Killing the golden goose?

Ive seen quite a few , from standing across the bar to someone paying in my local area and immediately seeing “hot coral”, to paying for lift passes at a ski resort, to waiters saying the usual …“you won’t loose that will you” , to "ooo thats a nice colour " , it is easily recognisable and distinct from other cards , which is presumably why Starling changed from purple middle of the road to teal as a recognisable trade mark from a same as any other card type of colour, Do Monzo know what they are doing with marketing …hmmm time will tell , I think they were spot on with coral cards


This was my point. It was good marketing but there are plenty of other colourful eye catching cards that add to that cumulative effect, perhaps too many as it’s ‘just another new startup bank’ with a colourful card. If Hot Coral was the ‘brand’ colour why isn’t the logo set out, why doesn’t if feature more prominently on the website to re-enforce the ‘ohhh that’s THOSE people’… ?

Hence my presumption that the marketing team have it as one arrow in their sling (pouch? arrow holding thingy!) which may have reached a point where they don’t need to rely on it? What are the sign up rates (COVID accounted of course) at present? Are there signs we can’t see that the Hot Coral cards have had their day?

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Hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand now. Both in shops, restaurants, etc. etc. and also prominently on the Tube.

Prominent in London then. Probably a factor (population mass etc).

Prominent in any city. And (globally) most people live in cities now, so.

Yeah but I’ve seen a Monzo card in the wild, maybe twice in Glasgow. It’s a city. But not ‘thousands’.

Does that mean hot coral is working or not?

I’m the only person I’ve ever witnessed using a physical Monzo card at any point since Monzo have launched. I see more Starling cards, honestly. I’ve lived all over, now in a remote part of Scotland where almost everyone is either with First Direct or NatWest, from what I’ve seen in shops.

I’ve never had anyone query my Monzo card from
Interest, but my N26 cards certainly turned heads at the checkout. But beyond the occasional person passing me the card machine and noticing the card, no one cared. N26 were more scarce though so few people will have never seen a transparent card before, same for metal cards.

I work in a hotel in Hull.
I’ve only seen 2 or 3 Monzo cards at work. I see more Starling and Revolut.

I think for any brand there is a right time / right way to ‘refresh’ an important brand asset, as the Hot Coral card is.

Whether or not the Plus card is part of that, I think they do need to think about what their “next” card design is - and overall design style - I don’t neccesarily think it’s important for them to keep Hot Coral Cards for the brand recognition, but I think they would be wise to think what it “evolves into”.

It’s like phone OS’s / App Design - moving from the skeuomorphic design to flat design, and then the evolution of Flat design into something else.

But it’s important to evolve.


Personally I love Monzo but find the “hot coral” as you call it, the most boring card I’ve ever had.
I think the holo card is much more appealing.

And to leave at the bar for your tab.
I always take a card with me. Regardless that I have almost all cards on Apple Pay

So, is this pretty much a story of two sides?

I don’t like change vs change is inevitable.

Ultimately I’d be worried in any product/offering that laid its bets on one aspect of it’s product/service. If Monzo don’t survive because they move away from Hot Coral cards I think that’s likely to be more to do with how they are running their wider business, i.e. if they are going to fail, it won’t be because of the colour of a bank card.


Not really, I think that’s a strawman. It’s not about ludditism - which is personal preference (and unfortunately most people replied with “this is my personal preference for colours on cards”), but my original point was actually about the potential downsides of losing all that free marketing potential. In many talks Tom said that they had zero marketing spend for a very long time - and that was down to the Hot Coral cards; they marketed themselves. So I think it’s silly to potentially lose that.

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I’ve never been a lover of hot coral but I can see that the branding power.

Lots of people are rightly suspicious of claims made in adverts, so seeing other customers choosing to use Monzo and happily going about their daily business, lends a lot of weight to the messages in the adverts. All these people are endorsing and recommending Monzo without even realising it.

(These days, I use Apple Pay almost exclusively and don’t care what the card looks like)

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The vast majority of customers will have a hot coral card, it’s still going to be a thing you see a lot around the places you live, it’s hardly the golden goose being killed.

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Thin end of the wedge, though? And also the customers most likely to prosthetalise are those who would also move to Plus.

nah, you might see a load of plus cards round Shoreditch in October if business come back, but there are still going to be the best part of 4.4m pieces of Hot Coral kicking about

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The best outcome short term is to get as many existing Monzo users as possible to upgrade to Plus, so differentiating away from the old colour makes most sense to me in the context of that objective.

Also, as mentioned already, the old cards are still very much in circulation - there is probably an optimal number above which it becomes counter effective from a marketing perspective i.e. if it feels like everyone has one, so managing scarcity might even be intentional.

Fair play to Duncan, but I don’t know where he has seen a thousand Monzo hot coral cards in London! I live and work in London, all over London from the city to the suburbs and I’ve been a Monzo user since 2016, since the days of Mondo!
I’ve probably seen about 10 Monzo cards in total in all that time and I am in coffee shops and supermarkets getting food and drink every single day!
But maybe I just don’t care enough about what cards people have, so don’t take any notice. If I did see a hot coral card, I definitely wouldn’t tap on that persons shoulder and give them a cheeky wink or something!

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