EVOLVING A BELOVED BRAND

Case Study, Posted on November 10, 2017

Everything BECU does is inspired by its members and employees, who proudly show their love for the brand every day. Founded in 1935 by a group of 18 Boeing factory workers, they’re now over 1 million members strong and growing. In a world where affinity for financial institutions is fading, BECU is a shining example of what’s possible when people and community come first. As a longtime brand strategy partner, we were asked to evolve the identity to modernize the brand to help it stand out and better extend to multiple environments.

“By investing the time to deeply understand BECU’s values and our people helping people philosophy, Phinney Bischoff successfully created a refreshed brand identity that captures who we are as an organization and our commitment to our members.”

– Tom Berquist, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Cooperative Affairs

PEOPLE FIRST DESIGN

It was important that our process honored BECU’s commitment to its members, as well as its rich heritage. We began with extensive research to gather multiple perspectives. Inspired by our philosophy of “people first design,” we hosted numerous workshops with BECU members and the leadership team to better understand how audiences experience and perceive the brand. We visited BECU financial centers across Puget Sound and observed how members physically move through and interact with each other inside of those spaces. And we looked at other financial institutions to learn ways in which BECU stands out. We then distilled those insights into an updated brand platform and developed a messaging framework that emphasized membership, financial health and community involvement as key pillars.  

With those foundational tools as our guide, our design team explored a variety of creative concepts, closely collaborating with BECU stakeholders along the way to ensure strategic alignment with the brand platform. Once the design was finalized, we partnered with BECU teams across marketing, retail, and digital to bring the new brand to life across various touch points.

INSPIRED BY THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

We set out to create a design that was modern, approachable and timeless, and that could support BECU’s continued expansion and growing presence into digital and physical environments. The scripted “E” of the original logo, created to give special emphasis to Boeing employees, was given equal weight as the other letters to reflect the broader population of Washington state residents that BECU now serves. Our design also gives a nod to its heritage, as shown by the continued use of BECU's signature red and shape of the logo itself.

Phinney Bischoff is honored to have been part of BECU’s journey and evolution over the last 12 years. We are thrilled to continue our partnership as the new brand takes hold in Puget Sound and beyond.

BECU Logo Before

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BECU Logo After


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NEW LOOK. NEW ERA.

A vibrant refresh of BECU’s signature red color carries forward the equity and authenticity of the brand. Its capital letters are easy to read and convey confidence and trust.

FLEXIBLE AND FRESH.

The vertical lines add clarity to the BECU name while allowing flexibility with various formats. This is especially important as they expand into new markets.

AN EMPHASIS ON “U.”

The rounded corner accentuates the “U.” This subtle yet purposeful design element adds more inclusivity to the brand in an approachable and welcoming manner.

SHARING THE STORY

Since the new brand reflects the community, it was only fitting that they be included in the launch. To create excitement, we produced videos that captured the spirit of BECU and its new identity, a custom landing page on the BECU website and a set of branded souvenirs that were waiting for employees as they arrived on launch day.

TEASER CAMPAIGN

A fun internal video to provide employees with a sneak peek of the logo a month in advance of launch

BRAND IDENTITY VIDEO

A video that shares the inspiration for the change and highlights the importance of members to BECU.

LANDING PAGE

A web page containing more details about the design inspiration and FAQs for members interested in learning how the change impacts their experience.

EMPLOYEE DESK DROP

A collection of branded items for employees to proudly wear or display, including a folding poster with inspirational messaging.

Extending the Brand

To round out the identity, we developed a visual language with an expanded color palette, fresh typography, icon library and an original illustration style that captures the warmth and friendliness of BECU. We also experimented with a range of sample applications to ensure flexibility and ease of use across a range of touchpoints.