Sonic Branding with Mastercard’s Raja Rajamannar


May 31, 2021

raja rajamannar on brand

“If you look at designing a brand logo in a visual form, there’s an infinite amount of material. With sonic branding, you have no choice but to create your own playbook. You need to understand the impact that sound has on people’s emotions.” Sonic branding was one of the many marketing and media disruptions I discussed this week with Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for Mastercard and author of the new book Quantum Marketing.

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About Raja Rajamannar

Raja Rajamannar is Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for Mastercard and president of the company’s healthcare business. He also serves as president of the World Federation of Advertisers. With more than 30 years as a global executive, Raja has held C-level roles at firms ranging from Anthem to Humana and has overseen the successful evolution of Mastercard’s identity for the digital age, from its Priceless experiential platforms to marketing-led business models. His work has been featured by Harvard Business School and Yale School of management case studies and taught at more than 40 top management schools around the world. Raja earned an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and a Bachelor of Technology degree from Omania University. He’s also the author of the new book Quantum Marketing: Mastering the New Marketing Mindset for Tomorrow’s Consumers.

Episode Highlights

“This has been the most disruptive year for every single company including Mastercard.” And every sector that Mastercard works with has been affected differently. For example, e-commerce has been booming while airlines have frozen. “When revenue is under pressure, marketing dollars are restrained.”

With smart speakers, we have to get past the tech and embrace sonic branding. “If you look at designing a brand logo in a visual form, there’s an infinite amount of material. With sonic branding, you have no choice but to create your own playbook. You need to understand the impact that sound has on people’s emotions.” As Raja points out, Alexa and Google only know the top brands. “You have to get past these new gatekeepers and influencers.”

Speaking of visual brand identity, what went into dropping the brand name from the Mastercard logo? “We did a lot of research and testing first,” Raja shared. First, they answered the question of why they were proposing this. “The space for our brands to show up today—mostly digital screens—is getting smaller and smaller.” They also tested who could identify the brand without the words and found that 84% globally could still identify Mastercard.

What brand has made Raja smile recently? Raja told us a tale of how Burger King made him smile by embracing another disruptive technology—geofencing—to poke at their competitor McDonalds.

To learn more, go to quantummarketing.com and connect with Raja on LinkedIn.

 

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.




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