Mastercard’s decision to drop its name from its logo reflects a number of consumer trends, including the prevalence of small screens and the growth of digital payments, according to the brand’s chief marketing and communications officer.

“One of the key things that we look at [for] our brand, Mastercard, specifically, is the context of how the entire consumer landscape is totally changing,” Raja Rajamannar told the CES conference in Las Vegas.

“It’s becoming more and more digitally-oriented, digitally-driven. And the kind of devices with which [consumers] are interacting … are shrinking, becoming smaller, becoming faster,” he noted.

“It’s totally transforming everything that we can do to make our presence felt and to engage with our consumers.” (For more details, read WARC’s report: Why Mastercard dropped its name from its logo).

While it might then seem a logical step to relieve marketers of the obligation to force a ten-letter name into all communications, it is not one taken lightly.

“We did about, I would say, 20 months of intense research both from a market research point of view, as well as in-field tests around the world,” Rajamannar reported.

“We have been looking at it for the last almost 20 months to see: How can we take it to the next, highest level? … We said. ‘This is great. But what if people don’t recognize that logo?’”

The concentric circles that have traditionally accompanied the Mastercard moniker actually have an even longer history than the Mastercard name itself. Originally, the spheres were utilized by Master Charge – a predecessor to Mastercard – between 1966 and 1979. The current brand then arrived in 1979, with further tweaks to its emblem being made in 1990, 1996 and 2016.

And the brand’s research established that more than 80% of all consumers recognize the brand by looking at the two interlocking circles – with or without the words.

Rajamannar believes the brand will now cut through more effectively on small digital screens. “Now, we have got that same space as before, but occupied by two larger red and yellow circles, where the visibility is [enhanced],” he said.

“Surprisingly, the difference in the space is not huge, but the difference in impact is humongous.”

Sourced from WARC