Often, brand standards/guidelines have created unintended consequences of limiting creativity. Creating brand standards for a financial institution is no mean task as it has to align well with its overall strategy. This is a challenge we undertook at Pulsar, to challenge the norms and spur creativity.
Credit Bank is a privately owned financial institution incorporated in Kenya since 1986 and is headquartered in Nairobi. It has a growing branch network currently at 17 branches. The Bank is committed to deliver excellent customer service while collaborating with customers to create tangible value.
It is no secret that consistency in brand communication builds brand value immensely. The value proposition to your customers becomes clear. Achieving standardisation across organisational functions is a critical part of quality management. It is in fact require to attain an ISO certification. The client commissioned us to develop brand standards for them.
Carving a Path
The reason this document is referred to as a guideline is simple, to be a guide for designers, not rules for designers. Our task began by assessing all current assets. The question we sought to answer is how do we create one path to ensure all marketing communications attains one voice? The answer to this has been explored more here where we talk about what a brand guideline contains.
Once all the assets were gathered, we separated the brand’s stationery from the marketing collateral. Since the stationery represents “fixed” assets, this required no change from time to time. All these were standardised. The marketing collateral needed a style, one in which designer can creatively express their artwork at the same time having a look and feel of the brand.
The brand guideline should also be able to cater to future needs such as Credit Bank’s expansion. Here we were able to give guidance on the branding of future physical assets such as vehicles, signage merchandise and more. Here, future designers can be able to know how to apply the same principles to new assets that may require branding.
We are proud to have been part of the process that delivered the ISO certification to the bank. Your brand can mean so much more than just the visual identity (the logo). Credit Bank understood the need to have a Brand that showcase its value proposition across all channels. Consistency is indeed quality to your customers.