Mastercard’s nameless logo: Priceless or puffery?

Some thoughts in addition to those shared yesterday in the interview:

Mastercard is drowning in their own Kool-Aid if they think their new nameless logo, which they call their Symbol, represents Mastercard better than the word “Mastercard.”

That said, my first question upon hearing of the logo change was whether people would recognize the Symbol as being Mastercard. So I did three very quick person-in-the-street interviews, showing each individual the new, nameless logo and asking them: “What brand is this?”

All three answered “Mastercard.” Instantly.

So, Mastercard’s claim that 80% of people recognize the Symbol unaided seems credible.

This is a triumph of visual communication, to be sure. One only arrived at after having the courage to stick with essentially the same logo for 50 years. But what value will this change ultimately accrue to the bottom line?

It’s up to Mastercard’s CMO and his agency to show us the money. The biggest boost, at least for now, will come from the buzz and respect this brand will receive as one of the world’s few – including Mercedes, Apple and McDonalds, for example – that can communicate visually without a name.

Also for the moment, back to Mastercard’s belief that their logo is more important than language. Back to their claim that the Symbol represents Mastercard better than the word “Mastercard.”

Well, I think there actually may be something that represents this brand better than its name. But it’s not an image. It’s a word: Priceless.

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