Two regionals forge global keys
A use of identity, by a leader
New: UBS identity system
Launched: Announced 10/29/97, traded 12/18
Formerly: Swiss Bank Corporation and Union Bank of Switzerland
Story in brief:
The new bank created from the merger of Swiss Bank Corporation and Union Bank of Switzerland shows how well an integration of brands can work, in skillful hands. When one partner has a distinctive freestanding symbol and the other a sufficiently distinctive name, sometimes the best of both identities can be combined.
Chairman Alex Krauer and CEO Marcel Ospel were determined that their combination, to remain competitive, must immediately establish its new presence as a global player. Aggressively advertised, this logo does it.
C.E.O. - Chairman Alex Krauer
and CEO Marcel Ospel
Identity counsel and design - Interbrand
The visual system is quite elegant -- linking redesigned black keys to the bold red names of the parent UBS, or sub-brands like Warburg Dillon Read, UBS Brinson, UBS Capital. Incidentally, this case illustrates three of the strategic functions of a freestanding symbol:
- First, the keys convey the Swiss Bank equity visually, so the name did not have to be dragged along as well.
- Second, they visually over-brand subsidiaries like Warburg Dillon Read who can thus retain their own valued brand names, reducing the need for cumbersome verbal tags like "a UBS company."
- Third, the symbol compensates for a functional but boring name; it would be difficult to design an equally effective yet still straightforward UBS wordmark.