Driving the new brand message Home

THE official rollout of Home Building Society’s new branding and marketing strategy took place this week after a year-long brand redevelopment by Marketforce Marketing Communications.

Gone is the 57-year-old green and white logo and in its place a more contemporary purple and green logo that will feature on shop fronts, new staff uniforms and in a new advertising campaign.

Home has spent close to $1 million developing the brand and will spend almost another $1 million in advertising and implementation, according to Home chief executive David Jones.

“The brand was the same for 57 years and it was ready for a facelift,” Mr Jones said.  “We made the decision last September and we’ve been working on the implementation of that since May.”

The new look is aimed at growing new markets.

“Traditionally, spring time is a good time for mortgage lending and I wanted to be in the market in spring as its not to bad a time to drive revenues,” Mr Jones said. 

“We need to attract a more youthful market. We want the kids and grandkids of our customers to start using us. That’s why we’ve now got Internet banking.”

Other new products include the clipper, breather and smart-e-pants.

The unique names were designed by Marketforce to provide a contemporary look while maintaining strong brand elements, according to Marketforce strategic planning director Debra Shorter.

“A lot of people think banking is too complicated so we’re saying life’s simpler at Home,” Ms Shorter said.

“The three key values are that it’s straight forward, friendly and proactive. That is evident in those new product names and across all of what we are doing.

“We wanted to reinvigorate the brand but not lose some of the strong elements. We wanted to keep the friendly, small, and cheeky non-bank values.”

The star of the three new retail television commercials (complemented by press and radio) are the latest Mini Coopers that zoom around locations in Perth splashed with variations of the company’s new logo.

“They are a terrific icon representing small, innovative, flexible, cheeky and efficient,” Ms Shorter said.

“They are the cars that the mobile lenders use and they become an ambient media.”

The 10-week television campaign first aired on Sunday evening and along with corporate branding ads will feature product commercials.

Complementing the TV, press and radio campaign is a rebadging or renovation of Home’s 20 branches, which will take place over the next 18 months.

Ms Shorter said involvement from staff had been critical to the new brand development and its current deployment. 

“The most interesting part for me was the involvement of staff very early on in the process,” she said.

“A lot of the time marketing people go away and come back with new themes and values and we were very keen not to do that and to involve the staff.

 “I worked with 105 staff members to develop the brand values and to workshop ideas. The staff have a good understanding of the customer base and they could align with brand values.”

Ms Shorter believes advertisers will increasingly work closer with human resource departments.

“People inside the organisation need to identify and understand what behaviour delivers the [brand] values,” she said. “So if the brand value is friendly, what do the staff have to do and how do they do that?

“I worked directly with the [Home] HR manager and that hasn’t been done significantly before. It is a trend of the future.”

Mr Jones said having Marketforce working on the project from concept to execution was part of a strategy to reduce the level of strategic partners.

“I don’t believe in having a number of major partners. We want to have a lesser number of those and Marketforce was an ideal partner for us because they could do multiple functions.”

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