What's in a name? For Mastercard, not enough to keep it in the logo. The company is removing the word Mastercard from the pair of interlocking red and yellow circles where it has resided for more than 50 years, the AP reports. Mastercard Inc. joins a small stable of brands like Nike, Apple, and Target that rely on an image and not a name in most marketing materials. It also points to the changing nature of exchanging currency. One of the original major credit card companies, formerly known as Master Charge, Mastercard has attempted to rebrand itself in recent years as a "technology company in the global payments industry."
The Purchase, New York, company said Monday that 80% of people recognize the Mastercard logo even when its name isn't present, with an exec telling the Wall Street Journal the company did 20 months of research to make sure that was the case: "You can never be arrogant and say 'I’m iconic, and let me go ahead and drop my brand name.'" Vox notes that the move illustrates the fact that "the future of payment is digital." Indeed, a partner at the design consulting firm that led the development of the new logo tells the Journal they were "trying to optimize for a very small piece of real estate on a very small piece of glass. It might not even be a mobile phone, it might even be a watch face." (Minor League team's plucky logo goes viral.)