Revolutionizing Design, When Brands Merge, will it still be recognizable, believable and at the hearts of her Customers?

A major merger happened in the banking industry that almost tore through the whole of Nigeria in 2019, although talks have been ongoing since 2018, it was the talk of the town for about Three Months before the Merger date, two multinational banks in Nigeria decided to merge to become one Access Bank and Diamond Bank..

Merging in its simplest form is when two companies decide to pull their resources together and become one and take up a single name and reflects both entities Goals, Aims and Objective, many times this initiative is taken to grow a particular industry and sometimes also to put these companies in the forefront. Merging also gives this company the asset and capital to better place the brand in a goodwill position, it is also the coming together of two different and robust cultures. Trust me, this happens over long talks, there are so many variables that can lead to two or three entities merging and in case you were wondering, Merging is way different from acquisition but that’s a topic for another day.
During this period there was panic within the banking industry, people started withdrawing their money, even though both banks communicated to her customers every week on the merger, customers still had to do what they had to do and so ACCESS BANK was born after the whole wahala.

Here’s the merger logo

Here’s the merger logo Source: Access Bank

Well, the Logo was unveiled and to be honest, I thought the logo was beautiful and also communicates the strength of both banks, this eased the tensions with the customers.

Both banks did well by communicating the process of the merger and even went as far as creating detailed illustration and explainer contents to better further the agenda, I know I got one from Access Bank, it was brilliant and I would say the communication team did an awesome job on that.

This begs my question, will it still be recognizable, believable and at the hearts of her customers when two cultures come together, remember that merging isn’t just about the coming together of two companies, it is the coming together of two cultures and tradition that have spent years building such. Ok na let’s leave finance and economics and slide into the main koko of this publication.

What is Branding?

There are so many definitions on branding and what it entails, I wouldn’t even know where to start from, well different school of thought have come up with different definitions of branding based on what they think branding is about.

I will be giving 3 different definitions of what branding is from 3 different school of thoughts and also make sure to break It down to its smallest form so we can all understand how important it is.

One School of thought believes

- your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors.

Another School of thought believes

- Brand Design can be defined as one of the crucial marketing practices of creating the name, logo, design, and the symbolic elements related to the brand to create a distinctive identity in comparison to the other brands in the market and also providing impetus to the product differentiation.

The final School of thought believes

- Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

So, there it is, you will be amazed at how many schools of thoughts have different concepts or definition about branding, it can be awesome, confusing and exhausting at the same time.

So, let me quickly put branding in a way that many of us will understand so we can move on to why culture and tradition is important with brands.

Branding to my best understanding is how you present your brand both internally and externally, what people see they will want to affiliate with.

Let me put it more simply.

Branding is the level of vibe we ditch out, if we ditch out good vibe, we get good vibes in return, if we ditch out bad vibes, we get that too in return.

There are like a million things to do to kick off your brand and sustain them and it takes years and years of trial and error to get it right but if a company is ready to imbibe a certain level of branding to its business, it will flourish.

Let us take Coke and GTBank for example, what do these names make you feel, like in your inner-most heart, how they make you feel? You are almost smiling, you are not even thinking, Exactly, you just want to affiliate with them because they have spent years or manpower and resources to place themselves where they are at the moment.

Back to Brand Culture and Tradition

When companies decide to merge, all this would be looked into and accessed thoroughly, the entities will have to find ways to make it beneficial to both parties if not kasala go gas anyhow, this is where risk management comes in. Money dey this world if you know the right thing to do.

So, for clients/customers to retain the trust they have for the entities, the cultures and tradition of both firms will have to be put in a situation that it favours everyone

One is, the brands must be recognizable

It must have a story to back it up so it can be believable

And finally, it must always be at the heart of its customers

I have finish shaaa.

What lead to this long talk is because I want to unveil a little project I worked on, it was a very interactive project where I had to read a lot about different bank cultures and tradition, why colour affects brands, interactive components of brands, brand language and so many more. I was able to implement this idea on the project to come up with an amazing set of Merger Logo’s for all the banks in Nigeria.

Guarantee trust Bank + Polaris Bank & Sterling Bank + Keystone Bank & Stanbic IBTC Bank + Eco Bank
Heritage Bank + Citi Bank & Standard Trust Bank + Unity Bank & Wema Bank + Titan Bank
Globus Bank + Jaiz Bank & Providus Bank + Suntrust Bank

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Thank you for reading my First piece.

Product Designer | Designing for usability & accessibility

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