What does Zalando have to do with a bank? How appealing is innovation in the financial sector? And what do we really expect from our local bank? Our approach was to thoroughly explore user expectations and attitudes in the face of new technologies and societal changes, including analyses of the market, research on the trends and, most importantly, listening to people – to fully understand their thoughts about banking. 

An opinion study on finance, for example, described people's expectations of the bank as an entity. There is still a palpable loss of trust in anonymous, global institutions one decade after the onset of the banking crisis in the United States and Europe. At the same time, fintechs and direct banks are creating new positioning models that are destined to become more important in the future. It's the right time to use the strengths of a regionally based, yet nationally active bank, for new positioning strategies. 

The main idea
We worked closely with the bank management team to develop a new self-image that will take Zürcher Kantonalbank into the future: a bank that is close to customers and creates a sense of trust because it keeps pace with them. A bank that is there when people need it, whether as a digital assistant or personal consultant. A bank that is empathetic and sees itself as a companion for its customers. We collaborated with the team at Zürcher Kantonalbank to re-evaluate and emphasize the bank’s strengths in the context of society's changing expectations. 

Clear branding principles
To create a simpler, more cohesive identity, we defined the principles that determine the new Zürcher Kantonalbank brand experience. This ensures the identity is consistent across all bank touch points while making brand management easier.

A versatile design
Customer behavior in banking and finance have changed and will continue to evolve. In response, information and services need to be more quickly and easily accessible. A wide range of audiences want to be spoken to individually – if not personally. The new identity goes in two directions: by strengthening the familiar brand color blue on the one hand, and by establishing various templates to create a more versatile design. 

Making the brand experience more manageable 
We created a new, consistent brand experience across all touch points – including the branch, e-banking portal, SmartWatch application, research publications and kids' saving day. The approach: internal brand engagement programs, a clear brand management organization, and the corresponding alignment of brand measurement and tracking.  

KMS TEAM services
Opinion study
Brand strategy and positioning
Corporate design
Digital design
Brand engagement and activation

Monica Dreyer Staub, Strategic Marketing and Brand Management Director at Zürcher Kantonalbank: »Making our products and services more flexible and digitized across all channels was a major topic in the development process – and our brand is a key to our success. KMS is an ideal partner who understood us very quickly, and worked with us effectively as part of our team.«

Simon Betsch, Managing Partner at KMS TEAM: »Digital transformation is changing societal habits – along with the strategic factors that dictate banking success. In the future, the most successful banks will see their customers as part of their ecosystem across all touch points – whether analogue or digital – and offer very personalized products and services. Our goal: to establish a brand management system that simplifies and facilitates these changes in the company.«

Vera Schnitzlein, Brand Strategy Director at KMS TEAM: »Banking is currently one of the most exciting topics – with no end in sight. Will banks end up being commodities or life coaches? Banking brands need to decide whether they leave this decision to their customers or develop their own mindset in one of these directions. We look forward to this journey into the future, as we were impressed by Zürcher Kantonalbank's remarkable openness across the entire process.«

Robert Börsting, Design Director at KMS TEAM: »Our goal was to develop an approach aligned with the large, small and very diverse needs of Zürcher Kantonalbank customers. The solution: We defined a visual language that allows the bank to create communication across the entire spectrum – from bold to understated – while still having the same major impact. The bank can strike the right tone for every customer with its new corporate design. We also anticipated new themes that will impact the design in the future.«

Involved areas of expertise


  • Market and opinion studies
  • Strategic development
  • Brand and corporate positioning
  • Corporate design


Zürcher Kantonalbank


Finance & insurance


Brand Strategy and Corporate Design


since 2018

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