Banking on change
BBVA set itself the objective to become the leader and digital benchmark in the banking sector. To achieve this, in 2016 it began a repositioning and digital transformation process, in which it faced an important challenge: to seamlessly connect its physical and digital worlds.
At Superunion, we helped BBVA respond to this challenge by developing a new personality, a corporate identity and brand experience that responded to the strategic focus the bank had. This led to the new tagline “Creating Opportunities”.
Change is the only constant
BBVA was faced with a new era in the banking sector; one in which strategies must adapt to a more volatile environment than ever before. To do this, it had to create a new strategy that would comply with strong new financial regulation resulting from the 2008 crisis. It also had to ensure the brand was competitive against new and increasingly dynamic players in the sector, and at the same time be both avant-garde and sustainable over time.
If the market changes, customers change with it. We know that consumers’ needs today go beyond purely rational decisions about product and service attributes, and we understand that people seek an emotional connection with the brands they interact with. Their demands of brands have increased exponentially in recent years. Today, values such as trust, security and transparency have become “hygiene factors” category; they are simply expected of every brand. This means it is important to go beyond the basics, discovering the points of difference between brands that can surprise, mobilize and connect with the consumer, without a brand losing sight of the essence of the sector.
The bank sought to adapt its identity and brand experience to all of the challenges posed by the current market conditions, but always under the strategic umbrella set out by the bank.
A new brand platform
BBVA’s new positioning defines the bank as an enabler for its customers, saying: "The tools of opportunity and empowerment are everywhere, you just have to have the desire to fight for the things that can change and improve our lives." In this way, BBVA sought to go a step further than what is expected in the category, becoming an agent for transformation, bringing people all the opportunities of the new era.
The bank had to mark this change not just internally, through the transformation of the company culture and the implementation of more agile methodologies, but also in very tangible ways. It had to become a more mobile and accessible bank, and of course, this new stage in the bank’s development should be reflected in the way the brand is promoted.
Connecting through the visual identity
The "Bank of Opportunities" is evident in a new identity that highlights the importance of the client, and indicates the bank’s desire to help customers make the decisions that will help them take advantage of opportunities and achieve their goals.
BBVA refined its visual identity, redrawing its main assets, and converting a graphic element identifier in its previous logo (stripes) into a visual metaphor (a road). This could then be used to show how the bank connects people with objectives, goals with realities, and clients with advisers. This visual coding could be used flexibly, across multiple platforms and channels.
The initial plan had been to provide brand managers with resources that would reflect the change in brand mission and how that was communicated, but the response to this new approach was so successful that it became the heart of a 360º communication strategy.
Once the brand’s new personality and visual identity had been defined, BBVA worked to apply these in different ways for different customer segments, such as “high value”, and completely repositioned the youth-focused brand BBVA Blue. It also looked inwards, at how it could apply its new identity in internal communications.
In addition to transforming its communication system, the bank also helps define a new BBVA tone of voice; one that simplifies messages, brings freshness, and offers a character that consumers don’t expect from traditional banking. In short, the bank reshaped itself as a transparent, accessible partner to clients, which speaks to people in the way they would expect of a trusted companion – with clarity and honesty.
Any repositioning work is a challenge for both the brand and the agency that carries it out, but undoubtedly, ideas and changes occur in a much more fluid way when there is a relationship of trust between them. Over 14 years and through three brand projects with BBVA, we have come to speak the same language when it comes to continuing to building the identity of one of the most valuable Spanish brands (as BrandZ tells us).