Branding the bank that's fashioned around its customers.
So the monumental financial meltdown happened and suddenly no-one knew where to keep their money anymore. Perhaps it isn’t that bizarre that the former penny bazaar in Leeds, which had always been trusted with the nation’s underwear, became the ones to trust with one’s overdraft. From Shreddies to readies, if you will…
Launching a bank in the wake of a global financial crisis doesn’t come without challenges. Unless you can find a way to turn it to your advantage. M&S Bank knew they had to avoid being lumped in with other mistrusted and maligned banks. So they chose to work with an agency with a track record of developing credible and clearly differentiated brands. (That’s us, by the way.)
We recognised that this rebrand would have to be pitched very carefully. Our research led to the insight that what customers want from their everyday banking are the very same values that they already associate with the M&S retail brand – Quality, Value, Service, Innovation and Trust. We would need to show that people could now get all that’s good about M&S – in a bank.
A sandwich, a sarong and a standing order
Story helped to launch the new bank with a look, language and positioning that no other bank could claim: NEW FASHIONED BANKING.
After all, how many banks have a Bureau de Change next to a changing room?
How many let customers bank in a branch at times to suit them (including weekends and bank holidays) as well by phone and online – with great customer service at all touchpoints?
The new branding was rolled out across in-store point of sale, customer communications, advertising and PR. The loyal M&S customer base switched their banking to them in droves.
Since then, our positioning strategy has underpinned multiple marketing campaigns and product launches. Our Cash ISA campaign broke the record for sign-ups. Our credit card campaigns have seen the highest ever number of card transactions – 55 million of them, generating spend that topped £1 billion. We’ve helped them successfully launch their first ever mortgage range. And recently we created the first TV campaign for M&S Pet Insurance, micro-targeting pet owners through Sky AdSmart.
Story has worked with us for a number of years and the team really understand our brand, our products, values and strategy, which they continue to combine with great creativity.Amanda Newman, Marketing Director, M&S Bank