Mastercard’s Biggest Rebrand In 20 Years

Mastercard is one of the world’s most instantly recognisable brands that is seen almost everywhere in our daily lives – on TV, billboards, bank machines and even in your wallet.

In July 2016 Mastercard unveiled its biggest rebrand in 20 years and be will implemented over the coming months. This is a huge rebrand that will include a whopping 2.3 billion cards, all print communications, card machines/ATMs, websites, apps, head offices and advertising.

The new brand identity hasn’t had any dramatic changes but rather some subtle ones to keep hold of the brand familiarity while optimising the brand for better use in today’s digital world.


Mastercard Logo


One of the most obvious changes in the design is the move from the two interlocking circles to two overlapping circles in yellow and red. The idea behind this was to create a feeling of ‘connectivity’ and ‘seamlessness’ in the brand which is part of Mastercard’s main ethos.

The translucent orange centre is also to give a sense of ‘transparency’ from the brand while all the colours have been brightened making the brand feel more optimistic.

One of the less obvious changes is the font for the Mastercard name which has now been changed to FFMark. They have also dropped the uppercase “M” and “C” and removed the word “MasterCard” from the circles.

The new font isn’t just for the main branding but also for all print and communications from the logo down – this will be a big job for a company of this size to go through and implement the new brand identity.


Mastercard Brnad Timeline


So, after looking at the new Mastercard logo we can see that this new brand identity is more of a functional change for digital purposes rather than a fundamental design change – one of the designers has said “I don’t think anyone’s seen the new logo and thought, ‘Wow, that’s clever’, I think they think ‘Isn’t that what it already looks like?’”

The new design has had mixed reviews across the design world with some saying that they love the new logo and others that aren’t too keen on the look and accused the design of being lazy; either way the real point of interest is seeing how the rebrand is carried out over such a large corperation in the coming months.


Is your brand heading in the right direction?

The value of your brand

A powerful brand is one of the most valuable assets your business can possess. It’s more than a logo – it’s what connects you with the hearts and minds of your audience and is the perception of who, what, why and how well you do things. It can be expressed in four distinct ways – products/services, communications, staff culture and premises. Get these things right and you will reap the rewards. Get them wrong and you could lose sales and devalue your business. Take a look at your communications and ask yourself… “Does our ‘brand promise’ really match the perceptions our audience has of us?”.

Jim Collins, author of ‘Good to Great’ said “Good is the enemy of great – The vast majority of good companies remain just that – Good but not great”.

The foundations for success

In this increasingly crowded multi-channel world, recognition and credibility are vital. A powerful identity helps to cut through the clutter – to attract, engage and communicate with your target audience.  Start by observing the opposition and differentiating yourself. Once defined, your identity must be applied with clarity, strength and consistency across all communications for it to be recognised as a credible and trusted brand.

Consistency isn’t boring – it can still be creative, but remember to have clear guidelines on logo usage, size, position, fonts, colours, photography and tone of voice. This still leaves room to be different without damaging a brand’s effectiveness. Does your logo, website and printed collateral convey your brand in a positive, clear and consistent manner that brings credibility to your business?

Brands that deliver functional, economic and emotional benefits are more likely to achieve brand success.

The rewards in brand heaven

Trust leads to authenticity and loyalty, ultimately benefiting the organisation – so growing a brand is an investment with compelling economic advantages that deliver greater returns, company robustness and shareholder value. A trusted organisation held in high esteem is rewarded with increased sales and loyalty that drives repeat business. It is a well known fact that people rarely buy from a brand they’ve never heard of, even if it is less expensive, because there is a risk attached. But they are willing to pay more for a product or service that has earned their trust.

