A great brand strategy isn’t great until your entire organization believes it is.
Problem | OPPORTUNITY
In anticipation of an IPO, a digital bank needed to rebrand themselves in a way that would be thoroughly, deeply and authentically embraced across the entire organization. Previous rebranding efforts had failed to stick.
By understanding client expectations and analyzing employee behavior, we were able to extract meaningful consumer insights to inform a brand realignment that could be scaled and stress-tested through their various business units.
Almost a decade later, the brand continued to resonate and expand. Shares increased by more than 58%, and assets more than doubled— from $13 billion in 2012 to $27.8 billion in 2017. The industry took notice, and EverBank was recently acquired by TIAA, one of the nation’s, most highly regarded financial institutions.
Consumer Insights & Trends, Brand Strategy, Communication Design, Service Design
The banking landscape had been changing dramatically, and EverBank was at the vanguard of much of that change.
Unlike many banking institutions that were forced to migrate from brick and mortar to digital and mobile, EverBank came to Ziba as one of the first and largest online banks in the country. They entrusted Ziba with the challenge of analyzing their complex DNA and developing a relevant and cohesive rebranding program that would be embraced enthusiastically by their existing customers and attract a sophisticated new audience. It was of the utmost importance to EverBank that this new focus be integrated and infused into every aspect of the brand, and across every business unit. What they needed was a true north star.
We had considerable experience in the category with Umpqua Bank, but this was a very different proposition. We needed a deep understanding of EverBank’s target customer. Their mindset, their values, their preferences, and their attitudes and behaviors about the category as it existed at that time.
This was at a time when all the big banks were playing the “relationship game,” basically an advisory model where the customer played a subservient role. And this, as we were soon to learn, was EverBank’s opportunity.
Their customers were far from typical. They were primarily self-made individuals with high net worth, who wanted to be in control. They didn’t want a better relationship with their bank; they wanted a more direct relationship with their money.
Their customers didn’t want a better relationship with their bank; they wanted a more direct relationship with their money.
Armed with this insight, Ziba facilitated workshops with a number of different business units and critical advocates within EverBank, clarifying current behaviors, training their training teams to be brand ambassadors and developing a core set of directives that better reflected their ideal clients’ journeys. This led to the archetype of a professional caddy “on tour”. A caddy knows the course, its challenges, its opportunities. They also know their pro, his or her goals and tolerances, and what vehicles and strategies might give them an extra edge.
This work empowered employees to be empathetic and take on the identity of the brand as their own, ensuring this new strategy was expressed at every touch point. It made clear to them what was on-and off-brand. It also allowed the strategy to modulate throughout the entire organization. The brand had to inform the delivery and the service. It had to fulfill every promise, and it had to be a constant evolution. It had to unify the company from the inside out. It had to stick.
And stick it did. Almost a decade later, the brand continued to resonate and expand. Shares increased by more than 58%, and assets more than doubled— from $13 billion in 2012 to $27.8 billion in 2017. The industry took notice, and EverBank was recently acquired by TIAA, one of the nation’s, most highly regarded financial institutions. While the name will change to TIAA Bank, the EverBank brand DNA will be an integral part of TIAA’s Retail Financial Services business into the future.