Nikita Mishra
Jan 9, 2024

Banking on sound: Standard Chartered gets a new sonic identity

The project developed between the London and Singapore offices will echo through the bank's 52 international markets.

The financial sector—unlike many other consumer-facing categories—has ever-evolving, nuanced challenges. Consumer trust is paramount. It’s a currency more valuable than any, and building it hinges on a multifaceted, long-term approach and not just a singular marketing strategy of ads with popular celebrities.

An upcoming arsenal in the marketer’s playbook is sonic branding. In the simplest form, it’s using sound to convey information, create or manipulate a desired effect. With podcasts and voice assistants, the world is increasingly auditory and the commercial value of sound is undeniable. The trend is visible in the growth explosion and acceleration of brands getting themselves a sonic identity. Netflix’s “Tu-dum” or McDonald’s “Bada Ba Ba Ba” or the ding sound of a Macbook when you start it, are called sonic logos.

Recognising the need for this innovation, Standard Chartered is the latest major bank to put sound to work to create a distinct selling point for its offering. The bank’s London and Singapore offices collaborated with sonic branding agency DLMDD to produce a new slick sound identity. The sound suite comprises a sonic logo, brand soundtracks, voiceovers and UX sounds to reinforce the bank’s personality and permeate across its 52 international markets.

DLMDD enlisted the expertise of composers Lank & Tank and Thomas Farnon, renowned for their work with music industry giants like Hans Zimmer, Stormzy, and Jungle. The recordings born at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London, synonymous with The Beatles as the band's stomping ground during the '60s and the place where they recorded most of their songs.

The new sound identity can be heard across Standard Chartered communications, including the latest masterbrand advertising campaign entitled ‘From Here, Possibilities Are Everywhere’. 

Anna-Karin Birnik, managing director, global head of brand at Standard Chartered, emphasises the formidable power of sound.

"Sound brings out memories and drives recall," she asserts. Standard Chartered's new sonic identity aims to be the unifying force, etching the bank's personality into the memory of consumers across the globe.

WATCH: Look behind the scenes of Standard Chartered’s sonic identity creation process

In the financial arena, Standard Chartered now joins the ranks of Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, and HSBC who have dabbled in their own auditory identities.

Max De Lucia, co-founder of DLMDD, describes Standard Chartered's sound identity as a "dynamic emblem of potential and possibilities." It goes beyond borders, delivering an unforgettable auditory experience that encapsulates the very essence of the bank.


Campaign Asia

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