'Unbanking' a bank

A global design exercise at all touchpoints brought the ING brand in line with the new strategic brand positioning.

  • Visual Identity
  • Photography
  • UX Design

‘do your thing’
In 2020 ING introduced its new strategic positioning with the tagline ‘do your thing’. In doing so, the bank distances itself from the stereotypical image of a bank. The world of people does not revolve around finance. It is about opportunities, possibilities and the freedom to give shape and content to your own life. And ING is there to enable you to get the best out of yourself.

A unique global photography style
The collaboration started in 2019 with the task to develop a global photography style. Through multiple creative workshops with ING Global and a team of their local markets, we explored the potential of ‘do your thing’ and translated it into a unique and exclusive style. By targeting emotions instead of subjects or products, we are able to build an image gallery with a very broad range of use.

Strong collaboration is needed to continuously extend the global image library. Finding that image that has just the ‘right feeling’, takes a trained eye and a well-orchestrated process. In close collaboration, and constant exchange with ING Global and their international markets, we ensure a different look and feel of each market’s cultures and lifestyles.

Besides online searches, we also produce bespoke content that has a ‘lucky shot’ feel to it. It’s a very fine line, but our in-house photographer and selected photographers across the markets know exactly how to set the tone.

Smart and future-ready
To serve ING with a continues stream of lucky shots, we set in place structures and processes that are smartly built and future ready. Every month the ING image library is expanded with fresh photography. In collaboration with ING marketeers, we developed a suitable taxonomy of categories and keywords that help find imagery representing the message they intend to get across.

Through a constantly maintained service desk, ING markets can also contact us for specific image requests at all times. We also verify, train and supervise photographers from different countries to produce on-brand content for local needs.

To provide quality on short notice, we are training and using AI to recognize the photography style and analyze the emotional perception of content. This way we can support the decision process and increase efficiency.

A strategic design partner
Setting a high standard for the brand does not stop at the photography style. The new global brand direction of ING should resonate through the whole branding experience. It’s our task to continuously evolve the brand and Visual Identity. We do so together with global and local experts from ING. Throughout the year we organize and moderate sessions to identify and improve areas in the existing VI system and guidelines.

As local communication styles differ and challenge the VI and brand, we developed a brand experience formula to create a system and hierarchy for the use of design through different levels of communication. Benchmark designs on touchpoint level and ready to use templates inspire and facilitate the implementation.

To bridge the gap between design and content, playbooks are developed as a guideline for different segments within ING to showcase how to bring the brand to life in communication around products and services.

Total Design is that rare creative challenger that drives us to show that we are unlike other banks, daring us to stand out.

— Tom Prakke – Global Lead Brand Experience ING.

Do you want to know more about this case? Please get in contact with Stephan.