Getting your first credit card is often a Catch-22. You’ve gotta have credit to deserve credit. Enter Deserve. They believe in the long-term earning and credit potential of young people, international students, and that helping them build credit is a win-win. We partnered with them to architect a brand that would resonate with those that didn’t have traditional FICO scores due to lack of credit and financial history.


How do we create a brand that connects with this very distinct audience? In a highly competitive market including big-banks and cards like Discover, Chase, and BoA, we needed to generate a new, relatable, and trustworthy brand that could break through the marketing noise of the college environment. And that started with the name.

The name they came to us with was SelfScore. While descriptive of how the card works, we all agreed that it felt transactional. We needed something simple and memorable that could evoke passion as a credit card brand.


Our approach was a mix of qualitative understanding of the audience and a quantitative, data-driven testing model to validate our identity choices. We created a range of brand expressions and names that we tested through digital advertising, measuring actual behavior vs. opinion.

This research gave us supporting evidence and led to our final expression, the Access Arrow logo, the name Deserve, and a holistic brand identity.


The new brand identity, name, voice and tone guidelines, characteristics and attributes we created clearly resonated. In the year we launched, Deserve earned the highest share of voice score (34%) compared to all competing student credit cards. In 2018 it remains at 28%, in an even more crowded market. Credit card applications for Deserve cards went up 200% among young adults and students. It was this success that led the company to raise $50 million in capital to continue growing.

“Our mission is to provide access to fair credit to deserving but underserved populations.”

Kalpesh Kapadia, CEO & Co-Founder