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Russia’s Ural Bank rebrand with a radical new visual identity designed by Mildberry using 3M brand solutions.

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In October 2012. Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development appeared in the Russian financial market with a new brand image. Several factors influenced their decision to review and revise their visual identity. Their customer base needed to see change and new ways of meeting their needs; financial brands, in particular, needed to focus on the provision of better solutions and service to customers, to quickly solve their problems and to be seen to ‘attract’ new customers with an image that was consistent and fitted with values and working methods.

Competition in both commercial and investment banking is, of course, fierce, not only from domestic brands, but increasingly from international ones; no aspect of business could be left unattended for long. In Russia, in the 1990’s, many new brands had been developed which are now looking to build on early success with more sophistication and experience.

A main feature of the rebranding decision for Ural Bank was to not simply update the image in the wake of rapid market change, but also to ensure the success of the new regions and to strengthen the position where the bank had been present for a long time. But also, to promote a growth strategy to 2015 when the number of branches would be multiplied by three, with an expectation of twice the number of customers nationwide and a dramatic increase in operating income.

“We have left the old name, but radically changed the appearance. Rebranding for us means not only a change of signs. We also adjust our value and ways of working. Strive to become brighter, clearer, closer to our customers” stated Ural Bank President, Anton Solovyov.

Following initial customer research and brand audits conducted by Mildberry, both the Bank and the agency approached 3M for technical advice on the best materials to use to enable long term durable solutions for signs, windows and interior environments. High quality solutions were selected to enable the provision of an updated brand as close as possible to the newly developed concept; Moreover, the presence of an extensive regional network, required solutions that could deliver consistency and compliance from branch to branch.

For the exterior branch visual identity, 3M™ Block Out speciality film was specified alongside 3M™ Scotchcal™ inkjet printable graphic film series 40 for other sign aspects; ATM machines were branded with ‘surround graphics’ incorporating 3M™ Scotchcal™ Graphic Film series 3650 and 8520 protective overlaminate; interior brand walls used series 40 again, and finally, internal sign navigation was completed with the use of 3M™ Scotchcal™ Electrocut™ Film series 100, all supported by a 3M Specification and Warranty project guide.