Shikatani Lacroix was retained to assist in the branding and strategy process that would better leverage how the TD identity could play a greater role in building brand equity, as part of the path to purchase of financial, wealth and insurance products.
TD Brand Strategy
TD Bank Group
In 2008, through the leadership of Shikatani Lacroix, TD embarked on a review of their brand architecture and approach, with the ultimate goal of becoming a stronger branded house. Shikatani Lacroix was retained to assist in the branding and strategy process that would better leverage how their identity could play a greater role in building brand equity, as part of the path to purchase of financial, wealth and insurance products.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 22 million customers in four key businesses, operating in a number of locations in financial centers around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Auto Finance Canada; Wealth and Insurance, including TD Wealth, TD Direct Investing, an investment in TD Ameritrade, and TD Insurance; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, and TD Auto Finance U.S.; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with approximately 8 million active online and mobile customers.
TD Bank Group had grown significantly through the acquisition of various institutions, with their unique operating nomenclature that has led to a wide range of brand name usages, from TD Canada Trust and TD Waterhouse in Canada, to TD Ameritrade and TD Banknorth in the U.S. The sub-brand approach was not consistent, with some names reflecting a category descriptor such as TD Insurance, while others reflected the original name of the acquired identity. The TD Shield was also inconsistently applied across the brand touch-points, potentially leading to a dilution of the brand equity. As part of their goal to grow the presence of TD through regional acquisitions, it became paramount to clearly identify the best use of the identity across the various moments of truth. Adding to the wide range of sub-brand applications was the lack of a consistent position and value proposition that jeopardized the ability of TD owning a unique brand position in what was perceived as an undifferentiated category. The lack of a consistent brand position fuelled greater cultural differences found between the operating business units.
Alignment of the visual metaphors to help define the TD brand story
For the TD brand, phase one involved the following:
- In-depth review and evaluation of the current competitive marketplace and best-in-class branding and merchandising initiatives
- Identifying the key target groups
- Review of the various business units and their specific marketing and branding needs
- Identifying the need states and purchasing habits of this consumer segment, with regard to the banking, wealth management and insurance categories
- Understanding and probing shop-ability and path to purchase needs for the category
- front line staff insights on challenges facing the brand at the retail level and as part of the sell-in process
- TD’s corporate identity, including the use of the TD shield, were inconsistent from business unit to business unit, and across marketing campaigns
- Brand nomenclature and architecture were also fragmented, with certain divisions having descriptor names, such as Wealth, while others were using sub-brand names such as Waterhouse
- TD’s branch experience and marketing material were now fifteen years old and looked dated
- TD merchandising included 87 product specific brochures, which represented a significant multi-million dollar investment, of which only four had any level of usage by customers
- Location and effectiveness of merchandising units within the branch network were not being noticed or used effectively
- Existing in-branch posters had low recall or message retention, as they were too busy and visually cluttered
A critical facet of any branding initiative is the ability to clearly define the core emotional equities of the brand that will allow the organization to evaluate and support a significant change. Our alignment process allows the use of visual metaphors to help define the TD brand story and key equity levers that would allow a seamless and coherent execution. In the case of TD, which had won the JD Powers customer satisfaction amongst North American banks for seven executive years, there was a need to educate the organization on the importance of a “less is more” strategy for the brand and how it was being delivered at each moment of truth. From the input at the session, Shikatani Lacroix developed a management presentation that outlined the future vision of the bank and the factors that would allow it to achieve a coherent strategy. The design team developed a range of ideas for how the advertising and marketing material would be fully integrated, in addition to how this would translate into a unique branded experience within their branch retail network. For TD, phase two involved the following:
- Development of a new corporate identity, with supporting standards and effective nomenclature
- Identification of a branch digital signing and merchandising strategy and the selection of both software and hardware suppliers
- Design of all aspects of the new brand identity program which included both U.S. and Canada operations
- Development of a new branch of the future program and assistance in the integration across their retail assets
- Integration of the new identity to office design, sponsorship programs and wealth management strategies
- Development of a wealth management branded experience for their self-directed investment customers
- Implementation of innovative initiatives, such as seven day banking launch in addition to their coin counting and children’s play areas
- Continued role as brand consultant on all aspects of how the identity impacts marketing and communication strategies
In support of a cohesive brand implementation and consistent messaging at each brand moment of truth, our design team explored a range of additional touch points that needed to reflect the new direction for the brand. These new touch points included the development of “Comfort Zones” as part of the bank”s sponsorship of the Toronto Blue Jays, Canada’s only major league baseball team. The biggest success has been the ability to gain alignment and support across the entire organization in support of the new brand strategy. TD continues to own the “Comfort” position that endures, differentiating this organization in a very competitive marketplace. Shikatani Lacroix continues to act as TD’s brand strategy and design agency, working on daily implementation issues that arise as the program is introduced across a global network of offices and retail branches.