Barclaycard introduced the first credit card to the UK market in 1966, building a trusted business based on innovation and openness. Almost 50 years on, the industry had changed: confidence in financial institutions had eroded, and technological and regulatory changes encouraged increased competition. Barclaycard also faced its own individual challenges: research had revealed both brand awareness and consideration were low. Competing communications from business units and a static visual identity that lacked moving and sonic tools had resulted in a diluted, detached brand. To compete, Barclaycard needed to change.
To help realise the new business ambition to become ‘the go to brand for payments,’ we began working with senior staff in 2010 on a broad programme of work encompassing brand, innovation and communications.
To reposition from a credit card company to a payment brand, Barclaycard identified several objectives including building credibility in the digital space, deepening customer relationships, leading in payment innovation and growing global reach. Our first step was to refine the brand personality and deliver a single-minded, digital-first visual identity to act as a strong foundation for business growth.
Before working with Moving Brands, we were thinking digital, but we weren’t really digital-first. We thought ‘personality’ was about photography and tone of voice. Moving Brands helped us to think about personality in the widest context: the strategy and the story behind it, and how that links to all the other manifestations of our brand.
Sharon Zimmerli, Head of brand expression, Barclaycard.
Building credibility in the digital space
Barclaycard needed tools to communicate confidently in an increasingly digital space. We transformed a static brand into a digital-first visual identity system, helping build greater coherence by stripping away complexity and giving ‘the open world symbol’, Barclaycard’s signature visual asset, a more prominent role throughout the system. We introduced new identity assets and principles, specifically for motion and interaction, ensuring Barclaycard communications could flex in tone, from informative to inspiring, across all platforms.
Deepening customer relationships
It wasn’t enough for the brand to simply exist in the digital space – it needed to connect with its audience in an authentic, engaging way (research revealed that customers spend over 40% more with payment brands they trust and emotionally engage with). We worked closely with the brand expression team to define the personality of the brand – how Barclaycard looks, speaks and acts. We mapped business and retail customer journeys to identify priority touch points to put these behaviours into action.
To reward and deepen the relationship with valued customers, Barclaycard has ‘Barclaycard Unwind,’ a customer benefit programme. We partnered with the sponsorship and events team to align this offer with the new positioning, communicating the customer value through clearer, more inspiring cross-channel communications. It was launched at ‘British Summer Time’ in Hyde Park – one of many high profile music events Barclaycard sponsor.
Leading payment innovation
Fast-moving competitors and tech startups were eroding Barclaycard’s market share. To help faster and smarter innovation, we were engaged by the Global Innovations team to capture and share relevant technology and social trends with Barclaycard senior leadership. We organised and facilitated workshops to converge brand, marketing, innovation and product teams, mapping out service journeys to create more intuitive customer experiences. We designed an Innovation Centre concept, an ambitious showcase of the business’s innovation pipeline to support sales to enterprise customers, advising on user experience, content and interaction design.
Growing global reach and awareness
With a fit for purpose brand, Barclaycard is able to position itself as an international payment expert. By leveraging the master brand in all expressions, it is growing global brand awareness to support entry into new markets.
The growth strategy includes launching open access offers – products and services available to customers not currently with Barclaycard. Among these are bPay, a mobile payment system, and Bespoke, an offers and voucher platform. Using the design principles established for the master brand, we worked with product teams to build distinct – yet unmistakably Barclaycard – digitally native identities.
The identity system has been launched and embedded through several tools to educate and inspire global stakeholders and practitioners on how Barclaycard looks, speaks and acts. We developed visual identity and brand personality films; toolkits; induction content and workshops for the business and partner agencies; and ongoing creative steering for priority projects.
The new system supports a unified approach to communications, driving equity back to the master brand. It enables Barclaycard to tell more complex, engaging stories with credibility, supporting its ambition to be ‘the go to brand for payments’.