Vnesheconombank’s new brand
Major reinvention of Vnesheconombank: reasons and objectives as seen by Vladimir Dmitriev, Chairman of Vnesheconombank.
— What are the reasons for rebranding Vnesheconombank?
— To answer this question, let me get a little bit back to the roots of the current changes. VEB traces its history back to 1924. Throughout its history, the Bank, seeking to rise to the challenges, accomplished objectives that helped develop the economic potential of the country. The Russian Commercial Bank, the Bank for Foreign Trade of the USSR, the Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of the USSR – all these are the names of our Bank that embody our accomplishments, our experience and expertise. Since 2007, Vnesheconombank has been the national development institution. The Bank’s team has brought about a number of significant and consistent transformations in order to perform today’s primary function of VEB, i.e. the function of the Bank for Development. In particular, the Bank adopted a package of organisational decisions, updated the regulatory framework, established field-specific divisions and commenced to build up the VEB Group.
The year 2014 is a crucial milestone in this process. In its jubilee year, the Bank presents its Development Strategy 2020 designed to open up new development horizons and provide all the VEB Group members with the basis to deliver new agendas and ideas.
In other words, today VEB does not start but rather completes the strategic process of transformations initiated in 2007. Obviously, graphic changes would help harmonise the Bank’s image with today’s realities. It is a part of our major project.
— What are your goals at this stage of rebranding?
— The way we see it, our primary goal is to build a common, consistent and, most importantly, a coherent and market-friendly communication framework for the VEB Group. We expect to use the synergy of all the VEB Group participants in order to create, in a relatively short period of time, a really strong single brand for the national development institution. More logical and coherent association based on the streamlined and distinct principles of integration or division of activities would enable the Group’s participants to better contribute to the common brand while preserving their unique character.
What do we see now? Due to rapid growth of the VEB Group, its participants lack uniformity: companies of the same competence level differ in stylistics, in positioning themselves and some of them show no association with the Group whatsoever. All these factors impede communication and prevent the Russian business from properly understanding the opportunities offered by our subsidiaries.
— How are going to address this problem?
— We intend to bolster the parent bank’s authority in the overall control system. A revamped and single brand identity for all the companies comprising the VEB Group implies all the participants’ commitment to pursue a single corporate management policy, in particular, in terms of the image and communication management. More specifically, we have established a single ideological brand platform and corporate identity. For us, it is of prime importance since despite the fact that all the banks and companies of the VEB Group perform different functions in the Russian market, all of them seek to accomplish a common strategic objective, i.e. to ensure Russia’s economic growth. At this point, no vague standards are admissible.
— Why couldn’t it be done with the Bank’s former brand identity?
— Obviously, the visual concept of the former logo has become outdated and ceased to serve our ambitious goals. We are eager to be easily recognizable, up-to-date and vigorous. To this end, we need the graphic solutions to be simple, transparent and evolving. Given the magnitude of our objectives, we should cater not only for the Russian-speaking audience but also for the foreign partners who are more accustomed to perceive information in Latin characters. Unfortunately, our old logo significantly impeded such communication.
— So, Vnesheconombank, VEB, Bank for Development – which one is the correct name of the Bank?
— All the three names are equally correct but their functional areas are different. As I have already said, the Bank for Development is our primary function we have been performing since 2007. Vnesheconombank is our current short legal name. As for VEB, there is nothing revolutionary about this abbreviation: it has been used both by us and mass media for years. Many companies including state corporations have already chosen to change their legal names into the short ones, such as Rostech, for example. As for us, we have been using and will continue to use the abbreviated name in our logo.
— What was the decision making process like in selecting a new logo?
— As in case of any business decision, our choice was guided by two criteria: it had to be justified and well-thought-out. We were eager to maintain continuity and generate new motivation for moving forward. I think we have succeeded. We have kept the color scheme and abbreviation and even restored the historic form of the 1988 logo liner. At the same time, the overall impression of the graphic design has significantly changed to become up-to-date and dynamic. I must admit that not everyone has fallen in love with the new logo at first sight. The Board engaged in very emotional discussions of all the creative solutions. Today, even if anyone still has inner doubts, I would say for myself: since 2007, we have changed the immediate environment so that now it makes us change in order to move forward.
