Rebranding: financial institutions & the built environment
Ratio wrote this on Dec 05, 2014

Recently RATIO was asked by The Financial  Brand for  perspective on when a financial institution should rebrand.  Having worked with  some of Canada’s leading credit unions on rebrand strategies where the built environment is integral, RATIO has unique experience to share.  (The Financial  Brand is a digital publication focused on marketing and strategy issues affecting retail banks and credit unions.)

Christopher Pollard, RATIO principal, offered this on the topic: “It is time to rebrand when a financial institution finds itself spending more time explaining what it does rather than showing it. In other words, when an FI’s touch points; messaging, buildings and spaces it uses to conduct business are out of sync with the claims it makes about itself, and what people say about the institution, it’s probably time for a brand evaluation. Brand isn’t defined by your website or the sign you put over your door; or even what you say about yourself. A financial institution’s brand is defined by what people in the community understand about you, what they’ve accepted as truth.”

The  ‘when to rebrand’ question and perspectives offered up in the article are relevant for all businesses — not just FIs — who want to be competitive in their marketplace. Here is the link to the Financial Brand article.

RATIO’s perspective comes from decades of experience helping organizations carry their brand promise over to the built environment.  Where does a brand live?   It lives with customers, employees, product attributes, customer service, online, marketing — and the physical place of  business. Your place of business is a visible asset, and connecting your brand is a value-based strategy that reinforces what your organization stand for.

In the case of financial institutions, how does RATIO translate the important mission of serving member connections and fostering long-term relationships into a consistent brand across each branch network? And, still deliver unique community branches? Here are a few examples  of our  recent work:

Envision Financial

Island Savings

Salmon Arm Savings & Credit Union 

What are some of the questions business leaders should think about when it comes to making decisions related to their physical space? What should your company’s physical space communicate?  How does your company fit into the community? How do you want your customers and employees to feel in your space?  It is the built space that will create a feeling of what your brand represents. This holds true for financial institutions and any organization who want to deliver a consistent experience across all customer touch points.