Bank Branding: Ideas, Inspiration & Best Practices - Vested

Bank Branding: Ideas, Inspiration & Best Practices

When it feels like the banking industry is continuously expanding, making your organization stand out should be a top priority. It’s the reason bank branding is so important. 

Your brand is your “in” and more important than you may realize when it comes to making a connection with potential clients. Professionals from a trusted financial branding agency can help you nail it. 

At Vested, we partner with our banking clients to build the best brand possible. Key building blocks and resources include:

  • Bank Branding 101
  • Bank Branding Tips & Best Practices
  • How to Create a Bank Brand Kit
  • 3 of the Best Bank Branding Examples

Bank Branding 101

What Is Bank Branding?

Bank branding is the process of creating a memorable and trustworthy identity – including personality, values, and traits. This builds customer confidence and loyalty with the bank. In the digital era, businesses can’t compete without a strong brand identity.

Why Is Branding So Important for Banks?

You already have a marketing budget for ads, so why does there need to be a focus on brand? Well, the average consumer sees around 10,000 ads per day. That means that just running ads doesn’t come close to cutting it. Even with expert targeting and large budgets, the ads you run must stand out and be memorable. This is where your brand comes into play.

Taking an honest look at your brand and improving it is a powerful way to set your bank apart from other organizations. A bank’s brand can be the single most influential differentiator and an essential way to create new member relationships. The balance is developing a brand that is distinct and unique, but it should still feel like a trustworthy financial institution.

Bank Branding Tips & Best Practices

While bank branding is important, it doesn’t need to be overly complicated or overwhelming. By implementing these tips and best practices, you can feel confident, knowing that you are on your way to building a strong bank brand.

Focus on Your Target Audience   

Everything about your marketing strategy, including your bank brand, should revolve around your target audience. Make sure you understand what their goals are, what they are looking for in a bank, and what they like and dislike about your competitors (and you!). Once you have a clear picture of your target audience, your brand can adapt to make sure you are addressing them across all platforms. 

Make Everything Easy

Your customers want convenience, however, they still need to be able to trust that your bank is reputable and confident in your services. Communicating to your target audience that working with your bank is easy will immediately start to win them over.

Aim to Connect

People look to work with companies that they can relate to and trust. This includes banks. Your goal should be to make a connection with your target audience so that they feel comfortable trusting you with their hard-earned money – which is often the most important factor in customer decision-making. 

How to Create a Bank Brand Kit

There are many areas of a bank brand that must be addressed, which is why bank brand kits were created. Many find a bank brand kit helpful in organizing and creating cohesion for the business. This resource essentially contains the “rules” of your brand and makes sure that brand consistency is applied across all channels. 

Brand Strategy 

Creating a successful branding strategy for banks is a nuanced process. As previously mentioned, it involves establishing a trustworthy and memorable image while setting yourself apart from competitors. There should be a focus on conveying reliability, security, and expertise. This includes crafting a compelling brand message that speaks to the needs and aspirations of your target audience. Consistency in visual identity, messaging, and customer interactions is vital to building trust. 

Using digital marketing and social media can expand your reach and engagement. It’s important to remember that ongoing monitoring and adaptation are key. Bank brands must stay up to date on changing market dynamics and customer expectations to adapt their strategies accordingly. A well-executed branding strategy can solidify the reputation and success of banks in a competitive industry.

Brand Identity

Creating an identity for your bank brand is a major part of creating a brand strategy. Your brand identity will include your business’s origin story, who you are, and what your business stands for. It should embody your company’s visions, goals, and core values. It will showcase your brand’s personality and should be compelling and displayed in a way that your target audience will remember and relate to. This is the voice of your brand, who it would be if it was a person. Building a relatable brand identity helps customers identify with you more readily.

Brand Kit Materials

Every brand kit includes certain features that make your brand identity your own. Think: each part of the kit plays a part in defining your brand identity. 

Logo

  • A logo is the visual representation of your company. It’s what people will see and use to immediately identify you. Choosing a logo is just as important as choosing your name. You can include images in a logo design, just initials, or your company’s entire name.
  • A brand’s logo grabs attention, should be memorable, and also sets you apart from your competitors. It will communicate your brand’s quality and values.
  • The brand kit should not just contain your logo and approved variations, but also specific rules guiding usage and alteration.

Colors

  • Establishing trademark colors will also be an important part of your brand and how customers will recognize your company. It will help you achieve a consistent look and feel, creating familiarity and trust. There is often one main color and usually a secondary (and sometimes tertiary) color used for accents. 
  • Explore the meaning of colors and what colors make sense for your brand. Find an object or atmosphere that inspires you. These colors should be visually pleasing and also work together. Colors can have different meanings, convey different messages, and create different moods, so it is important to consider how they connect to your brand.

Typography

  • The brand identity includes the company’s font and spacing of letters and words. This is another element that must maintain consistency across all channels. First and foremost, the font should be clear and easy to read. Choosing the right font can give the impression of sophistication and a more professional appearance. You can have one primary font and a few secondary fonts, making sure that they complement each other. 

Iconography

  • Iconography is the use of visual images, symbols or figures to represent your bank, or the complex ideas, subjects or themes behind it. Your brand iconography will be the image that is immediately associated with your bank. 

Imagery

  • Brand imagery defines the aesthetic appearance of your brand’s core messaging. It is a visual story-telling component of your brand identity. Imagery doesn’t just include photographs. Your brand can use illustrations, icons and symbols, charts and graphs, video, color, and (very popular on social media today) infographics.  
  • Choosing the right images for your brand is another way to incorporate cohesion within your brand. The old saying is true: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The images you choose to represent your company will have an immediate impression, faster than any words your target audience will read. These choices matter.

Using the example of exceptional bank brands can be key to inspiring your own approach. Check out these branding projects from the Vested team for Centana Growth Partners and Masthaven

Now It’s Your Turn

You’ve got the basics covered and understand the importance of a bank brand and what it can do for your business. It’s all about creating that trustworthy and memorable identity that your customers can connect to. Your goal will always be to reach your target audience where they are – their goals, needs, and interests.

A bank brand kit includes many different areas and can help you become strong and consistent across all platforms. If you are ready to revisit your brand and want it done at a high-end level, Vested’s branding and marketing team is here to make it happen for you. 

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