Merchant Warehouse began 20 years ago as a business for selling point-of-sale terminals online that allowed retailers to accept credit cards instead of cash. In the decades since, POS “card swipe” terminals have transformed into sophisticated transaction management systems that businesses rely on to process payments, enhance the customer experience (in store and online), and build loyalty. Over that same period, the Merchant Warehouse team had evolved the company and its software portfolio to support the new ways that smart cards and smart phones equip consumers and retailers to make and manage transactions. But in the face of this brave new fintech world, the Merchant Warehouse name and positioning were increasingly at odds with the vanguard thinking for which the company was becoming known in the market.
We were engaged to guide the company through a re-positioning and rebranding process. Initial work documented the value of their existing company IP and vision for its growing role as a payment innovator. We developed brand positioning tenets, translated them into stimuli (i.e., taglines, naming approaches, imagery), and then tested their relevance with key stakeholders. Our learning endorsed a new brand name (Cayan). Emotionally, it balanced the heat of ‘cayenne’ (i.e., innovation firepower) and the cool of ‘Cayman’ (i.e., competence in a volatile market). Practically, it was easy to spell and pronounce, and had a purchasable web address. A new vision statement (i.e., The Payment Possibilities Company), combined the clarity of a descriptor with the energy of a tagline. The new brand identity provided a bold, bright introduction to the transformed company. The colorways embrace the hot and cool dynamics of the new brand positioning). The modular design language conveys the flexibility that Cayan platforms afford for building next-generation payment solutions.
At the end of the day, Cayan solutions equip small and mid-size businesses to take full advantage of new payment methods that offer enhanced security, reporting and customer loyalty applications. Prior to the repositioning of the brand—from Merchant Warehouse to Cayan—this value proposition was true but invisible. After the transition, teams had direction and momentum for marketing their truly innovative offers. Two years following its debut as Cayan, this me-too player in payments was acquired for just over $1B by TSYS, a global payment solutions provider.