CreditStacks is changing our name to Jasper! Why we’re doing this
We’ve come a long way as CreditStacks! And we are so grateful to all of you who trusted us with your credit and journeyed with us up to this point. But it’s time for a change - we know it, and we’ve heard it from you, too.
What to expect
Here’s a quick overview of what’s coming:
A new website. A whole new design, brand and concept.
A new app. We kept a lot of the current functionality, just improved it and updated the design to be more intuitive and slick. You’ll hear more about it in a week or so from Laure, the product manager who led this project. Also, more exciting features will roll out in the next few months, so stay tuned.
A new card. If you’re a current customer, you’ll get the new Jasper card once your current card expires. Till then, you can keep using your CreditStacks card as usual! After the re-brand, new customers will get the new Jasper card.
I thought this would be a good opportunity to share why we are rebranding, including lessons learned with the CreditStacks brand, and the story and process that led to our new brand: Jasper. This has been an amazing experience for all of us, and we are very happy with the results. Continue reading to get the behind the scenes. Fair warning: This is going to be a bit long. :-)
The CreditStacks brand, hits and misses
When we launched CreditStacks a little bit more than two years ago, our main goal was to reach customers who had recently relocated to the U.S. and were just starting their professional lives here. Our brand, website, and mobile app were designed and produced quickly. Of course, we tried to do things right, but to be honest, many of our decisions were more intuitive than research-based. Our main goal was to get something functional up and running quickly, with the idea that, like many startups, we would learn, iterate, and revamp after launch.
Two years passed quickly while we focused on designing the best possible credit experience for customers. Branding iterations and revamps were set aside. After all, what we had as CreditStacks seemed to be working. It wasn’t perfect, but it did the job. Customers loved our mission and innovative approach to credit. We were growing. Accepting an “okay for now” brand allowed our small team to focus on other stuff.
So why rebrand?
In the two years after CreditStacks launched, we established ourselves as a company, hired a larger team, raised more funds and, particularly in the last year, started to market more heavily. Once we did that, we quickly realized we needed to step it up, branding wise. Our brand didn’t inspire or spark emotion. More importantly, it didn’t reflect our identity, values, or goals as a company.
At the same time that we were coming to this conclusion, we also decided it was time to expand our business and offer our credit card solution to another group of consumers that was new to building credit in the U.S., young professionals who had recently graduated from college. Like recently relocated professionals, new college grads have a very bright future, but little or no credit history. So, they often don’t get a credit card to match their potential. That’s where we can come in and help. Our underwriting model looks at credit history, but we don't focus exclusively on credit score when we review applications. This enables us to consider applicants who are just starting out professionally, even when credit cards won't.
Our thought process
Re-branding hasn’t been a quick process. It started about a year ago and took a lot of deep discussion. We often found ourselves circling back to the biggest question of all: Why are we doing this?
If it sounds philosophical, you’re right, it is. When people understand what matters most to them, they begin to grow in the right direction, intentionally. Shaping a company’s identity should be just as mindful.
This kind of thinking is always messy. We had countless meetings (I’ll spare you the details) but we heard from everyone: our management, product, dev, and marketing teams, customers, and potential customers. We did market research and interviewed people who could give us insights into the customers we wanted to reach.
Eventually it all starts to feel a bit confusing. At least it did for me. That’s when I decided to go back to basics, just try to look inward and focus on one question: Who are we?
Who are we? What are our values?
“Who we are” was probably the easy part. As individuals and as a team, we have some things in common.
With that settled, I went back to a quote about the moment where everything began. This is a quote that appears in our training decks and we share it in our investor meetings. It’s part of our story whenever and wherever we tell it, it’s really the beginning of our story. The astonishing moment when, having moved to the US, our CEO Elnor discovered for the first time that here, he couldn’t get a decent credit card. Everything that came later was a consequence of that moment. Our company came into being to solve this problem for every consumer who has ever had this experience.
From this point it was easy to agree on our core values, who we are, and what we aspire to be as a company.
A brand is born
Now things were finally starting to make sense. We could finally move on to build the new brand with a new name, fresh design, key messaging, marketing copy, and much more.
So what makes us different from the others? First, and it may seem obvious, but it isn’t, we offer a real benefit, a solution to a real problem. Customers who deserve good credit but have been unable to qualify for a card until now can finally get one and start to build a credit score, which is so important in this country.
The second big difference is what makes it possible for us to do the first: we don’t just look just at your past, we also look at your future. We recognize your potential. That’s why for us, you having no credit history is not a deal-breaker. If you deserve a premium credit card from us, you’ll get one.
Finally, we help you build your credit and live a healthy, debt-free financial lifestyle. We provide a simple interface for managing your account as well as tips and help to assist you in your spending oversight.
We believe in your future
You know how you can circle an idea for months, and then when you finally land on the right idea, you recognize it right away? That’s how it was for us during our rebrand. After months of talking about faith, believing in what we do, believing in the future, believing in the future of our customers, and believing in the future of our company, the lightbulb went on. We realized that all of these things are connected, inseparable. When we say we believe in your future, we also mean and we will help you get there. All of these things, combined, are why we are doing this.
When we launch our new brand in a few weeks, you’ll get to judge for yourself how well we were able to express our identity and values in our design. I hope you’ll find our new brand fresh, different, and real. Above all, we want you to be able to connect with us. That’s why we did things like put real people front and center throughout the new brand. When you visit our new website, for example, you’ll see Mackenzie, our own marketing intern, at the top of our home page. (Mackenzie appears in many of our new ads as well, because she’s awesome.) If you scroll through many of the materials we created for Jasper, you’ll see photos of real customers, sharing their thoughts about what we do and how it has made their lives better. And when we send you email updates, we’ll write them as ourselves, and include our names and photos. When you have feedback to share, about our re-brand or anything else, you’ll know to whom to send it, and you’ll know that we’re listening.
Stay tuned for Jasper - and don’t forget to let us know what you think!
A note from the Jasper team: CreditStacks rebranded as Jasper in 2020. To learn more about this change and the thinking behind it, explore Jaspercard.com and our blog.