How do you go about revitalizing the brand of one of the foundations of the Jordanian banking industry?
How do you reflect an ambitious modernization process to the customers. employees and partners of a bank that has been founded over 50 years ago?
How do you lay the foundations of a 21st century brand that is rooted in Jordan’s culture.
These are just some of the challenging questions that faced us at SYNTAX as we were chosen to partner up with Jordan National Bank (now Ahli Bank) over 18 months ago.
In the last two weeks we witnessed the unveiling of the new Ahli Bank brand and the start of brand transformation process that promises to be exciting.
A shortened name (Al Ahli), adjusted colors, modern typography and a dynamic symbol of heritage-based growth: the olive branch are the most visible aspects of the change. But there is more to a such a re-branding effort than meets the eye.
This re-branding process is particularly interesting to be involved in, as it happened in tandem with a very courageous modernization processes that was initiated by Ahli Bank last year. Al Ahli Bank was (and up till now still is) perceived as a ‘traditional’ Jordanian banking institution. But the new Ahli started a transformation that addresses all the issues the bank faced.
The Bank’s ‘Jubilee Project’ is the start of a challenging journey which is envisioned to take the bank from the local/regional level to the international arena. This requires investment in training, technology as well as the adoption of new banking and retail strategies, and, yes, you guessed it, a revitalized brand.
Rebranding Ahli Bank required us to delve deep into the current perceptions of its brand, both by customers as well as employees and partners. New brand values were developed to compliment the traditional foundations of the bank’s reputation.
SYNTAX’s work for Ahli Bank went beyond brand consulting and corporate design into bank branch design and development, with the aim of creating a total brand experience that covers all touch points: print, digital and physical. The new branches of Ahil Bank will convey a sense of closeness, transparency, openness and modern friendliness.
The Ahli Bank has, in the past, suffered from a visibility problem on the busy streets of Jordan, especially in Amman. The new signage of the bank will be bold and visible, but will forgo the ‘glitzy’ image that has been associated with recent re-branding efforts in the banking sector. Instead each branch will concentrate on customer service and amenities (like offering a range of business, culture and lifestyle magazines for sale, TV screens and a coffee corner).
Our branding strategy also took into consideration the bank’s newly developed segmentation strategy. This is Ahli’s customer-centric way of dealing with the specific needs of different customer groups. So, for example, if you have a personal account, you’ll find your solutions under the green ‘Personal’ label. Owners of small and medium sized businesses will, from now on, follow the orange colored ‘My Business’ label. Other segments cover investment services, corporate banking and premium accounts.
This brand segmentation is followed through from print to the retail branches, as well as on the net.
Transforming a bank doesn’t happen overnight. But the signs of change have already become visible, both in the continuing communication campaign which covers the whole of Jordan, to the opening of the redesigned Abdoun Branch (to be followed by two other SYNTAX-designed branches in Suweifieh and Abu Nuseir soon). The full extent of the brand’s transformation will become clear of the next 2-3 years as the Ahli Bank rolls out its new service philosophy in its 40+ branches in Jordan as well as its branches in Palestine, Lebanon and Cyprus.
At SYNTAX we are thrilled to see this brand come to life, as it is the fruit of the labour of almost everyone in our company, as well as a large team of people at Ahli Bank. I also would like to acknowledge here the work of Objects Advertising and Assala Advertising, who have been busy with us for the past months, working on the advertising and media aspects of the rebranding process, Al-Fanek Contractors for their interior implementation work and Khattab Signs for their implementation of the new signage systems.
I’ll leave you with some visual impressions..
The old logo is gone, but the inspiration for the stylized olive branch came from here.
This is what the Abdoun Branch looked like. It has been totally transformed. See below.
Two weeks ago, the brand teaser campaign went up on billboards all across the country.
The new retail signage
An exterior shot of the new retail presence of the bank.
A 3D rendition of the new Abdoun branch
Ahli’s new web site.
The ATM welcome screen
Ahli’s new flyer holder, showing the brand segmentation concept.
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