These 3 financial services brands maximized the impact of their rebrand. You can too.

These 3 financial services brands maximized the impact of their rebrand. You can too.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2021 | Ian Kaplan, Patrick Heath

Rebranding a financial services company can be challenging for a number of reasons. Many of these companies have complex and decentralized organizational structures which can lead to questions about who’s responsible for the many details related to implementation. Dozens — if not hundreds, or thousands! — of regional, national, and even international branches fall under your brand umbrella. And the sheer volume of branded assets you’ll need to convert before you can consider your rebrand complete can be severely under-estimated.

All these factors (and many more) present large-scale challenges for you to overcome. This is true whether you’re rebranding due to an M&A, modernizing your visual identity, trying to appeal to digital-first consumers, or expanding your products and services.

So, if you’re banking on a rebrand to propel your organization forward, you’re probably feeling immense pressure to get it right. The good news is that there are valuable lessons you can glean from others who have already been down this road.

These three financial services institutions partnered with BrandActive to maximize the value of their rebrand. Take a page from their rebrand implementation roadmaps to help you position your company for a successful rebranding journey.

How two regional banks created a new powerhouse brand using thoughtful integration strategies

When two banks merged to form an even larger bank, two skilled marketing teams joined forces to launch a compelling new brand. The challenge? Each team came with its own culture, processes, and methodologies. And since the merger involved launching an entirely new name and identity to significantly increase market share, they realized they needed to reimagine their brand and marketing operations from the ground up.

To that end, the bank partnered with BrandActive to launch and execute a comprehensive rebranding implementation plan. We also helped their brand conversion teamwork through different processes and create a more cohesive marketing operation.

Creating order out of the nuances of a rebrand

Merging two teams together — even when they are talented and capable — can feel chaotic. To help our client navigate this transition, we:

  • Conducted rationalization exercises. This involved auditing all existing materials from each legacy brand (e.g. brochures, product sheets, webpages, forms — you name it). From there, the team rationalized what should stay, what should go, and what should be reimagined from scratch so that two sets of materials became one unified portfolio.
  • Created and optimized marketing processes. Each legacy team knew that the marketing processes they brought to the table would no longer suffice for a new brand with a broader reach. Therefore, we worked to document processes for things like kicking off a new creative project, following brand guidelines, and obtaining approvals (including those related to budgets and legal compliance).
  • Worked with internal departments and external vendors to convert all legacy branded assets to the new brand. This included all of their collateral and helping implement the new brand onto key assets.

Working through each of these scenarios and projects together helped the legacy teams align with each other and solidify their new marketing culture and framework.

How one bank used a brand refresh to broaden brand identity and expression

If you’re refreshing or repositioning your brand, you may think you’re in for an easier time than a complete rebrand. But in reality, a brand refresh presents many of the same challenges — and requires similar resources and energy — as rebranding.

Most refreshes are across-the-board updates of a brand’s logo and visual identity. But when one North American bank decided to refresh their brand, they only changed certain elements of their logo and brand expression for specific business units and use cases. This nuanced approach led to unique challenges because they couldn’t use a one-size-fits-all branded and digital asset conversion strategy. Therefore, they engaged BrandActive to help them implement their refresh in just the necessary places and scenarios — and determine how much it would cost.

Even subtle brand refreshes require thoughtful budgeting, planning, and execution to achieve the impact you desire.

Through audits and workshops, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of every area the updated brand would impact. Then, we helped the client develop a realistic timeline and budget. Next, we developed a project structure for producing and updating collateral. This included creating all related processes and onboarding temporary freelance and agency partners to help them produce updated collateral quickly and cost-effectively. Finally, we kept all areas moving forward until the project was complete — no loose ends.

Bottom Line? Even subtle brand refreshes require thoughtful budgeting, planning, and execution to achieve the impact you desire.

Rolling out a logo-centric rebrand enabled this local credit union to emphasize its commitment to community and education

Gesa Credit Union, a member-owned institution, embarked on a rebrand to emphasize its ongoing commitment to education and community engagement. To accomplish this, they introduced a new logo and visual identity to better reflect their brand promise.

As an organization with small but mighty marketing team, Gesa engaged BrandActive to manage the end-to-end rebranding implementation process. As such, we owned the timeline, ensured vendors and agencies met their targets, and kept the entire project running smoothly.

This included:

  • Helping Gesa choose and implement its rebrand launch strategy. In keeping with their values, Gesa made it a top priority to effectively engage employees as part of their launch.
  • Managing the branded asset conversion process. Given Gesa’s community presence, it was incredibly important to the team — and the CMO — to introduce their new visual identity consistently across every branded asset. A large undertaking, we helped Gesa plan and account for every element and convert their assets on time and within budget.
  • Managing their agency portfolio so launch and roll-out deadlines were met. We managed Gesa’s agency roster to ensure everyone was on target with their plans for launch and roll-out – and supported the launch of their new brand.

Your takeaway? Internal teams of all sizes need help implementing the details related to a rebrand. After all, most marketing teams are already stretched thin meeting the day-to-day demands of their fast-paced roles. An implementation partner can manage the details of implementing a rebrand so you don’t risk team burnout.

An experienced implementation partner can help you navigate the complexities of a financial services rebrand

Rebranding a financial services organization is a complex and time-consuming undertaking. It’s also expensive. With so much hinging on a successful outcome, you can’t afford to lose momentum and risk stalling out before reaching the finish line.

An experienced implementation partner can help you maximize the value of your rebrand investment and gain the dividends you expect. So if you’re ready to get started, just reach out. We’d love to help you launch your brand’s next chapter.

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