Helping financial services brands get ahead. And stay ahead

Well-established players, an unrelenting influx of new entrants, marginal product differentiation, and constant regulatory change – the financial services space is fiercely competitive and unforgiving.

The good news is that if you’re looking to develop sustainable competitive advantage, we can help.

As the leading financial services branding agency for ambitious and purposeful organisations, we’ve been recognised twice as Marketing Partner of the Year at the prestigious British Bank Awards.

For 28 years we’ve been building meaningful brands, crafting distinctive identities, and delivering strategic campaigns that drive measurable returns for our clients.

Whether you’re a dynamic start-up, an organisation looking to scale quickly, or an industry veteran, we’d relish the prospect of doing the same for you.

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A glimpse at our financial services work

In the fight for attention, salience and loyalty, when it comes to financial services branding, the right strategic foundation is what separates the leaders from the thanks-for-comings.

First, we’ll help you define a compelling positioning and an authentic narrative. One that goes beyond what you do and the pursuit of profit. Then we’ll create the verbal and visual assets that cut through the market noise and bring your story to life.

And that’s just the beginning. Every brand touchpoint, every experience, is an opportunity to reinforce and amplify what you stand for and why anyone should care.

We’ll craft insight-led campaigns and communications that make use of that opportunity, ensuring they contribute to building the value of your brand every time.

Brand definition

Work with us and you can be confident your financial services brand is built on the most robust strategic bedrock.

It all starts with defining your brand; bringing absolute clarity to what you stand for and why it matters.

Our proven methodology, honed over time, will guide and challenge you toward a focused and compelling brand position. And this will be the foundation for a brand story that’s both easy to understand and easy to articulate.

Brand discovery

A rigorous exercise in building understanding and gaining insight. Customer, competition, company, context – we leave no stone unturned.

Brand positioning

What do you want your customers to think when they think of you? The goal here is to bring absolute clarity to how you want your financial services brand to be seen.

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Brand articulation

With your positioning defined and your story clear, the challenge is to tell it well – so well, others will want to tell it too.

This requires crafting your brand identity. The image your financial services brand presents to the world. The verbal, visual, and behavioural expression of who you are and what you stand for.

As an agency that’s been creating brand identities for ambitious financial services organisations for years, we’re well placed to help you build a story with transformative potential.

Verbal identity

What you say and how you say it is a huge and often overlooked opportunity to drive brand distinctiveness and build salience. We work with our clients to create brand languages that play as great a role in helping brands stand out as their visual identity.

Visual identity

Together with verbal identity, we’ll ensure your visual branding reflects and reinforces your brand positioning, communicating through distinctive assets (or brand ‘codes’) who you are and what you stand for.

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Brand amplification

From integrated external campaigns to one-off internal communications, all present an opportunity to build salience, trust and brand equity.

And yet few organisations truly recognise this – fewer still in financial services, where a short-term tactical mindset is typically the norm. The key is balance.

We’ll make sure any customer experience fulfils not only its immediate marketing purpose, but also contributes to building long-term brand value.

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Campaign strategy & creative

Dramatising the solution to your customers’ problem in the most engaging and compelling way.

Integrated marketing communications

Insight-driven, joined-up activity, where a multi-channel approach has impact.

Employer branding

Attracting the best employees and making sure they want to stay.

Internal communications

Realising the full potential of all your people pulling in the same direction.

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Really smart, strategic thinkers with an eye for creating differentiation in tough markets.

John Makin-Shaw
Head of Propositions, Travelers

Undoubtedly the best agency I have worked with. They consistently come up with excellent creative and deliver a first class brand message...I urge you to speak with these guys.

Rob Barnard
Intermediary Relationship Director, Pepper Money

Through a rigorous and methodical process they guided us towards razor sharp brand clarity and focus.

Jason Oakley
CEO, All Africa Bank

Quickly formed a good working relationship and they have demonstrated more creativity than any other B2B agency I’ve come across.

Simon Dodd
Senior Marketing Manager, Coventry Building Society

Got questions? Here are a few we’re most frequently asked.

What kind of financial services clients do you work with?

From disruptive start-ups and purposeful scale-ups, to established market-leaders, all our clients have one thing in common – a desire to make a positive difference as well as a return. If that sounds like you, then we’ll be a great fit.

How do I convince others in my organisation that we need to invest in brand?

That’s a common challenge. It’s still pretty rare for brand and marketing to have a seat at the top table. But every category leader knows the value of consistently investing in brand building from day one. If you’re having trouble being heard internally, you’ll need to pull together a compelling business case. Our financial services case studies are a great place to start and we’re always happy to help directly too. We often find the support of an external voice is enough to pique leadership interest and create an appetite for brand development.

What sort of budget will I need to see a return?

No two situations are the same. Our approach to brand creation and brand development is based on a proven and robust methodology. Whilst the process is consistent, the inputs and deliverables may be flexed as necessary to meet different needs and objectives. Whatever stage your organisation is at, we can support you, starting with an initial chat. And if we don’t think we can help, we’ll be sure to recommend alternatives.

How is mark-making* different from other agencies?

Our clients tell us that what makes us different as a financial services branding agency is a combination of our expertise and our culture. We’re the best at what we do and our goal is always to add value. We also recognise the day-to-day stresses our clients are often under, so our focus isn’t just on producing effective work – making our clients’ lives easy is something we’re proud to be known for too. It probably explains the exceptional longevity we have in our client relationships, some now spanning over 20 years.