Credit Card Brand Craft.


“Something Brighter” is the new tagline for the Discover Card.  I heard it on a radio commercial yesterday. It gave the brand planner in me pause. Say what? Ohhh. It has to do with the logo. The sun, thing-a-ma-bob in the word discover. Oy.

I like to believe that most taglines are brand claims. (A brand claim is half the brand strategy; the other half being proof planks.) But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the company tagline is simply a line from the advertising campaign. Shoddy brand craft, if you ask me. It’s a touch lazy but something the expedient thing to do if the advertising is great.

Something Brighter means what exactly? Better than other credit cards. That’s not much of a positioning; not when you consider most credit cards are trying to convey the same thing. Capital One’s “What’s In Your Wallet?” is an advertising line. It, too, hides the brand strategy.

The credit card category is lacking in brand strategy. American Express used to do a good job, (Membership) but I’m not so sure anymore. Mastercard, whose ad campaign strategy “Priceless” is good, yet somewhat tired, almost has a brand strategy but it’s not an endemic card quality.

There’s a saying in advertising “If you don’t have something to say, sing it.”  Well, this is not the case for brand strategy. They have to be meaningful and product-centric.

Something brighter needs to happen in the credit card industry and it’s not the advertising.