Ahli Bank: A brand transformation underway

Ahli Bank: Hello Abdoun

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..


Ahli Bank's old logo

The old logo is gone, but the inspiration for the stylized olive branch came from here.

Ahli's old Abdoun branch

This is what the Abdoun Branch looked like. It has been totally transformed. See below.


Ahli Billboard

Two weeks ago, the brand teaser campaign went up on billboards all across the country.

Ahli Billboard

Ahli retail signage

The new retail signage

Ahli branch facade

An exterior shot of the new retail presence of the bank.

Ahli Bank interior in Abdoun

A 3D rendition of the new Abdoun branch

Ahli web site
Ahli’s new web site.
Ahli ATM

The ATM welcome screen

Ahli flyer holder

Ahli’s new flyer holder, showing the brand segmentation concept.

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11 Responses to “Ahli Bank: A brand transformation underway”

  1. nasimjo Says:

    I like it
    I just do!
    And I really do like the “Hello Abdoun” poster in Abdoun’s branch!

  2. Hussein Says:

    hi ahmad, i’ve sent you something regarding this.. check your mail!

  3. Mariam Ayyash Says:

    are u using the DinEngschrift? what is it? lovely font
    18 months????
    that girl on the website, is she the boss’s wife or daughter? that’s LAME!
    “your ambitions, realized” “your dreams, coming true” “your needs, fullfilled” .... cleche
    i missed all the billboards.

  4. sabri Says:

    Ya3tikom il 3afieh,
    As you have stated above, it takes more than a new logo and colors to change or re-brand. Its been said that 6 good experiences erase a bad one, I’m not aware of the communities general perception of Al-Ahli Bank, but mine isn’t a positive one; their service (prior to re-branding) was devastating, they lacked professionalism and were impatient with customers, not to mention their technical setbacks and lack of coordination/communication between branches. With their smoking and casually dressed employees, it seemed you like were in the seventies while in there.
    The front desk employees constitute a small percentage of a banks total staff, yet it is they who present the banks brand and values, that’s where banks main focus should be, it’s where customers gather first impressions from. Re-employing re-training and re-enforcing brand values should come first for Al-Ahli Bank. A pretty office doesn’t lead to pretty service, where as pretty service makes up for a not-so-pretty office, I hope it wasn’t money invested only on a sexy look.
    You’ve done an amazing job (SYNTAX), I hope they’ve done theirs

  5. omar Says:

    Arabic fonts are really interesting
    I like the rebranding, it’s quite clean and minimal

    but personally I would rebrand with respect to that ancient logo
    the one in the circle. I think it’s beautiful, because as much as I love
    those new clean fonts, calligraphy is a survivor and it sure adds to the designs.


  6. Moey Says:

    i like the new logo and everything but I still think that that illustration could’ve been nicer..

  7. aftab Says:

    nice brand rollout.

  8. Adnan Says:

    Good stuff Ahmad.. really good stuff.. keep up the good work!

  9. Saad N. Mouasher Says:

    Dear Sabri

    My name is Saad Nabil Mouasher, and I am the Head of Group Strategy at Jordan Ahli Bank. I hope that you are well.

    I wish to thank you for your sincere and genuine remarks, and also I hope to affirm to you personally that indeed the “Power of Change” we are referring to in our motto is not just about rebranding, but also about a much larger, 3 year change management plan inside the bank that we hope will elevate our systems, processes, people, branches, products, etc. to world class standards. We are in the very early stages of implementing an extremely ambitious strategy for the bank, and we are genuinely interested in becoming the bank of choice for all Jordanians.

    I would be personally very interested in your opinion about our new branch in Abdoun (we designed it together with our friend Ahmad Humeid) if you have the time to visit it.

    Take care and good luck,

    Saad N. Mouasher
    Head of Group Strategy
    Assistant General Manager
    Jordan Ahli Bank

  10. Moey’s » Blog Archive » Rebranding: Ahli is not so “Ahli” Says:

    [...] According to Humaid’s post: A shortened name (Al Ahli), adjusted colors, modern typography and a dynamic symbol of heritage-based growth: the olive branch is the most visible aspects of the change. But there is more to re-branding effort than meets the eye. [...]

  11. omar Says:

    how can send my cv ??? i would like to work with this group

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