Here are some interesting statistics:

  • Colour increases brand recognition by 80% which directly links to consumer confidence.
  • Global brands spend 45-75% of their social media time on Facebook.
  • 50% of customers will try a new product from a brand they favour.
  • 63% of customers need to hear company claims 3-5 times before they believe it.
  • 80% of consumers are more likely to evaluate solutions from the brands they follow on social channels.
  • 89% of B2B manufacturing marketers cite increased brand awareness as a goal for content marketing, compared to 85% for sales, and 80% for lead generation.
  • 72% of marketers think branded content is more effective than advertising in a magazine; 69% say it is superior to direct mail and PR.
  • 80% of consumers say “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand.

It takes time and effort to reach brand heaven but the rewards are worth it. No single approach will get you there, so the right mix of marketing communications is essential. A brand is your reputation – good or bad, it can spread quickly across all channels as people talk and it becomes self-perpetuating.

Remember: It is significantly harder to repair a bad reputation than it is to build a good one.


(Sources: Nielsen, Marketing Tech Blog, NJIT, CUBE, Content Marketing Institute, AdWeek, NewsCred, HBR, ClickFox, Smart Customer Service, VentureBeat, ColorCom, Landor, Pardot)
Social Media – What’s Right For You?

Every day we are all bombarded with the latest growth hacks for social media, but do these generic blogs cause more harm than good? Well, we thought we would look at the platforms themselves and some of the statistics behind them. We’ve selected the platforms below on the basis of popularity and how they are being used.

LinkedIn is very much a current and growing platform that dominates the world of professional social media, having recently been acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion. Launched in 2002 it has really stood the test of time, adapting to changes in technology and cornering a tough market.

With 400 million members and 3 million company pages, running a LinkedIn page is becoming crucial for businesses to have a corporate social profile – this platform is best used to target both business professionals and businesses themselves.

Facebook is the most popular platform with 1.65 billion monthly active users, meaning that 38% of the online population use Facebook and spend an average of 20 minutes per day on the site.

The platform is a good all-rounder but lacks access to business professionals of LinkedIn – Facebook is best used to engage with end users and consumers of products and services. Posts with video have the highest engagement but only make up 3% of the content. With 4 million ‘likes’ generated every minute it’s easy to see why so many businesses chose Facebook to advertise and engage with their customers.

Twitter has struggled financially recently and if they aren’t able to move with the times they may not retain their space as one of the top platforms. Having said that, with 310 million active users every month and 500 million tweets per day Twitter is still a powerful and popular platform.

The average user follows 5 brands and 77% are more positive about a brand when their tweets are replied to – but with only 140 characters to play with your limited on what you can do with each tweet, although images can increase your engagement. Twitter has recently changed its rules on ‘tweets’ and decided to remove “@name” and media images such as GIFs from the character count – this gives you a little more space to write some good content. This platform is mainly used to keep followers up-to-date on latest news or product information and allows anyone to engage with a business. Most businesses will tweet 3 to 5 times a day to maintain audience engagement.

Instagram is based on sharing pictures with a short description, the platform boasts a huge 400 million active users with over 60% that login daily. 90% of the users are under the age of 35 and mostly use mobile devices to access the platform. With over 40 billion pictures already shared and a whopping 3.5 billion ‘likes’ a day, no wonder the Instagram users have doubled in the last two years.

Engagement is 10 times higher than Facebook and 84 times higher than Twitter, but it relies on a visual product or service to gain such a level of engagement. Although Instagram has a character limit of 2,200 it’s a common belief that you should aim to use around 240, because everything after that gets hidden behind a read more tag so most people aim to get everything within the 240 characters.

Not all social media platforms support the use of hash tags but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them – the hash tag has become a universal symbol for conveying messages, ideologies and beliefs with the use of one word or phrase, so it has been quite common to see them where they are not supported.

Next week’s Heads Up will be asking the question – “Is your brand heading in the right direction?”. We will announce the next Heads Up at the end of each issue to give you something to look forward to and we hope that if there’s anything you would like us to touch upon you will let us know.

Heads Up – “Not Just Another Blog”

It’s becoming more common nowadays to find that our news feeds and inboxes are full of blogs, articles, tips or ‘growth hacks’ often titled something along the lines of “10 things you must do…” or ‘10 mistakes that cause your social media to fail’. But how many of these articles are actually relevant to you, your business, or your audience?

