MasterCard Banks on New Logo

Company Updates Look to Reflect More Modernized Offerings

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MasterCard is getting a makeover. The Purchase, N.Y.-based company unveiled a new logo Thursday that simplifies the brand for consumers and merchants. The new design includes red and yellow interlocking circles; the word "mastercard" can be positioned below or to the side, rather than to the top, and capital letters have been omitted to de-emphasize "card" and play up the brand's image as an omnipresent brand. The company name is also written in a more contemporary font.

"We wanted to emphasize the fact that MasterCard is no longer just a card product -- the future will be predominantly digital," said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer of the 50-year-old company. "We feel comfortable the change is preserving the equity and heritage and yet leveraging off of that and contemporizing it to make ourselves more adaptable."

The new branding will be rolled out to the company's digital payment service Masterpass by the end of July, and then phased into other offerings in the coming months. The company envisions that in some instances, the logo will appear without the word "MasterCard," since 81% of the global population is able to identify the brand by just seeing the red and yellow circles, according to Mr. Rajamannar. He noted that most consumers should be able to identify a brand by the look and feel of it rather than the written name.

One early review of the redesign was favorable. "Overall, the system is a great clean break for MasterCard to establish a clear house style that stems from the simplicity and crispness of the new logo," wrote Brand New, a site that reviews corporate and brand identities. "I can't imagine a new Mastercard logo being anything other than what this ended up being."

The company's consumer-facing logo has gone through at least five different design iterations since its 1966 founding as Interbank.

MasterCard, which has roughly 2.2 billion cards in circulation, worked with Manhattan-based Pentagram Design on the new logo. In recent months, the company has expanded its digital offerings through the Selfie Pay feature, which bypasses passwords, and is researching biometric payment solutions based on heartbeat. Last year, the company partnered with a fashion designer to debut a dress and purse that can be used to purchase goods.

MasterCard's logo history, including a corporate logo introduced in 2006, which will also convert to the new brand mark.
MasterCard's logo history, including a corporate logo introduced in 2006, which will also convert to the new brand mark. Credit: Mastercard

"Every connected device is a device for commerce and for marketing and engaging consumers," said Mr. Rajamannar. MasterCard also announced Thursday that it is expanding its Masterpass program, now usable in more than five million stores in 77 countries.

In 2015, MasterCard spent $67 million on measured media in the U.S., a 39% drop over 2014, according to Ad Age's Datacenter.

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