RateSetter wanted to rebrand as an alternative to the established way of investing and borrowing money. My team and I spoke to people across the business to understand what they felt was working and what their ambition was for the future. We then sought inspiration from the world outside, to give perspective on the nature of the challenge.
Little was known about their customers so it was essential that we found out more about them - who they were and what their requirements and expectations were. We conducted a series of customer feedback sessions to understand their needs and to give us confidence that we were heading in the right direction.
We wanted to create a brand that embodied the middle ground between cash ISAs and stocks and shares. Something that just ‘makes sense’, with products that inspired our customers to do more, while being reassuringly familiar.
How we approached the problem
We went through a period of planning and research to map out each step of the rebrand. Part of this was to identify companies which had transitioned from technical disruptors to fulfilling customer’s needs. We broke down what our brand framework would be and what our beliefs were. We established the main theme from our customer feedback was that while our customers are dissatisfied with the status quo, they’re looking for trust and reassurance in anything new.
Working alongside a creative agency, we created mood boards which summarised the findings from the feedback sessions and a range of graphic styles on which to base the visual elements of the new brand. The images ranged from conventional and safe to bold and inspiring. There was a strong indication that the latter was the direction we should pursue. The consensus was that the customers favoured designs which bore no resemblance to the established financial services style which they felt dissatisfied with.
What didn't work?
Based on those findings we then proceeded to design a brand that was confident and fresh. We applied colour liberally, gave each section of content ample breathing space and used geometric shapes to intrigue and guide customers. However, we found that the initial designs were off-putting for customers as the colours were too striking and the UX wasn’t intuitive enough.
What we accomplished
Once we were aware of these issues we then worked to refine the brand. Rather than using the colour palette liberally, we refined our colour logic by using accents for navigation or to highlight interactive elements. We reduced the prominence of graphic elements to balance with the typography.
The end result of this process was that we created a financial services platform that evolved to be bolder and more impactful. With considered use of spacing, typography and imagery the resulting branding was clean, sophisticated and easy for customers to navigate.