A modern brand identity for the digital future

Background

In 2017 Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services AG resolutely focused on digitization. As part of their strategic road map, updating the brand strategy was on the agenda in 2019. By then, Swiss Bankers had largely digitized the product portfolio and introduced new strategic business divisions. The bank’s look and feel, however, continued to follow the previous market positioning, addressing universal banks rather than direct customers. Another factor driving the change was the decision to reposition away from the previous focus on “Prepaid Services” in order to offer new products and establish business divisions; strategically forging ahead with the eAccount and expanding internationalization.

Our assignment

It became our task to position the brand so that it matched the new company strategy. The new branding would simultaneously support B2B, B2C, and even B2B2C, conveying their new focus on providing digital payment solutions. It was also important to sustain the positive associations of trustworthiness and traditional values of the core brand.

Once reducing the name to simply "Swiss Bankers", it was our task to imbue their very rational and somewhat ‘crusty’ corporate brand with more positive, emotional associations. The new direction of the company should become tangible to consumers, industrial and financial partners, shareholders and employees, as well as all other stakeholders.

How we made this happen

Developing the thematic positioning

The strategic changes made at Swiss Bankers required a momentous transformation at the company. New brand positioning would connect the tried-and-true with the dynamic and new – making these changes visible both internally and for the world to see. Achieving comprehensive endorsement of the new brand image is an integral part of the transformation process.

Employees and customers were integrated into the brand development process in a participatory approach that included interviews and workshops. Personas were developed, highlighting distinct target audience members and their needs. Analysis of the competition revealed an attractive positioning niche between the larger universal banks and digital neo-banks.

The Swiss Banker brand story and values were based on the trifecta of “Employees-Clients-Competition,” and were distilled, discussed, and defined by the project team in workshops conducted with select customers. From that moment on, the positioning of Swiss Bankers was shaped by its value proposition: Innovative payment solutions that simplify life and connect with the future.

Visually updating the logo and branding

Based on this deeper understanding of the Swiss Bankers brand, we developed more modern branding collaboratively with Gut Design. A new logo, consistent color palettes, and the right typography conveyed the updated brand values, while retaining historic elements such as the red color and Matterhorn symbol preserved the connection to a strong internal identity.

Structuring products and services

Until 2016, Swiss Bankers was a single-product company. The new company strategy expanded the Prepaid business area to include new, primarily digital products. Two new business areas were launched: Money Send und Digital Solution. Since these additions were made at a rapid pace, the external perception of the portfolio was one that lacked structure and cohesiveness. Based on Persona-analyses, we developed an easy-to-grasp product logic with a clear value proposition for each individual product. This clear logic was conveyed in the naming and coloring of each product.

Grafik: Reifegrade der Servicetransformation
Klare Strukturierung der Services: Life, Travel und Prime

Design of Prepaid Cards

Today, the app is the most critical touch point within the company strategy. The classic prepaid cards are also important brand messengers. These were the first to be rebranded as part of the multi-tiered design and production transformation. In cooperation with Gut Design, we supervised the process of card design and even its production. Coordinating closely throughout with Swiss Bankers, we aligned the look of the physical prepaid card, the virtual Mastercard prepaid digital, as well as the new money transfer service, Send, to enhance overall brand recognition.

Internal alignment on new positioning

In spite of all the digitization, customer relationships play a very important role at Swiss Bankers. That’s why it was so essential that the new brand positioning be understood and actively represented in communicating with clients. Integrating employees in the rebranding process by conducting interviews or brown bag lunches, we ensured that they became interested and involved in the process early on. The final results of the rebranding effort were communicated to employees throughout the company with a number of measures. From ‘sweetening’ the transition with a Toblerone teaser in the new Swiss Bankers look, to presenting a brand image film and conducting a number of interactive brand workshops across all divisions.

New website and campaign

The website redesign and positioning implementation was handled in a campaign by Publicis. We provided the agency with a brief and supported Swiss Bankers during the pitch.

Grafik: Reifegrade der Servicetransformation
Kommunikation der neuen Markenwerte im Geschäftsbericht 2020 (Auszug)

Key success factors for this project

  • Consistent connection between company strategy and marketing strategy
  • Design elements clearly derive from the brand values and strategy
  • Deeper understanding of the customer ecosystem and needs
  • Highly prioritizing internal alignment of the new positioning
  • 360-degree implementation across all analogue and digital touch points
"From the get-go, the bruhnpartner team completely understood and addressed our needs Following detailed analysis, they developed a strong, future-oriented brand positioning and corporate design. They implemented a variety of measures to ensure that our employees could gain deeper understanding and grow to identify with all aspects of the new strategy and branding. Brilliantly led by the very personable Ms. Ahlers, the project was executed in an excellent and uncomplicated manner."

Hans-Jörg Widiger, CEO Swiss Bankers

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