Every day, credit union members across Canada trust Collabria to deliver an exceptional credit card experience. Their team of experts understand the complexities of the financial world and the credit union imperatives, and proudly deliver a suite of end-to-end services to their partners, and the hardworking Canadians that are their members.
Being part of the cooperative movement itself, Collabria was built with cooperative values in mind. With financial empowerment and mutual gain between business partners and members at the core of its mission, Collabria is a different kind of company with a different kind of clientele.
Founded in 2015, Collabria had big ambitions to become Canada’s largest credit union credit card issuer. The company onboarded 98% of Canadian credit unions in a short time frame, which meant it had to devote a lot of time and resources to scaling its products, services and operations accordingly. The initial rollout presented several operational challenges, and having recently carried out a successful plan that addressed the root of these complexities, Collabria was now ready to centre its ambitions on a new focus: growth.
With this new aim in mind, Collabria set out to increase market penetration and product usage organically, all the while evolving its client relationships into true partnerships centred on strategy. In order to recognize and highlight this new evolution and growth-based focus, Collabria wanted to communicate two key goals: becoming the partner of choice for credit unions and being the first card credit union members take out of their wallets.
To effectively get this message across, our team needed to show a clear break from the operational challenges the company faced in previous years. We also wanted to present an inspirational message – one that is appropriate for a B2B2C brand offering white label products and that respects the unique relationship credit unions have with their members. Finally, we aimed to embolden the brand image to make it more competitive against other technology startups, without sacrificing trustworthiness.
In a truly collaborative approach, BrandBourg teamed up with the Collabria team as well as fellow Humanise agencies L’Institut Idée and BBR to tackle these challenges. Brand strategy for Collabria was developed through L’Institut’s Structural Mapping Process® (SMP) and Strategic Framework, and a detailed creative brief ensued.
BrandBourg then worked diligently to establish a brand identity platform, which would include a new logo, signature, story and overall expression for the brand. And through various workshops with the frontline Collabria team, BrandBourg and L’Institut were able to create key B2B customer personas to help Collabria employees gain a renewed understanding of their clients.
Finally, the entire team – BBR, Brandbourg and Collabria – worked on the launch and deployment of the revised brand, which included a corporate video, trade booth design and production, personnel training tools (including best practices for presentations and trade booth operation), brand launch presentations and presentation templates for corporate, internal and key clients, and other collateral materials.
To show the possibility Collabria ultimately gives end users, we developed a simple yet powerful identity system to represent Collabria’s story across various touchpoints and situations, positioning Collabria as a partner of choice for its clients.
We transformed the two Ls of the wordmark into a key communication device (which we call “the shutters”) that splits open to reveal a window of opportunity, inviting possibility to become reality.
The colour palette is a crucial element of Collabria’s brand identity, reflecting the company’s mission of providing diverse solutions for their clients. The wide range of colours used in the shutters can be adapted to harmonize with the various possibilities shown in the window, while the use of black shows strength, confidence and consistency across all touchpoints.
To clearly communicate Collabria’s desire to partner with their clients, we developed the Making it possible brand signature as a pivotal element of the brand identity. This signature puts the end user (the cardholder) at the heart of all Collabria does, showcasing how the company helps credit unions “make it possible” for their members. And for credit union clients at all levels, this signature also evokes how Collabria can “make it possible” for them, helping them find solutions and deliver services flawlessly and with confidence.
We can’t say it enough: B2B is truly a matter of relating to and connecting with humans – the basics of B2H (Business for Humans). The customer personas developed alongside the Collabria team has allowed employees – from the CEO to retail staff – to gain in-depth knowledge of personal mindsets and goals and lay down the basics for Collabria’s content strategy and customer experience.
Building from the insights gleaned from the SMP, the Collabria personas incorporated both the functional and the emotional, ensuring they were human-centric and holistic and that they captured customers’ underlying motivations and specific role requirements.
In the words of Brenda Lyons, Head of Marketing and Communications at Collabria, “Developing detailed personas of our customer-base allows everyone at Collabria, from frontline employees to product developers, to gain an intimate understanding of who they are working for. This type of blueprint is invaluable, as it enables us to focus our development efforts and provide the basis for our relational strategy.”
Launched in July 2023, the new brand platform was met with great enthusiasm by clients, who believe in the brand promise and are inspired by the company’s vision.
According to Jean-Marc Handfield, Collabria’s CEO, “Our Making it possible brand promise really hits home with our clients, and it’s happening on two levels. Firstly, credit unions are inspired by Collabria’s desire to help make it possible for their members and are seeing us as a true partner in that objective. Secondly, they are internalizing Making it possible as our promise to help them make their work easier and their business more profitable.”
It’s also driving strong momentum within Collabria, inspiring employees at all levels and generating a strong sense of pride.
Collabria’s new brand identity represents all the potential and momentum that this young company is poised to develop. In the words of Greg Feniak, Chief Marketing Officer, “[It] marks the profound evolution that the company has undergone. We now have the operational and innovation capabilities to make our clients lending heroes, and the brand identity and expression platform developed by BrandBourg, BBR and the Collabria internal team expresses this in an innovative and inspiring way.”
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