Breathing fresh life into a financial services heritage brand

Breathing fresh life into a financial services heritage brand

Buckinghamshire Building Society head office

The client

Buckinghamshire Building Society (BBS) are a historic financial institution based in the beautiful village of Chalfont St Giles. First set up over 100 years ago, they still operate with a mutual ethos of supporting members with a safe place to save their money. They also help people get on the housing ladder who might ordinarily struggle to get a mortgage with a high street bank. When it was time for a brand identity and logo refresh, Ruth Buckingham (Kandu Marketing) recommended me and the rest, as they say, is history.

Old BBS Brand Identity and logo
The old Buckinghamshire Building Society logo

A brand identity conundrum

As a heritage brand, the organisation had moved from mainly offline marketing activity to running more digital campaigns. They were active in the mortgage broker space and were growing an audience on social media. They were also aiming to grow brand awareness in the wider Buckinghamshire community.

However, the client didn’t want a complete re-brand. They’d done some focus work with existing partners who said they liked the look and feel of the brand. The swan was also a key element of their logo and something that was to be retained as it is a well-known symbol of Buckinghamshire.

The challenge was to come up with a refreshed brand identity that was contemporary whilst staying to true to the roots of the Society.

The brief

“Refresh our visual identity so that the brand remains relevant and stands out in a competitive field.”

The solution

I have plenty of experience working with corporate clients both agency and client side.  I got to grips with the brief and presented Buckinghamshire Building Society with three different concepts for them to mull over.
 
Ultimately, the client selected a version that combined two of the designs . The concept uses a modern but classic font. This demonstrates that Buckinghamshire Building Society is a contemporary organisation with plenty of heritage which shapes its core values and product offering.
New BBS Brand Identity and logo
The new Buckinghamshire Building Society logo.

The new brand identity and logo

The logo uses a mix of purple, orange and grey.  The client was originally committed to using black as they were concerned that grey would make the logo too flat.  However, I’m a firm believer in the power of colour. Introducing a charcoal grey added a softness to the logo. Firstly, this helps demonstrate how friendly and accessible the organisation is. Secondly, the grey also helps the whole colour palette work together in harmony.
 
I created an updated elegant swan with a different colour beak. This really helped the logo stand out and look more unique without making a complete change to the design.
 
The old BBS logo was illegible when it was used on social media, and in digital locations where there’s less space. Part of the brief was to provide a secondary logo that would work better in this kind of environment. I created a stacked version of the new brand identity using the swan icon and the company initials.

Including this alternative version of the new logo was something that the Society placed a lot of emphasis on throughout the project.

"Bhavini did a great job of the brand re-fresh. The team found her professional and easy to collaborate with. Our new branding has brought an energised look and feel to our marketing resources. It is a pleasure to be able to support a fellow Buckinghamshire based small business."

Linda Reed, Operations Manager

What assets were created?

  • Refreshed brand identity and logo for digital and print
  • Brand guidelines including new colour palette and fonts
  • Updated branded items such as letterhead, business cards and promo materials
  • Social media headers

This was such a great project to work on and I loved working with the marketing team to define a new colour palette. I felt it really came into its own when we started applying the new branding to the most recent campaign. I enjoyed working with a business that had a clear brief whilst still being happy to take feedback and guidance from a designer too.

Guidelines to support the new brand identity
Guidelines to support the new brand identity
Sample pages from the new Buckinghamshire Building Society brand guidelines

Brand identity and logo refresh brings new opportunities

In addition to creating new brand assets, I worked with the team again to design some print marketing materials for a new campaign. As the brand guidelines were already in place, it was possible for me to brief a copywriter. We created a series of powerful adverts that allow Buckinghamshire Building Society to stand out and communicate its message effectively to one of their audience.

In the last few months, the business has been through a process of making its head office and branch Covid-safe. As a result, I was really excited to hear that Buckinghamshire Building Society have used the new brand assets in the office design. They’ve also introduced the new branding and signage in the banking hall to make members feel welcome and safe.

Get in touch to discuss your own branding project

If you’d like to work with me to breathe some new life into your brand or are ready to completely re-brand, get in touch for a no obligation discussion about your requirements.

I’ll be posting more blogs, and case studies so be sure to check back here soon. Follow me on social media for regular updates, handy hints, tips and design inspiration! See you soon!

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