplished with consistent execution of visuals, typography and color across multiple platforms. MasterCard, however, took it to an entirely new level when they unveiled this new addition to their brand arsenal...sound.
Earlier this month, a video was released from MasterCard explaining their new "sonic brand." In the video they talk about how they will use the sound recognition to their advantage across their brand. Utilizing it for things like the checkout ding to full blown musical compositions within their advertisements.
This is a great example of a brand taking advantage of consistency within omni-channel marketing. Understanding how people interact with your brand and adding something different, like sound, that not many other people take advantage of will definitely help them stand out.
Sound is an underrated tool that can be used in a variety of ways. It doesn't have to be taken as far as writing a jingle to represent your brand, but however people are interacting with your brand visually, can typically be complimented with sound elements.
Take for example, the AOL sign on experience. Not only does that awful dial-up sound remind all of us just what it was like to wait to be connected to the internet, there was recognition there. Every time people hear that sound, there is an immediate association. Some may call it nostalgia, and others may get nightmares.
You can even follow that experience up with what happens after the sign-on. That oh-so-catchy "you've got mail!" announcement. If you hear it, the first thing you think of isn't to jump to go check your, you immediately think, AOL.
There are many micro-experiences that have sounds attached sounds to them. Like what it sounds like when you send an email from your iPad, or what the success ring sounds like after your Alexa device completes a task. All of those things are creating an association in your brain; this sound means this thing happened. MasterCard is taking this concept and applying it, extensively, across their brand as a whole. If they implement it consistently and at a large-scale, it won't take long before we're trained to associate their sounds with their brand.
Just like you think of Apple when you hear that power-on computer sound, soon people will hear these notes and immediately think of MasterCard. It's not every day that you see brands going the extra mile to establish this type of recognition, but it's definitely refreshing to see them stepping outside of the standard parameters to implement new methodologies to get people to engage.