There are two kinds of bank marketers in the world, those who get to participate in a total bank rebrand, and those who don’t.
Many reasons can prevent a bank from rebranding. Your bank may simply have too much equity in its current brand. Perhaps the expense to rebrand multiple branches can’t be overcome by a return on the investment. Maybe everyone has cold feet.
Sometimes the reasons are good. Sometimes they’re bad.
And sometimes, a bank does make the difficult decision to commit to a necessary rebrand.
We have been trusted to help banks on both sides of this decision.
Keep in mind, if you can’t commit to a brand revolution, evolution is still an option. There’s no single right answer in the marketplace. A new brand isn’t best for everyone. The decision is weighty, and as stated above, must rely on many factors.
We call the evolution process a brand expansion. This process takes an existing logo and provides the visual support it needs to be more flexible—filling it out with new patterns, colors, icons, and font usage. We reinvigorate brand messaging to provide confident communication in all materials.
Revolution is a total rebrand. This is built from the ground up, from marketing strategy, around a new logo. We start with a blank slate to test new ideas, making certain the bank is embodied visually, in text and its essence.
Total bank rebrand reinvents Texana Bank
In 2016, Texana Bank had a strong name, a solid core, and an impressive 100-year track record. The problem was that it was in a region where chaos reigned in the banking industry. For decades, one bank gobbled up another, then spun off a different division only to be merged or sold off. Folks didn’t know who their bank was going to be tomorrow.
It was hard to stand out in this chaos.
Strong reputation aside, Texana Bank just didn’t stand out visually. The visual cornerstone of their logo was a star that is second only to the state flag in images that identify the state. Texas Tire and Lube uses the same star. So does Texas Deli and Texas Boot Land.
The star didn’t help them stand out or differentiate Texana Bank’s commitment to community bank innovation. It was time for a total bank rebrand.
So, we reimagined the five-point star, assigning each point something key to the bank’s history and success. Now, the five points serve as bullet points, but their negative space forms the star—nodding to the original logo.
Second, we created used custom type to form a new wordmark. The point is carried forward in the negative space of the ads.
We also reworked the old color scheme by preserving elements of green and muted neutrals but added a brighter, more modern palette that plays well within digital spaces. To this, we added patterns built from components of the core brand to create even more flexibility in usage.
We didn’t stop with the brand. We used the momentum of the new look to create compelling in-branch materials and marketing campaigns. Read about the entire process here.
- You can start over, but you can’t start from scratch. If your current brand is not working, it’s likely because it doesn’t truly embody your institution. You will never have a blank slate. Your challenge is better translating your institution into a brand.
- No matter how much you change your brand, you will still be the same company at the core. Even if you commit a visual change to help you stand out in the marketplace, you have to carry this forward throughout your organization.
- Flexibility is the goal of this endeavor. Make certain your brand can express itself across many platforms and many ways while remaining true to the visuals and messaging at its core.
Renasant Bank brand evolves during tremendous growth
Renasant Bank had just begun a thoughtful yet bold expansion throughout the Southeast when we began to work together. The bank was known as People’s Bank and Trust Company a few years prior. “Renasant” was picked up from an acquired bank and adopted due to the originality and uniqueness. It means “a constant state of renaissance”—to which the bank is fully committed. It wasn’t a total bank rebrand, but it felt that way to most of the bank’s footprint.
In growing from $2.6 billion when we started work, Renasant didn’t need a new visual brand. There had been enough change with the name, and the footprint was expansive. Instead of revolution, Renasant opted for evolution.
Since bank leadership planned to continue their rapid footprint expansion, the marketing department needed a more modern and agile brand system, with the ability to quickly produce and deploy new ads and campaigns.
The Mabus Agency team created a new style guide using a new font set that embodied strength and modernity but would work in harmony with Renasant’s current wordmark. Handwritten elements added a personal touch that mirrored the bank’s dedication to service.
We expanded the bank’s rich blue color palette and added patterns. A weak brand is one that must always appear in the same color to be recognized. Our team uses well-defined assets to be more flexible while remaining “on-brand.”
A library of new icon sets, animation styles, and design elements allowed Renasant to communicate in a consistent tone. Strong rules ensured that any newly created elements could be created quickly and were on brand.
Renasant’s new brand was put to the test as the bank completed nine acquisitions and more than quadrupled in size, significantly expanding its footprint throughout the Southeast.
Through a long relationship, many elements have evolved—spinning multiple examples of how to support growth through a strong brand. Learn more about our history together.
- Brand goes beyond the logo. In design, it’s the colors, patterns, layouts, and photo treatments that represent the company. But it even goes further than that, from your signage to the smell of your branches.
- If you can’t rebrand totally, you can still update the accompanying system.
- Investment in ongoing brand expansion puts more tools in your marketing toolkit.