Full rebrand of broker-facing mortgage lender Freedom Lending, to Wave, following acquisition by Merrill Lynch. The end to end project required research and brand definition, brand strategy, name generation and concept development, staff engagement, through to internal and external launch activity, and ultimately implementation across all brand touchpoints.
The name Wave was inspired by the concept of being in tune with the needs of their intermediary audience, i.e. on the same wavelength. The look, feel and tone of the new identity was been developed to communicate approachability and credibility, whilst emphasising the people focus, central to the Wave proposition.
An interesting and unusual element to this project was the need for secrecy, to ensure maximum impact at launch of the new brand. In order to maintain secrecy, Wave staff were only exposed to the new brand hours before launch to market. This did present a significant engagement challenge that as a client and agency team we were able to successfully address by regularly and clearly communicating with staff throughout the process, involving them through competitions (guess the name), and with a ‘big splash’ internal launch event with rewards for the employees’ patience and understanding.
The results of the rebrand and launch campaign were extremely positive. 3 weeks following the launch of the new brand identity, research was undertaken by NMG to measure awareness amongst brokers of the new Wave branding, with excellent results. The research reported that: “6 in 10 respondents spontaneously claimed to know the new name for Freedom Lending; quite remarkably all of these correctly identified this as ‘Wave’”.
In addition, website hits rose by 370% in the 3 months following the brand launch and new broker registrations showed a 165% increase over the same period in the previous year.
The work was commended in the ‘Best Integrated B2B Campaign’ category at the Financial Services Forum Awards for marketing effectiveness.