Visa is one of the best-known consumer brands on Earth, with a presence in 200 nations, card acceptance at 70 million point-of-sale locations and 3.6 billion pieces of plastic stamped with the Visa logo that sit in consumers’ wallets worldwide.
It’s a perception that Chief Global Marketing Officer Lynne Biggar told PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster, Visa would like to change and the cornerstone of the firm’s rebrand and “Meet Visa” campaign, which launches today (July 21). People know Visa very well as a way to pay, she noted. But what they need to know is that Visa is also a powerful tool for getting paid and for making sure money can move from any point A to any point B smoothly, securely and for any pair of senders and receivers no matter the context.
In the last five years alone, Biggar said, Visa has invested $9 billion in technology to deliver a differentiated set of products, services and benefits, including cryptocurrencies, real-time payments, cross-border business payments and person-to-person (P2P) payments.
“This higher-order opportunity that Visa has to communicate is our mission of uplifting everyone everywhere and connecting buyers and sellers and connecting the world,” Biggar said. “As a result of all of that, we’ve made this decision to evolve how we are going to market from a brand perspective.”
Beyond A Decal On The Door
Visa’s decision to rethink its branding was not a small one, nor one the firm has undertaken lightly, Biggar told Webster. Several years of discussions and hundreds of hours of conversations with key stakeholders and volumes of market research pointed to the need to evolve the company’s brand identity beyond its well-recognized perch as a highly visible retail payments brand.
“The common theme was when people, whoever this audience was, no matter what they did, had not really understood the breadth of what we did,” Biggar said. “They didn’t understand the strength of our network comes from its diversity and the fact that it’s an open network of partnerships, people and technology.”
Moreover, once they were informed of those broader capabilities, it was a “big unlock for them” that really helped them appreciate Visa’s larger ambition to serve the global market as an innovation center for money movement.
Beyond a slightly new color pallet and supporting brand collateral is a subtly powerful new brand symbol that Biggar says redefines Visa’s role as a global acceptance network. That symbol is an equal sign in Visa colors, which Biggar said represents Visa’s commitment as a firm to make commerce accessible to all.
“We’ve evolved the brand symbol to represent what we are known for acceptance and access and equality and inclusion,” Biggar explained.
The Power Of Access
Biggar said that Visa has been “doggedly working” on pursuing a vision of unlocking the power of commerce for people and businesses globally by making how people pay and are paid more accessible via its network. It’s an idea, she said, that makes it possible for all economies to move forward, the power to make sure gig workers can be paid instantly, the power to enable newcomers to join the emerging global digital commerce ecosystem or the power to enable individuals to start businesses and for entrepreneurs to expand the firms they’ve founded. Access as an opportunity for growth is the goal and how Visa wants to personify its brand.
“I think about our capabilities and our solutions and all the hard work we’ve done to be in the middle of this expansion of global commerce,” Biggar explained. “All that building has been ahead of us telling the world about this work that we’re doing,” she said. “And now we’re catching up to that — we’re excited about that.”
Meet Visa officially starts its rollout today in the U.S and 18 other markets. In all, Meet Visa will roll out in 40 countries, with 21 additional markets moving into the new marketing push over the course of the next month or so. By the end of 2021, the plan is to have the new Visa brand rolled out to all 200 countries in which Visa operates.