Access Bank’s New Brand Identity

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Welcome to Sekere’s Podcast, On this episode, the Sekere Team and our guests will be sharing their opinions on the Access Bank’s New Brand Identity.

Christiana: Hello, welcome to Sekere News. My name is Christina and I’ll be your host today.

Christiana:  My guests today are Imoh, he is the head of communications at a media firm. Frank a brand marketing consultant, Semira content developer at a Communications firm

Christiana: Today, we’ll be talking about Access Bank’s rebrand. The Rebrand comes after Access Bank took over Diamond Bank and the two banks merged.

Christiana: Access bank recently unveiled the post-merger brand identity. As part of the post-merger brand identity, they unveiled the logo.

Christiana: The logo fuses Access Banks colours, which are orange and blue with Diamond Banks green and diamond-shaped symbol.

Christiana: In the new logo, the Diamond Bank symbol is orange and is maze-like. If you haven’t seen the logo, go to Sekere, type in Access Banks new logo to view it.

Christiana: So let’s hear from our guests to find out what they think about the post-merger brand identity and logo… Frank.

Frank: All right…Thank you…First of all, I like to say that both banks have been very very careful with their rebranding.

Frank: I remember when Access bank acquired Intercontinental Bank, they also changed their identity, which is very very, you know, not too distinctive from what it was before.

Frank: So what a lot of brands do when they try to Rebrand is that they try to do a whole lot of different typefaces and different icons. And so you begin to look for the former brand identity and consumers a bit confused as to what changed and all of that.

Frank: So they’ve done that very well…also Diamond Bank as well.. when they moved from the initial brand identity, which was great. And then they infused new colours. I think they had red, lemon, blue and orange that was very good too and they introduced new products, with the campaign “you need another bank” with Bovi and all of that

Frank: So both banks have carefully at one point or the other you done some very good rebranding which you know helped them to be stronger and what they are today.

Frank: And talking about the merger right now, whichever agency worked on the merger. I think they did a very fantastic job.

Frank: First of all, I could see both banks in the new identity. I could see…the initial icon Diamond Bank had was now stripped with those arrows that Access Bank had. Those arrows I told you moving forward I could see them.

Frank: And basically we also had both banks exhibiting both colours, you know… in the overall identity.

Frank: So I think it’s a very fantastic job. The bottom line is that when a bigger brand or when one bank tries to buy or merger with a seemingly smaller Bank, you will expect that. It should be cannibalized and you wouldn’t find it a bank in new identity.

Frank: But this wasn’t the case I could see Access bank and I could see Diamond Bank in the new identity both ways.

Frank: So I think it was very good one. I’m talking about the brand value propositions. You can see that Access bank was a very very Innovative Bank while Diamond Bank was vibrant and dynamic.

Frank: So both banks, I think coming together…both in terms of value proposition, in terms of brand personality, in terms of whether they are going to survive the next couple of years. I’m not you know bothered about that… I am very very confident that this new partnership and association is going to deliver for Nigerians and their customers, whatever value they enjoyed in the past and even more.

Frank: So I mean, this is my two kobo thought

Christiana: All right. Thank you very much… Imoh

Imoh: All right. Thank you… For the transition of the brand. I think he did a very good job in the sense that throughout… from the first announcement to the final day they unveiled the logo. Their key customers all the customers they had, there was no panic.

Imoh: You know how banks are with transitions and all…Customers panic and they want to withdraw their money and all.

Imoh: But the way it was portrayed… they sold it…very good storytelling… right from when they announced it to the partnership, the Access Bank marathon.

Imoh:  Their storytelling was very key and it was portrayed more of a merger than a takeover and they tried to infuse both elements into… of both brands…into the new logo Imoh: Personally….I feel with redesigns for brands and companies should not be…should not deviate too much from the initial concept that they had.

Imoh: It should be more of a refinement and maintaining the brand essence, so the transition can be seamless… So I see it as the Bold move and I wish them all the best in their endeavours.

Christiana: All right. Thank you… Semira.

Semira: Thank you for having me on the show. I think my opinion… the merger between the Access Bank and Diamond Bank was very interesting actually because mergers can be very… like Imoh said can be like a takeover and then you find the smaller brand or the brand that’s being taken over superimposed into the new bank kind of watered down.

Semira:  But for Access Bank what they’ve done here is they’ve kept the brand identity. They found a way to make it work the brand identity of Diamond bank and the current brand identity of Access bank

Semira: They have found a way to make it work and then create a brand that you know is still relatable to the customer whether you’re a Diamond Bank customer and Access bank customer. You kind of feel like you’re being included in the whole merger. I kind of feel like okay. This is the brand you can trust that you can work with.

Semira: So I feel like it was a very great branding tactic on the path of Access bank and I feel like this is going to be lead to a stronger brand obviously for the two Banks… now one back of obviously.

Semira: And so for that I feel like it was a good decision and then the branding elements used…the over branding strategy was very good and very very effective. So yes, I think it was a good move for them.

Christiana: All right. Thank you.

Frank:  One more thing please… just before we round up and I think this was a point we try to make the last time we talked about this… about when a particular brand just woke up one morning and change their whole logo and name and every that.

Frank: So the brands in Nigeria should learn that the Nigerian market is peculiar. Well, I mean, we don’t like unpleasant surprises. We’re very very Petty. So if you should make a very very significant brand change, you should at the very very early stage start to prepare the minds of your customers that have been loyal to you.

Frank: You should put their minds ahead of time. You should be…they should be ready to know what they are expecting

Frank: Especially when it has to do with money… people are very very careful with their money…Its their life savings. So I think I mean their communication was right in this regard.

Christiana: Yes it was very good, as you said you can see the two Banks just looking at it. So customers will still trust the bank, If you are a Diamond bank customer…you know… I can trust the bank… if it’s Access bank… you still feel close to it.

Christiana: So I think it was a good job for them. And as everyone has said it was… the brand communication…It looks like a stronger bank together now and you didn’t see… when the news first broke, it seemed like Access bank was taking over Diamond Bank.

Christiana: But they’ve been able to be retell the story and based on the story it seems more like a merger.

Christiana: They keep using the word merger…I don’t say hostile takeover or when they bought the bank. So it’s was very good job by Access bank.

Christiana:  So does anyone have anything to add?

Imoh: Well for the implementation, I think they also scored high in it… because if you go around town, you can’t tell which bank is which…From the implementation of their logo, to how they applied the colours and all their elements…Yeah…Kudos to them

Christiana: Yes. All right, so thank you very much for coming in today to share your thoughts and insights.

Christiana: And I want to thank the viewers for also listening. If you have any more thoughts, opinions or insights to share about the rebranding. Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

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