Interview with Vladimir Dmitriev, Chairman of Vnesheconombank, for the corporate magazine ‘Bank for Development’
One of the important stages of the rebranding project was the creation of a logical, consistent and, most importantly, a coherent and market-friendly communication framework for the VEB Group based on a professionally designed and managed brand portfolio. At the bid stage, having analysed the existing brand matrix, the agencies came to the conclusion that certain adjustments were required.
Old brand architecture
The old architecture model lacked structure and an articulate system for attributing the subsidiaries’ brands to the respective architecture level and to the Group.
Communication of the subsidiaries does not reveal their affiliation with the Group since each company has its own brand mark and corporate identity.
New brand architecture
The major advantage of the updated brand matrix is the image synergy enabling to:
- Demonstrate the obvious interrelation between the parent company and its subsidiaries;
- Give power and authority to each competence center of the Group;
- Facilitate new competence centers, as and when these are established, in entering the communication space.
A common solid brand implies a single graphic design – VEB logo – for all the participants of the Group performing the functions of a development bank.
Depending on the competence level, a subsidiary is given either the new logo VEB or identifier The VEB Group. The brand architecture approved by Vnesheconombank’s Board is multilevel. Thus, the first level comprises territorial development competences, i.e. the subsidiaries that actually perform the functions of a development bank in their respective territory of responsibility: VEB Asia, VEB North Caucasus Development Corporation, and VEB Far East Development Fund.
The second level is composed of the so called field-specific subsidiaries, or specialized development competences: VEB Leasing, VEB Capital, VEB Engineering, VEB Innovations, and VEB Federal Center for Project Finance.
The third level includes specialised development bank competences such as VEB SME Bank and VEB Roseximbank. Those assets in the Group’s brand portfolio whose competences do not provide for the functions of a development bank – the so called supported brands – qualify as the fourth architecture level. For communication purposes, these will use the identifier The VEB Group (Globex Bank, Sviaz Bank, BelVEB). Furthermore, the brand architecture comprises such independent companies as EXIAR and RDIF who will demonstrate their affiliation with the VEB Group in verbal communication only.
Communication of the subsidiaries will display their affiliation with the parent brand due to the majority of the VEB Group companies sharing the new corporate identity, which, in its turn, would make the VEB brand recognizable within a relatively short period of time.
(Fr.: perspective, L.: perspicio – to see through) – the technique of representing three-dimensional objects on two-dimensional surfaces with regard for depth relations and effects of such objects distance from the viewer.
The philosophy of the new corporate identity is built around the notion of perspective. The new logo is drawn based on the axonometric projection principles. Axonometric, or parallel perspective unlike linear perspective implies neither scaling-down of objects nor axes convergence in the vanishing point. Skew front isometric projection of a parallelepiped in the mirror image provides the outlines of the new logo and is a key element of the new corporate identity, i.e., the Form. Direction of the lateral faces gives a movement vector from left to right and upwards thus emphasizing the idea of growth and development.
|Single point linear perspective.||Skew front isometric projection of a parallelepiped in the mirror image.|
|The logo form embodies
stability and, at the
same time, dynamic
movement and quest
|The unique type face of the
abbreviation is specifically
tailored for VEB. The design
has characteristic features
adding a touch of style and
individuality to the lettering.
|Descriptor Bank for Development serves to ensure that VEB’s key function is made prominent in communication.|
Core elements of the style: Plane, Form, Intersection and Diagonal are based on the corporate logo graphic.
|Form and text.|
|Form and a photographic image.||Intersection.|
Variability of various core style elements and combination methods makes the style a flexible and convenient tool. The style is open and allows for various combinations of elements and their development.
The Perspective idea is emphasized by the unique photographic style, which is an integral part of the VEB brand. The individual features of the photographic image significantly contribute to the unique positioning of the VEB brand. Key attributes of the photographic style add individuality to the brand image and build up brand awareness. The direction of axes converging in the vanishing point symbolizes the onward progress.
Diagonal lines attach dynamics and a sense of movement forward. Taken together, the graphic concept embodies VEB’s major values: the ongoing development and commitment.
|Converging diagonal lines of perspective add dynamics to the photographic image.|