The questions we want to pose are – What’s right for you? What’s right for your audience? And is it going to add value?

We’re taking blogs back to basics – well sort of. We’ve decided to create our own blog, but with a difference. Rather than overloading you with daily ‘top 10 dos and don’ts’ lists and generic information regarding social media that can be found anywhere online, we have created a 52 week plan with one new blog every week that will help you tailor the tools available to your business and not try to fit your business to the tools.

Starting in July we will release one ‘Heads Up’ blog every week, designed to not only be informative and engaging, but also to help you ask the questions that will drive your business forwards and get you focusing on the right tools and the right aspects for your brand.

So we have chosen a range of subjects from social media to branding and marketing and will be using the feedback to direct the course of our Heads Up blogs – this way you’ll get the best experience from reading our blogs and can focus on what’s really important to you.

We aim to touch on important subjects and keep them relevant to you, no matter your knowledge on the subject – we just want something casual and straight to the point so you can read it anywhere.

Next week we thought it would be a good idea to start with Social Media – Whats Right for You? and will be looking at the platforms, how they are being used and by who. We will announce the next Heads Up at the end of each issue to give you something to look forward to and we hope that if there’s anything you would like us to touch upon you will let us know.

Video Content Marketing is taking off!

Online video is taking off – changing the world of content marketing, increasing conversions and satisfying people’s needs for information and entertainment.  The potential to reach new customers with video marketing has increased exponentially and the ability to capture dynamic aerial shots has become simpler with the use of drones.  The Guardian’s Chris Trimble writes that one in three Britons views at least one video a week – in other words, a weekly audience of more than 20 million people in the UK alone.  We have captured this opportunity for exposure, helping Southeastern reach some 150,000 views and over 450 social actions with their latest campaign “Days Out Ideas”.  The tools of social media and vlogging allow us to choose the location, gender, age, likes and interests, relationship status, workplace and education of your target audience – ensuring your brand identity receives the publicity it deserves and assuring you maximum return on investment.

Here are the latest video projects Creative Heads have worked on for Southeastern and West Kent College.

southeastern-vlogging-campaignWhat can you see or do on a day out around the Southeastern network? Well, there’s shopping, exploring, sport, history, food and drink, kids activities, student activities, beaches and art on offer.  We were asked to create a number of short viral videos to explore things to do, encouraging people to go out and have an adventure of their own.  We produced easy-to-digest friendly videos to showcase some “Days Out Ideas” offering people different experiences to enjoy.  We have been using drones to capture aerial shots in the videos giving a more dynamic, interesting spin on the opportunities that surround us.

west-kent-college-vlogging-campaignGetting students interested in further education can sometimes be quite challenging – even more so when the college marketing team is competing against so many other colleges and universities, many of whom have an established reputation.  West Kent College asked the Creative Heads team to get their hands dirty in the mechanics department and help to showcase and encourage people to enrol on their course.  We produced a viral video to show that a car mechanic course is not just about sticking your head under the bonnet, but it can also be extremely rewarding and great fun.

Generate sales leads for a genuine return on your investment – Website profitability doesn’t come purely from making a website highly visible in Google (whether through natural or paid advertising) – initially it comes from analysis and refinement.  There are many that claim to boost traffic and get you ranked higher in search engines – and sure enough they may do.  But how relevant are the visitors to your site and does it generate enough new business to justify the expenditure?  Do they tell you the actual names of organisations visiting your site?  Or do they simply send you pages of data and IP addresses for you to decipher?

At Creative Heads our analytics and web marketing experts specialise in stopping clients wasting their advertising budgets.  We help them to analyse how visitors interact with their website and more importantly, identify the names of the companies visiting the website.  If 100 people visit a website but only one makes contact then something is wrong. We will take you through the process from ‘poor enquiries’ to ‘too many enquiries’ – a problem occurs frequently.