Kiwibank Brand Refresh

  • 2022

  • Communication
    Branding and Identity

Designed By:

  • Geoff Suvalko / Creative Director / ThoughtFull
  • Zac Suvalko / Senior Designer / ThoughtFull
  • Aaron Richardson / Senior Designer / ThoughtFull
  • Johnson McKay / Cultural Advisor / Ira
  • Tristran Marler / Artist / Manawa Tapu

Commissioned By:

Simon Hofmann / Brand & Marketing / Kiwibank

Jodi Williams / Brand Consultant / Kiwibank

Designed In:

New Zealand

Kiwibank is a 20yr old government owned bank. The brief was to reposition the bank to attract and retain a new progressive type of customer. The repositioning was to spearhead a transformation across culture, product and technology – ensuring the bank would be future fit for the next 20 years.

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  • The challenge was to powerfully and authentically express the new brand strategy of ‘enabling Kiwi to thrive’ along with three brand attributes defined as Be Bold, Know How and Show Heart. To do this in away that authentically honors and reflects the organisation's commitment to Maori. Before designing anything we evaluated the current identity, competitive set, cultural and customer relevance to ensure we recognised existing and distinctive brand equity that should be carried forward. The challenge was to balance what customers both recognised and valued with the bank with a clear signal the bank was taking a new direction forward.

  • We identified a relevant cultural metaphor - the Harekeke (flax) Plant as in Maori culture the Harekeke symbolises a thriving community. We expressed the metaphor through a digital-first identity formed from a two-coloured abstract Harkeke leaf that folds its way around to frame the wordmark. An active and living form that can also transform into a broader visual language.The top left ‘fold’ denotes culture whilst the bottom right hand ‘notch’ denotes technology. To build depth we created three supporting symbols that express the three brand attributes that we could use to generate distinctive patterns across collateral, interfaces and environments.

  • Category Impact – The rebrand has created a platform for the bank to launch a new range of customer-centric banking products - e.g,. Co-own - enabling people to co-own and share the burden of owning a home Industry Impact – The project has showcased how a more traditional bank can transform for a digital world with new customer needs whilst being true to itself and advocating for a stronger cultural identity at the same time. Societal Impact – The repositioning of the bank recognises communities that experience barriers to thriving and through product and service development is looking to break those barriers down.

  • Within physical branch environments, we expressed the Harekeke idea through seating systems such as the two tone sofa system that wraps and folds through the branch space, a digital wall that expresses the Tohu and sense of progress and growth through ambient, the colour palette born from the metaphor and the illuminated frame that house the ATMs within and outside of the branch.