- Visa's sensory branding suite is now available in 25 countries and more than 1 million points of sale to tell customers when they've completed a payment. The payments processor provided an update on its sound, animation and vibration branding suite, which was first introduced two years ago, at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, per an announcement. The sensory cues include a single "energetic" and "optimistic" sound, along with an animation of its logo and a haptic vibration.
- Visa has partnered with more than a dozen companies to deploy sensory branding that aims to assure customers that their point-of-sale payments are secure. Point-of-sale terminal providers including Aurus, Equinox Payments, Pax, Poynt, IBA and VisaNet have adopted Visa's sensory branding suite. Other partners include Ziosk, the table ordering and payment platform for casual restaurants such as Olive Garden, Chili's and TGI Friday's.
- Positive brand perceptions gained 14% for Visa customers who experienced the sensory experience compared with those who didn't, according to a recent in-store study with San Francisco Bay Area merchants using Poynt terminals cited by Visa in the release. Recall of the Visa logo also increased and consumers who experienced sensory branding were 12% more likely to say that the merchant is interested in security.
Sensory branding — particularly sonic branding — is a growing trend and the results from Visa, an early adopter of the strategy, point to some of the potential benefits for marketers embracing this approach, including a more positive brand perception, logo recall and the feeling that security is being taken seriously. It also points to the strength of Visa's strategy of releasing software tools in January 2018 to help developers experiment with sensory experiences, which have been adopted by a number of partners, extending the reach of the sensory experience to sports stadiums and restaurants, among other venues.
A digital world of voice-powered devices, networked appliances and unattended retail environments could mean that consumers are growing more attuned to aural signals from a wider range of connected gadgets. In this environment, having a sonic identity could be important for payments processors like Visa and Mastercard – which this year introduced its own "sonic brand identity" — as they seek to stand out among a crowded field of competitors that includes digital wallets from Alipay, Apple, Google, PayPal, Samsung and WeChat, among others. They are vying for a piece of the mobile payment market, which is forecast to grow to about $4.6 trillion worldwide by 2023, up from $601 billion in 2016, according to Allied Market Research.
While Visa's sensory branding focuses on point-of-sale transactions, other brands are considering musical themes and sound logos to stand out on streaming platforms like Pandora and Spotify that reach hundreds of millions of listeners. The companies mostly depend on subscription revenue from people who don't want their listening experience interrupted by advertising, but they also have ad-supported services that need to engage listeners of music and podcasts with messages from sponsors. To help its brand stand out among rivals, Pandora this year introduced its first sonic logo that consists of a three-second sound bite. As part of its efforts to woo advertisers, the company this month established an in-house consultancy called Studio Resonate to work with brands on their audio marketing strategies.
Visa is also among the companies that are backing Facebook's planned cryptocurrency and digital wallet. The social network this week announced the blockchain-powered digital currency, "Libra," which aims to provide fast and secure online mobile payments that circumvents the traditional financial system. A digital wallet called Calibra will let users send and receive funds from a standalone app or within new WhatsApp and Messenger integrations, the company said. MasterCard, PayPal, Uber, Ebay Spotify also are investing in a consortium that will govern the digital coin, which faces regulatory scrutiny from Congress and the Federal Reserve, The Wall Street Journal reported.