Halifax modernises brand with relaunch: ‘We don’t want to be seen as the old guard’

The bank is overhauling its logo and visual identity, as well as its marketing, in a bid to make the brand more contemporary and relevant amid rising competition from fintech startups.

Halifax is relaunching its brand with an updated logo and visual identity, as well as a new marketing campaign, as it looks to make the brand more contemporary and relevant amid growing competition from fintech companies such as Monzo, Atom and Starling.

Halifax’s ‘X’ logo has been revamped to simplify the design and use bolder colours to ensure it “fits in a digital world” while making use of its heritage. That will be carried through to a new look and feel on collateral used in-stores and online (see below), created by Rufus Leonard.

Alongside this, Halifax is changing creative direction in its advertising and introducing a new tagline ‘Halifax makes it happen’. Gone are the classic TV and film characters such as Top Cat and the Flintstones to be replaced by a campaign that aims to position Halifax as a “can-do brand”.

The TV spot, created by adam&eveDDB, dramatises and celebrates the feeling of excitement that comes with owning a new home. It shows a slinky moving into a new house with its owner and its experience of exploring new rooms.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Richard Warren, director of communications and marketing at Halifax’s owner Lloyds Banking Group, says the relaunch retains Halifax’s positioning as a “friendly, upbeat, human brand” while modernising it.

“[The old campaign] cut through really well and was very well branded. But in terms of the image, we felt we could be a bit more modern. Using those kinds of cartoons is a more classic approach. We felt there was an opportunity to be more contemporary and more modern,” he explains.

“It’s a straightforward brand relaunch building on the equity [of Halifax]. Halifax has always been an upbeat joyful brand and we will absolutely keep that but just do it in a more modern way.”

Halifax makes it happen ad campaign
Halifax will be changing in-store marketing collateral to reflect the new positioning

The mortgage campaign is the first to take on this new brand idea but others will follow that will look to “capture similar feelings”. There is also activity that will sit beneath this campaign where Halifax will talk about how it is making banking easier – from offering advice over the phone to card control and the ability to pay in a cheque via its mobile app.

Warren says this represents a bank acting with “more confidence” and putting customer needs first.

“We’re more confident that we’re meeting our customers’ needs and the fintechs coming in has helps us in terms of everyone is competing a lot more intensely than has been the case before and that’s forced banks to be innovative and do more things for their customers,” says Warren.

“I work on Lloyds, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and across all our brands now we’re communicating the much more innovative experiences we are offering customers. It’s a more halcyon era of bank marketing.”

While many brands might relaunch when things aren’t going well, at Halifax “nothing is broken”. According to YouGov BrandIndex, consumer perceptions of the brand put it among the top three banking brands, while it also comes first or second in terms of consideration and purchase intent.

Halifax wants to keep that awareness score high while seeing the brand modernise. And it wants to “deepen relationships” with customers so they take out more than one of its products, as much as it wants to recruit new customers.

Warren concludes: “There’s nothing broken, we just think with all the fintechs, people like Monzo and Atom and Starling, it’s incredibly important that you don’t be seen as the old guard and you keep as relevant, contemporary and modern as you possibly can.”

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