A BRIGHT NEW RUSSIAN BANK
The Russian banking market is largely focused on those living in the largest of cities. Inhabitants of smaller towns and cities were neglected, with few retail banks or services designed specifically for their needs. VTB, one of Russia’s biggest banking groups identified a gap in the market for a friendlier, more family-orientated banking service catering for those living in the provinces.
IMAGINE A BANK THAT DOESN’T FEEL, ACT OR BEHAVE LIKE A BANK
From the outset, the intention was create a fresh new kind of bank experience for customers. Something that could match the modern aspirations of Russian families, whilst simultaneously providing the approachable and personal service they valued from their local high streets. In a market where banks sold products to people who didn’t need or understood them, trust, integrity, openness and transparency would become essential ingredients.
We began by imagining a bank that talked like its customers, not the impenetrable and misleading language of other banks. We wanted it to feel refreshingly human and natural, a place where customers would be respected and made to feel welcome, and be reassured that the bank was always acting in their best interests. In fact, we imagined a bank that didn’t feel, act or behave like a bank.
EXPRESSING THE WARMTH OF AN OPEN, HONEST RELATIONSHIP
We wanted the image of the new bank to be associated with brightness and warmth to clearly set it apart from the austere image associated with other banks. In Russian the word ‘leto’ means summer and as the name for the bank it created the perfect platform on which to develop a highly distinctive brand personality and customer experience.
A bold circular graphic was created to symbolize the open relationship and bond the bank desired to have with its customers. This was further expressed through the connected typography within the logotype and the coupling hands symbolised within the bank’s symbol. With a bright red injecting just the right amount of warmth, the final effect when implemented across customer collateral, communications and branch environments was both simple and striking.
NOW A TOP 10 BRAND
In 2014, Forbes business Magazine selected Leto Bank as one of Russia’s top 10 new brands, highlighting its differentiating brand strategy, name, visual assets and interiors concepts as key contributors to the bank’s significant gains in portfolio size.
In 2013, Leto Bank opened 272 branches in 161 cities across Russia, and 540,000 Russians used its services. By the end of 2014, it has continued to grow, expanding to 550 branches and over 700,000 customers now use its services.
JUST SO WE ARE CLEAR
Not all of our experience has been gained as Robin.
So far, most of our stories, such as Leto, were achieved during our time at Brand Union and Wolff Olins, where between us we spent the best part of 30 years.