Case Study: Branding for Financial Institutions

August 2018

With the growth of the millennial target audience for financial institutions and professional services providers in that same spectrum, the financial industry has devoted its time (and money) to a wealth of updated branding and marketing techniques. According to AdAge, in 2015, millennials composed of more than 75 million individuals between the ages of 18-34 with an approximate spend of $1.3 trillion each year. With the rise of this new target audience, both financial institutions and financial service providers have pivoted their branding to provide a more consistent, clean, and modern look with updated messaging and visuals.

Which one would you trust? 

TD Bank

TD Bank's CMO Patrick McLean emphasized to keep their brand fresh and new, the company has used experiential learning to evaluate its branding and marketing strategy. With a tagline as "America's Most Convenient Bank," TD launched a new feature on their mobile app called TD ASAP. This single navigation button allows for immediate connection with a customer service representative in lieu of multiple factor authentication. In 2014, TD Bank was also awarded by Interbrand (multiple times) Best Canadian Brand title of the year. Through its green color palette, tagline, and customized marketing strategy, TD Bank has evolved as one of the most successful consumer financial brands.


With a new vision for the company in 2017, MassMutual updated its typography with sans serif typography, a deeper navy in a wider spectrum of blues, flat iconography, and polka dot theme.

Logo:  Before and After

Updated Marketing Collateral

MassMutual unveiled its rebrand focusing on the gift of interdependence, while recognizing that

"true happiness comes from our reliance on one another... seeking to inspire people to see themselves as part of something bigger and to Live Mutual."

Case Study


With TD Bank and MassMutual as inspiration pieces, I designed a homepage mockup for a financial service provider locally based in Boston. Maintaining the industry standard of hues of blue combined with the freshness of TD Bank's green, the color palette brought an updated approach to typically corporate branding.


Primary: inglobal

Secondary: Colaborate Light


Graphic selection included an urban landscape with skyscraper buildings in grey and blue tones, meditation rocks to express the company's mission statement, textured quotation marks to emphasize testimonials, and a peak through window with green accents. Gradients of blue were applied to create a cohesive design with minimal page breaks.

Branding Baseline

Branding for the financial industry doesn't have to be basic. Larger institutions including TD and MassMutual have evolved their visual design and marketing strategy to communicate an updated messaging, tone and vision of what their company means to their target audience today. As your audience may change, don't be afraid to re-evaluate by using Patrick McLean's experiential learning methodology. It's normal to evaluate where your company is today and how your company's branding and messaging matches (or is out of sync) with your user base. Perhaps a rebrand is in the near future for you. Do it before it's too late.

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