“In the right place” with the new brand positioning

Background

The AKB is the leading universal bank for private and company clients in the Canton of Aargau. Consistently focusing on client needs became the key point in reorganizing the overall banking strategy from 2016 to 2020. Within this context, we were able to assist the AKB in gaining deeper understanding of the customer journey and determining concrete measures to take toward this end. In a subsequent step, we were tasked with making the customer orientation of the AKB visible and tangible through a new brand identity.

Our assignment

We were asked to support the AKB by developing a value proposition with which both customers and employees could identify – independent of the product or business model. To achieve this, we would have to enhance the emotional appeal of the brand. The goal was to formulate a unique value proposition that would elicit positive feelings and appeal to people, while also becoming synonymous with AKB.

How we made this happen

We approached this assignment in three phases: development of the brand values and promise, internal alignment of new brand positioning, and external implementation of the new positioning via several touch points.

Development of brand values and value proposition

Personal client relationships are key factors in the success of the AKB.  Maintaining these relationships is part of its employees’ daily routine and are integral to the DNA of the bank. For this reason, it was important that we integrate employees and clients in the development of an emotional brand story. We also wanted those who are not clients to weigh in on this project. All three groups were invited to participate in a series of interviews and branding roundtables. In order to foster continuous dialog, the results of the process was presented at each stage and reflected upon critically.

Armed with this valuable input from the roundtables as well as brand and communication strategy analyses of the competition, we developed the new brand values of the AKB. We then combined these into different brand stories– each focusing on a specific value proposition.

Measures taken included sample sketches of a future campaign, workshops with the project team, and conducting management feedback sessions. The final result was selecting the brand promise “in the right place”. This catchphrase has become synonymous with AKB and conveys the sense that they were right to take their needs, desires, and plans to the AKB. It is both welcoming and reassuring.

Internal alignment of the new brand among employees

The participatory approach of this project was the foundation upon which we could build employee buy-in. Recorded interviews and brand roundtables yielded a range of video clips, which made the positioning launch of the brand more emotionally accessible.

Implementation through a variety of touch points

In cooperation with Glutz Communications, the new brand value proposition was rolled out via several AKB touch points: in management reports, on the website, as well as through image and product campaigns – even in employee email signatures. In a subsequent implementation phase, short emotional clips were filmed with help from Avistafilms, in which clients spoke about what being ‘in the right place’ had meant to them. This integrated communications approach around the brand promise has been consistently put into practice for four years now.

Key success factors for this project

  • Consistent focus on brand and customer orientation
  • A value proposition that has an impact internally and externally
  • Participatory approach throughout the project
  • 360 Degree implementation across all touch points

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