For the first time in 20 years, MasterCard
(MY) – Get the report from Mastercard Inc. (MA) recently unveiled a new logo – this one with a flatter, cleaner look with the company name written in lowercase letters. The company hired design firm Pentagram to help it reshape from its old 3D look.
Change comes as digital payment platforms multiply rapidly, forcing credit card companies to compete with Apple Pay
indefinite , Pay Pal
(PYPL) – Get the report from PayPal Holdings Inc and Venmo. MasterCard’s new logo now more closely matches the look and feel of these competitors.
Take our interactive quiz to see if you can recognize the original logos of some famous companies.
“The entire credit card category itself is put to the test by mobile payments,” said John Paolini, Executive Creative Director of Sullivan, which describes itself as a “brand engagement” firm.
MasterCard has its hands full to market itself to a growing generation say no to credit cards. Despite this trend, MasterCard stock has climbed nearly 200% over the past five years, due to increased use of debit cards as well as increased consumer spending in the wake of the recession.
“Credit cards have become so commonplace that new generations of consumers find no value in them,” Paolini said. “Now is the right time for Master Card to report a significant change in their identity.”
Credit card giant joins companies like Netflix
(NFLX) – Get the Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) report and Facebook
(FB) – Get the Class A report from Facebook, Inc. Instagram, which has also revamped its company logos over the past six months, moving to sharper, flatter images.
According to Paolini, it’s hard to calculate how a logo change will actually affect a well-known business like MasterCard’s bottom line.
“When people talk about value, we immediately think of quantifying it in terms of dollars,” he said. “[But] it’s much more about the value it adds to the relationship between a brand and its customer. “
And long-established brands like MasterCard face special challenges when trying to update their logos.
When PepsiCo’s (DYNAMISM) – Get the report from PepsiCo, Inc. Tropicana decided to roll out its redesigned logo and packaging in early January 2009, the look was so different that confused consumers weren’t sure what to look for on the shelves. Sales of the Tropicana Pure Premium line fell 20% between January 1 and February 22 of the same year, costing the brand $ 35 million, according to AgencySpy. Tropicana has announced that it will roll back its redesign on February 23 and revert to the original logo.
“They had a giant evolving position and the brand has practically vanished from the shelves,” said Ken Nisch, president of JGA, a retail design and branding company.
The hole (GPS) – Get the Gap, Inc. (GPS) report learned from Tropicana’s mistake by quickly dropping an unpopular new logo. Shortly after the introduction of a new digital design in October 2010, the clothing company backed down after a storm of criticism demanded the company revert to its old logo. The new logo only lasted a week.
Of course, not all change is bad. A logo change or rebranding can revitalize a business and promote brand recognition, according to Nisch. Coca Cola
(KO) – Get the Coca-Cola Company Report, for example, did not compromise the brand’s value when it rolled out a series of changes over the past few years, including adding more color to its packaging and putting customers’ names on the box, which the latter being a marketing campaign focused on millennial customers.
“They haven’t lost a real threat to the continuity of the brand,” he said. “It was probably the classic evolution that worked well and kept this vital mark even though it is pervasive.”
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