New: Company, name, and visual
Launched: 2 March, 2011
Story in brief:
"Bankia" is the newly-named merger of seven regional
Spanish savings banks, to become Spain's third-ranking banking
institution, and with a 10% share, a claim to leadership in
domestic business. It all came together in just four months,
from contract signing last 30 June to legal incorporation 3
December. From there, it was just three more months to the
2 March identity launch – so
Interbrand's naming and design teams, managed from its Madrid
office, had to move fast.
Bankia is justifiably proud to have come upon a name so "simple,
direct, dynamic" ... and just different enough to be ownable.
It is an instant powerbrand.
But the story of this new brand is not really a naming story,
even less a design story -- it is an intellectual property coup.
"Bankia" was the favored name among 100 finalists presented by
Interbrand. It is so preemptive; how could it possibly be
available? Preliminary search revealed it to have been registered to
a Bankia Bank founded in Norway in 2001, but then acquired by
Santandar in 2005. That was the year Santandar went monolithic,
rebranding subsidiaries like Abbey (and Bankia) as Santandar.
Well, European Union law says that a trademark unused for five years
is void – so sometime in 2010, "Bankia"
became fair game. Nailing it was a brilliant stroke of good
Given a short and distinctive name to work with, the logo
designer is well advised to make the name the hero, rather than
distracting the eye and mind with a symbol. That's why Borja Borrero,
Interbrand's creative director, recommended a wordmark. This one is
relatively straightforward, with gently serifed letterforms, a
distinctive B, plus an N-K ligature. Its visual impact relies
on color, more than form – a bright lime
green that Bankia can own in the category, often to be used on a
dark 'mahogony' field.
Here's the three-minute
identity launch film, introduced by Rato on 2 March. In the
following week, banners or posters appeared at over 4,000 branches
and 7,500 ATMs, kicking off a gradual process of migration from the
seven reginoal brands. On 16 March a month-long multimedia
advertising blast began, introducing "the first bank in the new age
Launch event 2 March, at Valencia's Palace of the Arts
C.E.O. - Rodrige Rato, Presidente Ejetutivo
Naming & design - Interbrand
(Madrid); creative director Borja Borrero
Strategy: A good fit of identity
planning (including the assertive launch campaign) to an aggressive
business strategy, both characterized by "thinking big" and moving
Naming: Brilliant, or just lucky? Doesn't matter.
Design: Lively and friendly and
functionally effective (though for me, esthetically less so;
the B and NK compete for attention, also clash in personality; the B
feels softly 'Moderne,' the NK ligature more starkly Modern).
CEO Rodrigo Rato
another NK ligature...