The bank of Taranaki has undergone a rebrand – and changing out the old design that has become well-known in the last three decades will be the biggest challenge to face.
TSB Bank, now known as TSB, was set to unveil its new name at eight of its 25 branches Monday morning, with the remaining branches following in the next 12 months.
A new colour scheme has also been introduced – indigo, green and mint – which has been applied to the new logo and a “broader visual language”, which is a marketing term referring to a larger background image that appears on a variety of mediums such as websites and brochures.
Discussions around the rebrand began five years ago, TSB CEO Kevin Murphy said, when the organisation noticed strong growth occurring outside Taranaki.
“We recognised that our company and customer needs were changing and it was time to make sure our brand was still relevant,” he said.
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“We felt we were ready and we were strong enough to stand on our own.”
In the last seven years, the bank’s funds have grown by $2 billion to $6b, Murphy said, and within the last year its customer base has climbed by about six per cent.
As the bank continues to make its presence known outside Taranaki, with half of its current locations already located elsewhere in the country, it was time to make TSB “a national brand”.
The last update was more than 25 years ago in 1989, Murphy said.
“For an organisation that is 167 years old, we had to make sure we got it right.
“Taranaki has special pride in the bank and we had to be careful with any change.”
But Brent Woodhead, TSB’s general manager of marketing, said people outside the bank’s home region had “the wrong impression”.
“A lot of people thought we were a rural bank and that was hindering them from becoming customers,” he said.
While he could not disclose the cost of the marketing scheme, Woodhead said it took 18 months of “real earnest work”.
And though the hard yards are behind them, he said it would take at least another year to transform the entire organisation.
“It filters right through to the signs, the brochures, the uniforms, the ATMs.”
And then there’s TSB sponsorship, Woodhead continued, which is most notably seen on venues such as the TSB Showplace, TSB Stadium, TSB Bowl of Brooklands, TSB Wallace Arts Centre in Auckland, and the TSB Arena in Wellington.
It continues with the TSB Community Trust, the TSB Festival of Lights and even on the stands of Yarrow Stadium.
“We are just so embedded into this community,” Woodhead said.
“We actually had a competition for staff to find the TSB logo in a competition called Logo Go.”
Woodhead said one of the most surprising discoveries were tiny printed TSB letters on the Christmas lights wrapped around poles in Opunake.
The new logo, which includes two green triangles, vaguely resembles Mt Taranaki reflecting in the Pouakai Tarns.
But Woodhead said the “clever design” could look like something else to those outside the Taranaki region.
“Auckland sees the City of Sails, some see a compass, and others see a star,” he said.
“They can look at it and see what they best connect with.”
As for the new branding image, the design’s curves slightly mimic the three peaks of Mt Taranaki, and the Pouākai and Kaitake ranges.
And if the horizontal image is turned vertical, the curvature resembles the profile of a face echoed in three shades of indigo.
“The first represents our people, the second our customers and the third our community,” Woodhead said.
The official unveiling on Monday will have many in tears, Murphy said.
“The passion and the pride that I have seen in our team in this, it really is quite special.”