How do youfuture‑proofa bank?

Zürcher Kantonalbank Newer banks have an easier time in inspiring tech-savvy customers with innovations. But how do you bring Zürcher Kantonalbank, a venerable, 150-year-old bank – the fourth largest in Switzerland – into the digital age? How do you help an institution that plays such an important role in society (a full-service bank for all types of personal and business clients, from students to millionaires) transition effectively?

  • Brand & marketing strategy
  • Positioning / identity
  • Change management & culture
  • Corporate design
  • Digital / UX / UI design
  • Digital products / AR / VR
Understanding customers better

Together with Zürcher Kantonalbank, we conducted a survey on market and customer requirements to examine the bank’s potential future role. How relevant are digital tools to society? To what extent can the bank modernise and still remain a trusted financial partner to its clients?

Our approach, using the quantitative and qualitative RepGrid® opinion study, proved to be a valuable source of information. It provided valid insights on the brand and its competition, as well as sound findings on credible and differentiating brand content. The results of the research provided the basis for the development of the brand and strategic principles, the analysis, optimisation and support for the change process, as well as for brand and company images.

Banking is one of the most exciting fields at the moment.
Video Vera Schnitzlein, Head of Strategy KMS TEAM, on developing the strategy for Zürcher Kantonalbank
070 kms team zkb monica dreyer4 1 1

Monica Dreyer, Brand Management and Strategic Marketing Director at Zürcher Kantonalbank, describes the primary goals of the relaunch: »One major issue in the development process was to digitise our offers across all channels, and make them more flexible. Our brand is one of the keys to success here. With KMS TEAM, we found a partner who quickly got up to speed and worked as an integral part of our team.«

Leading the way among 437 competitors

Countless fintechs in Switzerland are bombarding banking customers with innovative offers – but technology is just one decisive factor in this intense competition. The other is trust. It was important to reimagine Zürcher Kantonalbank in the context of these two essential aspects. We worked closely with the Executive Team to reposition the brand in the highly competitive banking market and translated the vision and brand values into a forward-looking self-image. The brand concept also serves as a strategic management tool internally, helping employees to develop and integrate new products and services.

One major issue in the development process was to digitise our offers across all channels, and make them more flexible. Our brand is one of the keys to success here.

Monica Dreyer

Form follows touchpoint

You can’t manage more complexity with more rules. Instead, you need overarching design principles. This is the simplest way for us to create the most consistent identity for all of the bank’s touch points. The new visual identity of Zürcher Kantonalbank highlights the familiar blue brand color. At the same time, it identifies different moods and connects the trustworthiness of this traditional institution to the appeal of a dynamic banking innovator.

You can’t manage
more complexity
with more rules.

Robert Börsting

Strategy becomes a digital product

One of the main ambassadors of the brand transformation is »frankly«, the first direct offer from Zürcher Kantonalbank. Starting this mobile digital-only product for retirement savings is one way in which the bank fulfills its promise, »Die nahe Bank« (»The Close Bank«): You can’t get any closer than a smartphone in someone’s pocket. We developed the UX/UI for the new tool as well as the name. The public response to the modern, direct »frankly« experience has been very positive so far, serving as a catalyst for the implementation of the new brand identity.

We are breaking new ground in digital marketing with ›frankly‹.
Video Martin Scholl, CEO of Zürcher Kantonalbank, introduces »frankly«.
Banking is necessary,
banks are not.

Bill Gates

Simon Betsch, Managing Partner at KMS TEAM, knows how brands can use digital transformation to their advantage: »The digital transformation is changing society’s habits as well as the strategic factors for success for every company. The banks that see their customers as part of their ecosystem and offer substantial personalised products and services will be successful in the future. We establish brand management as a means of simplifying and facilitating these changes in companies.«

Zürcher Kantonalbank

Zürcher Kantonalbank is Switzerland’s largest cantonal bank and the fourth largest in the country. With balance sheet totals of 167,054 million CHF (2019), over 5,000 employees and 64 branch offices, this full-service bank has an extensive national and international presence. Its portfolio consists of products and services in all conventional business fields, from transactions and deposits, investments, pensions and financing to trade. Zürcher Kantonalbank customers include private individuals, micro-enterprises and start-ups, SMEs, large-scale businesses, public authorities, third-party banks and institutional investors.

Meet the team
  • Kms team vera schnitzlein 01 4 3

    Vera Schnitzlein

    Head of Strategy

  • Kms team robert boersting 01 4 3

    Robert Börsting

    Design Director

Services and results
  • Superior brand recognition and reputation compared to the competition (2019)
  • Consistently high employee motivation and satisfaction
  • Simplified brand management through a principle-based approach
  • Relaunch of over 40 touchpoints
  • Internal brand relaunch achieved in nine months
  • 15 months to the external brand relaunch