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When three of Bahrain’s leading Islamic investment banks decided to merge, Vision was tasked with developing the new brand. From strategy to naming, visual identity to staff communications, we worked closely with the three stakeholders throughout, to develop an iconic new identity.

Mergers and acquisitions always throw up branding issues that need to be taken into account as early as possible in the process. We have advised on such issues before, but this project was something different – there was no surviving brand, so we were tasked with developing an entirely new identity from scratch.

The process started with research to gain understanding and discover differentiation. We interviewed key stakeholders of all three entities and reviewed the brand identities, websites, key words and taglines of over 140 local and international investment firms. Armed with this knowledge, we developed a strikingly simple positioning statement, values, tone of voice and essence of ‘Investment ingenuity’, positioning the bank as a leading provider of rewarding, intelligent and easy to understand investment opportunities for stakeholders.

With the strategy in place, we ran a workshop on naming and explored thousands of possibilities, gradually narrowing the list down to a small number which were tested and checked for relevance, impact and availability. Through this exhaustive logical process, the name ‘Ibdar Bank’ was finally chosen – an old Arabic word that means the illumination provided by the moon, reflecting the bright illumination and enlightenment that the bank provides through its investment services.

A leading name needs a leading icon. Logo development began with Arabic shapes that capture the effects of light, with colours that reflect a shining moon. Through several iterations, we struck on a final symbol that radiates outward with bright, illuminating light. With a custom namestyle in both English and Arabic, the final logo came together to convey the tone of voice perfectly: striking; intelligent; professional; succinct and interesting. A full brand identity manual was also developed, along with a corporate profile, simple website and staff guide.

The end result is a highly distinct visual identity with a real story behind it, for a new investment bank with global potential.

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