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  • Writer's pictureIan Morris

Nationwide rebrand: a long-overdue refresh

Nationwide reveals its biggest rebrand in 3 decades, which comes as part of their differentiation strategy to modernise and put customer centricity at its heart.


Before and after of the Nationwide logos and brand slogan


It’s a significant moment for Nationwide as it drives a shift to become a “confident challenger” through a rebrand, a new brand platform (tagline), and their bold decision to maintain physical branches. The result is a brand that is not only strikingly modern and refreshingly simple, but also deeply familiar.


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Why did Nationwide rebrand for a refresh?


In a long overdue move, Nationwide, one of the UK’s leading building societies, has undergone its most significant refresh since 1987. Led by New Commercial Arts (NCA), the redesign aims to establish the society as a dependable disrupted (oxymoron?) in the financial services industry, reflecting what Nationwide’s Chief Customer, Brand, and Engagement Officer, Catherine Kehoe, describes as a “scaled challenger”, with more trust and experience than new banks or fintechs. Monzo, we’re looking at you…


This rebrand is not just a visual facelift; it aligns with Nationwide’s strategic moves to differentiate itself from shareholder-owned banks. Which is why the new brand platform, ‘A Good Way to Bank’ takes centre stage, reflecting research findings that show 63% of people value their local branch, with face-to-face service being the top preference.

The aim is to differentiate the society from its bigger banking rivals and reinforce its commitment to its customers.


The logo


The revamped logo simplifies the iconic (but somewhat complicated!) Nationwide village motif we’ve come to know so well, and very cleverly leverages negative space and colour dynamics in favour of brand simplicity. The focus on the rising sun aspect symbolises a new dawn for the society, which resonated strongly with consumers during testing. It’s a clever way of modernising the logo, whilst retaining its familiarity.



Typography


Staying true to Nationwide’s design heritage, NCA found typography inspiration in the archives. The custom typography pays homage to Nationwide’s heritage, drawing inspiration from Editorial New, a typeface used in the society’s 1980s advertising. The wordmark, featuring a customised Founders Grotesk with a distinctive lowercase ‘n,’ represents a significant update which feels more in line with modern big brands.


Colour palette


The rebrand introduces a rejuvenated colour palette that remains “recognisably Nationwide.” Hero red and blue, extracted from the society’s old identity with just a nudge of change, ensure brand continuity and accessibility. The secondary colours draw inspiration from the vibrant hues of community life in the UK, adding a modern touch to Nationwide’s visual identity.


To break away from the commonality in the financial sector’s blue colour, Nationwide opted for a darker blue with red accents. The new palette aims to avoid traditional and neo-bank aesthetics, offering a fresh yet not overly vibrant appearance.


Read how we modernised the long-established Royal Entomological Society’s brand to inspire more meaningful connections


Conclusion


Nationwide’s rebrand is more than a visual overhaul; it’s a strategic move to solidify its position as a modern, community-centric and member-focused financial institution. As the new look permeates both physical and digital realms, it sets Nationwide on a trajectory that is not only fit for the present but also ready for a future that embraces new customer expectations, accessibility, and a strong connection with its members.


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Threerooms, a multi-award-winning branding agency, has dedicated over 20 years to optimising brands and driving business success. Whether crafting new brands or refining established ones, our team is committed to delivering brand transformation tailored to help you reach your goals. Contact us today, and we’ll show you how we can help.


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