BrandArena: Mastercard Rebrands, Drops Name From Company Logo

Monday 14 January 2019

Mastercard Rebrands, Drops Name From Company Logo

Imagine having enough brand equity to be identified by just a logo? 

Mastercard has announced that it is dropping its name from its iconic brand mark in select contexts. The interlocking red and yellow circles, referred to as 'the Mastercard symbol', will now stand on its own across cards using the red and yellow brand mark, acceptance marks at retail locations both in the physical and digital worlds and major sponsorship properties.

The name-drop marks the second time in two-and-a-half years that Mastercard has tinkered with its logo. In July 2016, Mastercard refreshed the colors of its 50-year-old interlocking circles as red and yellow, and changed the longstanding capital “C” in its name to a lower-case “c” to emphasize that the company is about more than just card payments. At that time, the Mastercard name was moved from within the circles to just below them.

"Reinvention in the digital age calls for modern simplicity," says Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communication officer at Mastercard. "And with more than 80% of people spontaneously recognising the Mastercard Symbol without the word ‘mastercard,’ we felt ready to take this next step in our brand evolution."

"We are proud of our rich brand heritage and are excited to see the iconic circles standing on their own," Rajamannar adds.

According to Mastercard, the red and yellow interlocking circles have been the hallmark of the brand for more than 50 years, symbolising the brand’s promise to connect people to priceless possibilities.

"We live in a time where, increasingly, we communicate not through words but through icons and symbols. Mastercard has had the great fortune of being represented by two interlocking circles – one red, one yellow – since its founding in 1966," adds Michael Bierut, partner at Pentagram.

“Now, by allowing this symbol to shine on its own, Mastercard enters an elite cadre of brands that are represented not by name, but by symbol: an apple, a target, a swoosh," Bierut says.

"Mastercard’s two interlocking circles have always represented its commitment to connecting people. Now, that commitment is given greater presence by Mastercard’s status as a symbol brand," Bierut concludes.

The company said 80% of people spontaneously recognize the logo featuring two overlapping red and yellow circles.

Mastercard cited Apple, Target and Nike as examples of companies that are often represented by a logo instead of their names. 

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