Rebranding rebirth: Netspend and Rêv come together to form Ouro
- Prepaid card provider, Netspend, and Rêv, a digital payment technology provider, recently integrated under a new brand called Ouro.
- The new brand tells the story of rebirths as the Sosa brothers return to Netspend, a company they founded out of their apartment in 1999.
Prepaid card provider, Netspend, and Rêv, a digital payment technology provider, recently integrated under a new brand called Ouro. The new brand will maintain the portfolio of consumer brands by both companies, like Rev’s X World Wallet, and also hold Netspend as a flagship brand.
The company’s name Ouro draws inspiration from the Greek word “ouroboros” which is an ancient symbol depicting a closed circle with a dragon consuming its own tail. Ouroboros symbolizes the cyclical nature of life and for the company tells an important part of its story and vision.
The story of Ouro
Roy and Bertrand Sosa founded Netspend in 1999 out of their apartment. The pair continued their work on Netspend and launched Rêv in 2009. In 2013, the Sosa brothers sold Netspend for $1.3 billion.
Last year the pair announced plans to repurchase Netspend with the acquisition finalized in May this year. The name Ouro is a nod to the return of the Sosa brothers to the Netspend brand.
“Roy and I came up with the name together. The search for the name took us to many concepts and candidates over many months in search of something deeply authentic that resonates with the spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation and growth that fuel us as founders and our team. In that search, we turned to history and came across this symbol that not only checked the boxes but has resonated across cultures and across time,” said co-founder, president and Chief Brand Officer of Ouro, Bertrand Sosa.
Rebrand and rebirth
Not all rebrands are created equal. Some have the potential to be like Instagram and others like X. While it's unclear why Musk thought it would be good to trash the iconic Twitter brand in favor of a meaningless letter of the alphabet, for Ouro, the rebrand was a strategic necessity.
Despite the equity and recognition of the Netspend brand, using the product name as the corporate name was not the ideal solution according to co-founder, chairman and CEO of Ouro, Roy Sosa. “Prior to this name change, there was some confusion related to using the same product name, i.e. Netspend, as the corporate name. Since our initial foray into the prepaid and debit space with Netspend, we have significantly amplified our portfolio to include other products, such as X World Wallet and other targeted consumer products that we will launch along with our B2B and Enterprise offerings. So despite Netspend’s strong brand equity, we didn't see it as suited for the full breadth of our diverse consumer and B2B portfolio demands,” he added.
He also said that given the firm's global ambitions, they needed a name that traveled well and was easy to pronounce in multiple languages. This is probably also why the company went for a more streamlined version of the word ouroboros.
“Ouro clearly delivers on these objectives, and by pursuing a “house of brands” strategy, we will tie all of our offerings under the Ouro parent name,” he added.
After all this talk of ouroboros, you would think the firm’s logo would involve a dragon, but it doesn't. In fact written in a thick sans serif type, Ouro’s new logo communicates both modernity and simplicity, and feels like a cousin to the logos of Rêv and Netspend.
“While the meaning and underlying image have stood the test of time, we wanted a logo and mark that are iconic and conceptually minimalist so it can continue to stand the test of time,” said Bertrand Sosa. The simple colors are similarly chosen to increase the brandings' temporal and demographic shelf life.
Ideas of rejuvenation and rebirth are an overarching theme with this rebrand, and they feature again in the company’s tagline, “reinvent possibilities”.
“It acknowledges the possibilities that come with the transformation the company has undergone since we combined Netspend and Rêv. It also signals our ambitions to continue reinventing the company and the market for financial services. And above all, it speaks to the fact this is much more than a name change – beyond expressing who we are now, we’re reminding ourselves of the legacy we want to build as a company by making more possible in consumers’ financial lives,” said Bertrand Sosa.
Roy Sosa adds that the rebrand took roughly a year and the biggest challenge was getting the right concept in place. The pair used both internal and external teams to reach the finish line, but were deeply involved with every step of the process.
“It began and ended with us as founders -- we were very involved and collaborated closely with everyone involved throughout. It was a formal rebranding process and took many months, starting with the acquisition and culminating a few weeks before we made the announcement.”
“At the same time, we wanted the result to be very authentic so we left room for intuition and instinct. We evaluated many terrific concepts that were rich in meaning, but the symbolism behind Ouro so perfectly speaks to our personal journeys and our collective aspirations for the company that it was the obvious choice from the moment it was on the table,” said Bertrand Sosa.