A consulting company has claimed it is currently seeing talks across multiple banks regarding rebranding.
Over the past few years, a number of specialist banks have revealed new rebranding campaigns, subtle refreshes of their logos and imagery or structural reorganisations.
Last month, Hanley Economic Building Society announced its rebrand, which coincided with the launch of its first ever TV advertising campaign.
Late last year, Shawbrook launched the redesign of its website with a new imagery style and improved functionality.
Another notable rebrand was Aldermore's 2017 campaign, which included a new logo, imagery and the strapline “banking for the bold”.
In September 2017, Paragon Banking Group announced it would be undergoing a strategic reorganisation, which saw the group change its name from the Paragon Group of Companies.
The move reflected a shift in its business strategy towards becoming a fully integrated banking business.
Gianluca Corradi, head of banking UK and Ireland at Simon-Kucher – which advises numerous UK banks and financial providers on pricing and marketing strategy issues – said: “In the past few years, we've witnessed a change in the banking landscape, with the entrance of fintech players and disruptive digital banks that triggered a competitive response by high street banks and specialist players.
“We at Simon-Kucher & Partners are currently seeing talks and discussions across multiple banks regarding rebranding and might expect this trend to continue as the threat of digital disruption becomes more and more relevant with the advent of Open Banking and PSD2.”
“Personalisation of experience is the future of banking”
Jon Hall, managing director at Masthaven – which began sporting a new logo and look after announcing the official launch of its products in November 2016 – said: “It takes much more than just a rebrand to launch into a new sector.
“At Masthaven, we went from being a recognised bridging lender to establishing ourselves as bank and mortgage lender for the everyday person.
“The key to a successful rebrand is to take into account customer needs while remaining true to your business's underlying values.
“For Masthaven, this meant launching a bank based on our heritage of flexibility, tailoring and understanding the importance of service to the intermediary market.
“Personalisation of experience is the future of banking, and there is a big opportunity for other challenger or specialist banks to tap into this approach.
“Customers are increasingly demanding tailored products to suit their individual circumstances, alongside a simplified offering where both the benefits and risks are easy to understand.
“If a rebrand helps a lender to recommit to this focus, then we could well see more on the horizon.”
Stuart Hulme, director of savings and marketing at Hampshire Trust Bank, believed that it was vital that specialist banks listened to their customers' needs and positioned themselves accordingly.
“We see brand evolution as a constant process rather than something that should happen every couple of years as standard.
“There is a balance that needs to be struck when rebranding as it's important to retain the original essence of your business, the reason why you resonate with your customers.
“In a crowded market space, it is no surprise that specialist banks are trying to differentiate themselves, with some seeing the new digital players as rivals and rebranding accordingly.”
“What's under the bonnet is more important than the latest paint job”
John Gunn, executive chairman at SynerGIS Capital, said that challenger banks would employ every tool at their disposal – including rebrands – to differentiate themselves to customers.
“However, it's important that the rebrand reflects the key differentials these banks offer – both technological and service driven – rather than a rebrand for rebrand's sake.
“In the challenger bank space, substance over style needs to prevail.
“Different fonts and imagery mean different things to different people, but good service, returns and access to information is what keeps customers with an institution or encourages them to switch.
“What's under the bonnet is more important than the latest paint job, particularly with a technology-driven proposition.
“After over 10 years servicing institutional customers, SynerGIS Bonds marks the launch of a customer-facing brand by Global Investment Strategy (UK).”
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