ISD Team

HDFC Bank wanted sound to create an emotional connection with customers in an increasingly digital world, because of its visceral impact and universality. Brandmusiq, HDFC’s sonic agency created the MOGO® to evoke an Indian Bank – warm, empathetic and progressive. Multiple expressions took the new sonic identity to various consumer ‘earpoints’. 


HDFC Bank is one of India’s largest private Banks. The banking industry is constantly evolving. Branch walk-ins had been steadily decreasing and, increasingly customers preferred interacting with the brand online – 75% of transactions being conducted digitally. While online banking leads to easier, faster transactions and efficient solutions, it misses out on the emotional connect with customers that the traditional high touch branch environment offered. The challenge was to create an emotional connect in the digital world.

Science of sound and art of music
Agency Brandmusiq advised HDFC Bank that sound could be very effective in bridging this lacuna. Sound, goes through your ears, straight into your heart. A sonic identity had the power to connect with consumers at a deeper, more subliminal level. Further, sound had the power to transcend segments by allowing emotional engagement with everyone ranging from a farmer in rural India to an urban city dweller and, from a government employee to a corporate one.

3 Stage Process

1. Brand Discovery: The brand’s core values, personality and essence was identified through an interactive workshop with the Bank’s Leadership Team, using our own filters.

2. Sonic Mapping: Based on the discovery stage, mood boards were created to arrive at the Bank’s zone of sound, matching music themes to brand values: We experimented with various instruments and genres to ascertain which sounds would best represent HDFC Bank. Given the Bank’s Indian heritage, the sitar became a short-hand for India. The piano and guitar were global in feel and tone and highly adaptable. The track needed to be contemporary, yet have the ability to appeal across a wide spectrum.

3. The MOGO®. Two Indian classical raags – Bilawal and Shudh Kalyan were referenced. The former an expression of innovation and dynamism while the latter reflected the humane nature of the Bank.

The master track – MOGOSCAPE®, was created as a 90 seconder, providing the sonic palette for HDFC Bank to work from. From it we extracted a 3 second piece which became the MOGO® (Musical LOGO). Two versions were approved for the purpose of testing with customers. The Bank tested the tracks using their own action standards. Focus Groups were held across key centers in India. The final MOGO®/MOGOSCAPE was selected because it balanced the current stature of HDFC Bank (trusted, solid) with its desired avatar (progressive and evolving).

Internal Launch
The MOGO® and MOGOSCAPE® were successfully unveiled to the top management and key manager of the bank at their corporate headquarters with a live concert, performed by the Brandmusiq team.

External launch – multiple ear-points
Brandmusiq created multiple applications to communicate HDFC Banks new sonic branding to its customers – 100 Content Videos, Caller Tunes, IVR, 12,000 ATMs, e-Wallet Apps, Branches and Events.

The MOGO® recall post launch was 65% with a very high correlation with Trust/Progressiveness 70% and Caring 80%.

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