Research showed that audiences (and employees) saw Westpac as a big, corporate bank: confident, established, solid, and astute. Yet they had projected themselves as warm, helpful and empathetic. It was time to ‘hug the truth’. Westpac needed to be a bank that would give people the financial confidence to take action. Our challenge was to design a brand identity system that would express this confidence. And secondly drive belief internally in the new brand engaging over 5,000 staff. We had six months to disrupt the existing culture, educate and motivate all employees.
The external actions of Westpac needed to be aligned with its internal culture, and with a brand identity that resonates with authenticity. The plan was for change to evolve through the people first. A phased ‘Internal Brand Transformation’ roll out started with GM engagement, then team education and excitement – understanding the brand, sharing in the buzz, knowing that change is coming, well before the external brand launch.
Internal brand engagement wasn’t measured at individual KPI level but at tribal level, with the goal to create organic ground swell versus obligation. Engagement exploded on Yammer with 95% positive feedback internally, a good start to a new way of thinking at Westpac ahead of the brand launch. Reflecting this change, we developed the brand identity with an injection of life, a broader colour palette and strengthened core elements. The system is strong, resonates confidence and was launched to the external market in February 2016.