Nationwide rebrands for first time in nearly 40 years

The building society is also launching a new brand platform as it looks to stand itself apart from its bigger, more traditional rivals.

Nationwide has overhauled its brand identity for the first time in 36 years, as it looks to position itself as a “modern and confident challenger to the big banks”.

The building society describes the rebrand as the “most significant brand refresh since 1987”.

At the same time it is launching a new brand platform, ‘A good way to bank’, in an attempt to highlight how it is different from its bigger banking rivals.

The first ad to launch under the platform highlights Nationwide’s commitment to keeping stores open. It stars actor Dominic West as an old-school bank manager of a fictional competitor bank who is shown to disregard the wants and needs of customers.

“This campaign marks a new chapter for Nationwide as a modern and confident challenger to the big banks,” says Richard Warren, director of brand marketing and experience at Nationwide. “We don’t have shareholders, so we can focus entirely on our customers and doing what’s right for them.”

The campaign underlines Nationwide’s promise not to leave any town or city where it currently has stores until at least 2026.

The thrust of the campaign is based upon research by the building society, which finds around two-thirds of people (63%) value their local branch. It cites a statistic that 40% of respondents believe face-to-face service is the main reason they value local branches.

“I believe the new campaign will resonate with everyone who feels that too often today big corporations fail to act in their customers’ best interests,” adds Warren.

In addition to the TV spot, the campaign also features new creative in print, out-of-home (OOH) ads and audio ads across podcasts including The Rest is Politics and The Rest is Money. These activations will be rolled out across early October to coincide with the hero spot going live during the Great British Bake Off tomorrow (10 October).

Nationwide: We want our brand to come out of this stronger than it went in

Nationwide’s new brand identity is front and centre in the new campaign, and is currently being rolled out to its 605 high street locations.

The wider refresh has been ongoing since last year, when the bank’s long-standing ‘Voices’ campaign was retired after a creative review. It followed the departure of its CMO Sara Bennison, who had been in the role since 2016. At the time of her departure she noted that, while membership was still at the core of its marketing approach, the brand was poised to “turn a page”.

Lloyd’s former chief customer officer Catherine Kehoe replaced Bennison in the newly-created dual role of chief marketing and corporate affairs officer.

The redesign and advertising creative has been developed by New Commercial Arts. In concert, the media strategy has been conducted by Wavemaker UK, which has been working with Nationwide since 2016.