The sound of money – how FInancial services companies are using audio branding to communicate with customers
Money has traditionally been a visual and physical entity and financial services brands have as a result become some of the world’s most recognisable brand imagery.
But there is now a compelling case for financial brands to become recognisable audio brand entities as well.
The digital age has created a vast new range of touchpoints through which people
interact with commercial enterprises in their daily lives. We have become accustomed to accessing retail transactions, information, healthcare, entertainment and of course financial services through many different channels.
"Not only does sound build an emotional connection
with consumers, it can also significantly shape the customer experience, building loyalty, recall, and trust
over time and with repetition."
Michele Arnese, CEO & Founder of amp
Given the impact of COVID-19 around the globe, we will likely experience a new normal where physical transaction will need to make way for new, “contactless” forms of connection. That and the mass adoption of smart speakers with voice assistants enabling audio-search, command and transactional capabilities inhouseholds, has added to the spectrum of channels through which we interact with brands and is pivoting service technology firmly in the direction of audio.
So, what should financial service brands sound like in a world with so much competing background noise? How should they use audio to augment visual cues and engage customers more effectively when they either interact with a brand or are touched by it marketing out-reach?
Our Best Audio Brands study objectively and comprehensively evaluates audio brands based on the full spectrum of audio touchpoints available. This year, Mastercard was recognised as the world’s top-performing audio brand, leaping up the index from 72 place in 2019 and dethroning the previous best performer – McDonald’s. Last year, Mastercard dropped the text from its logo, switching to a minimal design featuring the iconic interlocked circles. This step signaled a profound rethink about the way in which people recognise brands.
Mastercard’s holistic brand strategy now integrates audio-visual elements in a way that can adapt to our changing digital experiences. One of the brands that stands out sonically is Mastercard, the recent winner of our 2020 Best Audio Brands Ranking. Even though the tonality of its visuals andmessaging might be similar to some other brands, its use of music differs.
Beyond that, Mastercard launched a multichannel marketing campaign each built on strands of its sonic DNA. It included for example custom owned tracks and soundscapes featured in an installation in the Priceless restaurant in New York City.