RETAIL BANKING | Luz Wendy Noble, Philippines

Simple is smart: Here's how UnionBank tied up smart banking with innovative rebranding

Its new logo is part of its attempt to pursue a brand with an iteration of ‘Power the Future of Banking’.

UnionBank of the Philippines is all in on its push for smart banking. Aside from its initiatives to a faster and easier banking which is leaning to step back from the long lines and paper works through an online savings account registration that can be done in less than 10 minutes, UnionBank has also revamped its rebranding. Whilst it still kept its tangy orange signature color, Union Bank has simplified its logo with combined U and B letters, making it more youthful, simplified, and beaming with energy. It has also merged the words ‘Union’ and ‘Bank’, symbolising its connection to its customers.

Asian Banking & Finance spoke with Ana Aboitiz-Delgado, UnionBank’s chief customer officer, about the bank’s journey in ensuring consistency in smart banking through initiatives paired by rebranding.

What was the philosophy behind the transformation of UnionBank’s rebranding? What do you hope to achieve with this development?

As far back as 1999, when things like e-commerce and the Internet were still buzzwords, we were already ahead. In order to bring so many innovations to life, the first step we took was to build a company that is agile and forward-thinking. We have always viewed the future as more than just a concept we benchmark ourselves against, from a theoretical standpoint. We have always viewed the future as something we should aspire to give our customers today.

What strategies and processes did you have to go through for the said rebranding?

In 2007, we embarked on a rebrand to better articulate our identity as a pioneer and innovator. Our renewed brand promise at the time was “Smart Banking” with the brand attributes of being Relevant, Expert, and Challenging Conventions. The latest iteration of our brand is an evolution of that same idea. From “Smart Banking”, we now exist to “Power the Future of Banking”. Where once we believed in being “Relevant” now we say we need to be Forward-Thinking and Innovative, anticipating the future by creating it. We recognize that we may not always be experts in all things, so we need to be Open – open to new ideas, new partnerships, and new business models. Our new logo represents growth and empowerment and expresses our dynamic and youthful energy. Its shape conveys motion, underlying our belief and commitment to keep moving forward, keep learning, and keep getting better. It is bold and vibrant and represents our strength and creativity. The UnionBank icon is a shorthand for “UnionBank” but also symbolises our connection with our customers. They are both our inspiration and our objective. Our tagline, “The future begins with u” emphasises this idea further. Our transformation is always ongoing to ensure that we are able to live up to both the legacy of our brand and the promise we make our customers.

Can you share some promotional efforts rolled out in line with the rebrand?

Our new brand represents a holistic transformation that is taking place across UnionBank—including our products and services. We are continuously making strides to elevate the quality and experience of our products as well as our channels. In March, we launched PlayEveryday, the first gamified bank loyalty programme built on blockchain technology. In the same month we also unveiled our first Virtual Currency ATM, another first among local banks. We also launched in-app account opening for several of our accounts recently and we have a rich roadmap throughout the rest of 2019, from services to online and traditional

How is the market response so far to the rebranding? How do you make sure that your customers embrace the bank’s new branding?

By living up to our brand promise and giving our customers not just products and service but a great experience. Our goal is to create an experience that they can’t live without and genuinely enjoy by changing how they do it and embedding it into their day-to-day lives.

Do you know more about this story? Contact us anonymously through this link.

Click here to learn about advertising, content sponsorship, events & rountables, custom media solutions, whitepaper writing, sales leads or eDM opportunities with us.

To get a media kit and information on advertising or sponsoring click here.