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Why brands in banking matter more than ever

The importance of establishing the right brand strategy should never be underestimated, especially when launching into an innovative fintech category. Neil Simpson, CEO of The Corner discusses in this guest post.

The value of a strong, differentiated brand has been regularly quantified over the last few years. For example Interbrand, in association with JP Morgan, concluded that on average brands account for more than a third of shareholder value.

So a brand identity, just as much as any other part of a business, has a responsibility to deliver for investors as much as for consumers.

A great identity will capture the spirit, ambition and culture of an organisation. With the advent of digital applications there is also the opportunity for it to express a brand’s role and relevance in consumers lives.

No small challenge then.

That’s why we have been working closely with Starling Bank over the last year to carefully craft their brand identity.       

In a fledgling market, with a number of impatient competitors, creating bold, ownable brand assets is crucial to establishing awareness, trust and salience. With up to 80% of major brands’ value now residing in intangible assets, it’s never been more important to ensure your brand is distinctive, memorable and ultimately iconic. This is about laying the foundations for success over the long term and not rushing into error.

In its simplest form, the new iconography is made up of a purple roundel, with two curved lines that denote the S of Starling Bank.

Simple. Capable of being recognisable in even the smallest application.

However, it is also designed to be animated in the digital space.

 

 The two curved lines adapt to their environment and message, adding to the communication at different stages of the customer journey. They always mirror each other’s actions. They can be informative, educational, directional and even playful in the right circumstances. They are in-sync with each other, and this directly conveys the experience that Starling Bank will deliver for its customers. Real-time banking, supporting and reacting to your needs exactly when and how you wish. What a great idea – a bank that is actually in-sync with the way you live your life.

For those that are interested in the choice of colour, purple is often associated with strength, leadership, the future and ambition. All things that we see in Starling Bank. It also helps that it is a colour that is distinctive and feels ownable in the category.

It should come as no surprise therefore to learn that ‘in-sync with you’ is the brand idea, and much more than just an endline. It’s at the heart of the product, describing the ambition of Starling Bank.

It’s also a promise: to make your money work with you, not against you. To bring banking up to speed with modern life.

In the world of Fitbit, where we can track our fitness and see how we’re improving over time, why can’t we see what our savings will look like next week, next month, next year, and how we can change them?

The new Starling brand will help tell a market transforming story, and we’re hugely excited and proud to be a part of Starling’s team.

 

About The Corner
The Corner is a collaboration of Advertising, Technology & Culture. Founded by Neil Simpson, Tom Ewart and Neil Hourston in 2012, it is the fastest growing independent agency in London, and was voted Global Creative Agency of the year at the PromaxBDA awards and listed as one of the World’s Leading Independent Agencies of 2015.

Neil Simpson, CEO The Corner & Starling Guest Blogger