Sterling Bank partnered with us to reimagine their brand strategy by capturing and telling the story of their commitment to those they serve and the loyalty of their customers.

Sterling Bank serves clients in the Pacific Northwest and California. As they emerged from the 2008 financial turmoil as one of the best-capitalized banks in the region, they knew it was time to update how they should be perceived in the marketplace. We worked together with leadership to craft a brand strategy that provided three things:

  • A brand promise that motivated employees and connected with customers.
  • Differentiation in a market jam-packed with look-a-like competitors.
  • A warm online banking experience that supported their business goals.
A brand based on great service

The heart of the bank’s revitalized brand is at the intersection of Sterling Bank’s demonstrated commitment to those they serve and the loyalty of their customers. The evolved brand platform—the bank’s purpose, promise, values and unique voice—was clearly defined and now provides a consistent foundation for action and communication, inspiring employees and engaging customers across five states.

Creating visual differentiation

We replaced Sterling’s decades-old logo with a mark that is distinctive, optimistic and contemporary. To create an emotional connection with customers and remind them that Sterling Bank has a local connection that national banks can’t match, we created a library of original photography highlighting customers, employees and the regions they serve.

Streamlining online business

The new Sterling website delivers a brand experience consistent with the warm welcome and fast service customers receive in the bank’s branches, while also creating opportunities to cross-sell products and encourage prospects to switch banks. Carefully constructed information architecture and usability testing allowed us to create a site that allows for the bank’s growth and delivers the personal service that satisfies customers.

Introducing an integrated brand

In the days leading up to the launch of the new Sterling Bank brand in March 2012, we crafted a strategy to create internal brand alignment and turn every employee into a brand evangelist. We worked closely with Sterling’s ad agency and architecture firm to ensure everything from TV advertising to branch interiors reflected the bank’s brand promise.