A friend and marketing colleague asked me what I thought about the new MasterCard logo. Like me, he’s a big fan of MasterCard given their success in pro-sitioning the brand to propel significant growth over the past 20-years. Quite frankly, I think I might have been enjoying the holiday festivities far too much because I wasn’t even aware of the logo change. So, I went online to see what it’s all about.
At first, I was confused with what I saw, heard and read. I was told that MasterCard dropped its name. But judging from the exhibit above, it appears that they have not. (I don’t think it would be a good idea to do so at this time as they might lose brand linkage.) They merely placed the name bellow or off to the side of the intersecting circles (depending upon the medium used). They also changed each of the letters in the name to lower case for, what I imagine, are aesthetic purposes. Importantly, they kept the symbol of the intersecting circles and colors (with minor modification), which have been with them for many years, and clearly signify the brand. The new design appears cleaner and, well, more contemporary. I imagine it will play well in all media vehicles – across the spectrum of digital and non-digital alike.
In my mind, a logo needs to be more than an identifying element of the brand. It needs to do more than convey instant recognition to maintain or bolster awareness. The logo needs to reflect the Brand Idea and Positioning Strategy. The Nike Swoosh is more than an identifying element. It suggests it is the best athletic wear and those members of their tribe who “just do it” with Nike are among the best. I particularly like the amazon logo. It communicates: a) direct to you/me; b) everything from a to z; and c) fast! And, because it appears like a smiley face it’s like a friend bearing gifts each and every time I’m greeted with an amazon package when I open the front door of my home. The smiley face logo makes me feel good about amazon and (I hope I’m not being shallow) myself.
If the MasterCard (or should I say, “mastercard?”) logo redesign is to be successful, then the brand needs to use the intersecting circles to do more than generate instant recognition. Like Nike and amazon, the logo needs to reflect the Brand Idea. Specifically, it needs to connect its card holders with their priceless moments – their sweet spot. This appears to be what they are able to do and are doing. And, they should continue to do so. In this way, the logo becomes more than an identifying element but a dramatized reflection of the Brand Idea.
Hmmm, I think I’ll jump online now and use my MasterCard to order something from amazon prime that will gift me with a priceless moment and experience!