Unity Bank is a story of fairness; of togetherness. And the story of Unity Bank is unique. 53 years ago, 2000 ‘wharfies’ met in Sydney’s Town Hall and cast their vote: a vote for a better, fairer, more representative financial system. 2000 people cast a vote for a bank that treated people like human beings, lent money on fairer terms, a bank that returned profits to its members, rather than its shareholders. And the identity of honest, earnest camaraderie and support and respect remained defining of the Unity Bank business. And the legacy of those 2000 hands continued to influence the services and products Unity Bank offered today. However, this story wasn’t reflected in the brand's visual or verbal expression.
And this wasn’t unique to Unity Bank. Over the years, and in an effort to compete with traditional finance institutions, the mutual and member owned category lost sight of what made it so special, and relevant. The category all looked the same, all sounded the same and all traded the same messaging. The category was reactive, and the value of being a mutual-bank had become meaningless - the intention of those 2000 workers had been lost.
We worked with Unity Bank to remind them that what they offer is more important, and more relevant than it had ever been; that the values of mutual finance were needed in today’s world; and that the attitudes of today’s young people, particularly, align much more closely with what Unity Bank offered, than what was currently on offer by the ‘big four’ or the new ‘fintechs’.
We started by developing the brand’s proposition as The Bank that Works for Workers, and we created a visual system around it. We brought back the original image of the vote in 1970, and used this to inform the creative direction of the brand, to inspire its new essence. We used black and white imagery to create an equality of industry - to place each worker in the same context. And we developed a ‘wrapped’ visual system - a teal banner (an accent colour from the previous brand) that fully included its subject, as a subtle nod to support. And with this visual system in place, we rolled it out.