Taking on the big four: MONEYME’s Richard Bray on the strategy behind the fintech’s rebranding

Digital personal loan company MONEYME has embarked on a multi-stage rebranding campaign in a bid to eventually pit itself against the big four banks. Only time will tell if the rebranding venture will pay off, but with the first stage of the campaign well and truly underway, Mumbrella's Kalila Welch caught up with MONEYME's CMO Richard Bray to discuss the mechanics of the rebrand.

Rebranding is a complex and often risky affair, but MONEYME ‘s Richard Bray feels it is the key building the fintech into a legitimate competitor of the major banks.

Founded in 2013, the brand spent the first 9 years of its life sporting a conventional finance sector look, a soft lowercase logo with a blue/green colour palette, before revealing a stark new look last month.

According to independent branding and design agency Hulsbosch’s Jaid Hulsbosch, the risks of a rebrand for companies in the fintech category, a space which is dynamic and everchanging, are twofold.

First, is the risk of losing “hard-earned brand equity” for the sake of transitioning to a ‘new’ look.

Second, Hulsbsoch outlines the risk of falling into a sea of sameness with every other brand “trying to change the game”.

“Instead, change the conversation and deposition everyone else. Just remember, to stand still is to be moving backwards,” says Hulsbosch.

In terms of the key components of a successful rebrand, Hulsbosch asserted clarity in the objectives of a rebrand is one of several factors critical to that rebrands’ success. Also making the list was simplicity, both in the branding itself and the nature of collaboration between brand and agency.

Jaid Hulsbosch, director, Hulsbosch

In the case of MONEYME it is too early in the piece to know how the rebrand will fare alongside its competitors, however the potential longevity of the brand may be benefitted by a strong vision for its’ evolution held by the digital financer’s CMO Richard Bray.

For Bray, the need for a rebrand stemmed from a dissonance between the brand’s messaging and the evolution of its offering. With a young and dynamic team primarily in their late 20s, matching the core demographic the brand is trying to reach, MONEYME sees itself as a technology company at heart, with money as their product.

“I suppose we took a step back and went ‘has the brand that we’ve created over the years, is that representative now of where we’re going and what’s speed we’re going and the innovation we’re developing and who we’re going after?’ says Bray. “And we’re going after the big four, really, in a non-traditional banking way. We don’t need bricks and mortar; we don’t need ATM’s; we don’t do paperwork; we don’t do call centres; we don’t do long wait time. We need a brand that represents that.”

The brand needed to place the focus on the consumer, and what they need from the category – increasingly and slick and seamless interface with customer experience at the forefront.

Richard Bray, CMO, MONEYME

Bray did not feel the brand could proliferate on the scale they wanted unless they could really understand emerging consumer attitudes in this space, and position the brand meet these attitudes.

With this new remit at hand, the brand sat through a number of pitches to find a branding agency he felt could deliver on its vision. The first agency that ‘really got’ the MONEYME brand and where it needed to be was uberbrand, headed by director Dan Ratner.

“I think the most interesting observation if I retrospectively think about it now … it’s a focus on the technology,” said Ratner.

“It’s like, how fast can we make it? How quick can we do it? How much easier can we make this for consumers? But for me, if you look at that without looking at the consumer then you’re just sort of building this amazing tech. So we really needed to step back and have a look at the customer – look at who’s buying this, look at their attitudes, their behaviours. One of the things we started to realise was that the consumer is firstly a younger demographic or has a younger attitude, but secondly it was about the consumer’s relationship with technology and expectation of that seamlessness that is starting to proliferate in the market.”

The relationship between brand and agency here clearly involves close partnership and trust, which Hulsbosch describes as critical to the success of a rebrand.

“We only take clients on if there’s a genuine trust and appreciation for how we help positively impact their bottom line. Treat us a partners, not suppliers,” he said of his own rebranding guidelines.

Working with uberbrand, MONEYME took the first stage of its rebrand live on the 14th of March, gradually rolling out the new logo across its assets in the following weeks.

Dan Ratner, director, uberbrand

The new logo retains some features of the original logo, such as the inclusion of the full brand name, but the text is bold and capitalised, with a new colour palette of bright lime green and dark green.

“You can see there’s a 10 degree angle on the ‘MONEYME’, it’s just one angle and you just play that angle over and over again.” says Ratner, explaining the creative behind the logo. “So you run on this sort of angle that has got this constant moving forward feeling.”

The colour palette was a very intentional choice for Ratner, who claims it is not one that has been used in the space before.

“So we’ve got a new logo, we’ve got a strong color palette, we’ve got strong visual imagery and a strong style and we need to establish that,” Ratner says of the first phase of the rebrand. “So that’s the first thing that we’re doing and that’s what’s in market right now. The next phase of this campaign, once we have that establishment phase completed, is very much around differentiation.”

The ‘establishment phase’ of the campaign so far has involved a big push across out of home, including billboards, retail and transport, as well as radio and owned channels.

A mockup of the one of the outdoor executions.

While both Bray and Ratner remained tight-lipped about the next two phases of the rebrand, they explained that the next stage, for which a TV commercial is currently in production, would really focus on the brands message and positioning. The third phase is described by the pair as an ‘aquisitional growth phase’, bringing in new customers and bring out new products to service them.

Ultimately the brand wants to position itself as a one stop shop for consumers, following its target demographic through each life stage and growing with them.

“So we have a suite of products that literally goes from people when they leave school, where they could finance their degrees in education, to their computers or their desks or their home offices, to getting a personal loan,” says Bray.

“You know, buying a car or buying a wedding ring or moving out with friends or, financing the bond, to Freestyle, which is your everyday virtual card that you get instantly, without mucking around with banks.”

Both Bray and Ratner are enthusiastic about the future of the brand, but they will first have to see how consumers react to the first phase of the campaign, which they hope will firmly establish the brand in the finance category.

“We’re in the what phase, asking ‘what is it?’; we’re going to go into the why phase, which is ‘why should people actually interact with it?’; and then we’re going to go into the how, which is ‘how do I do business with it?” says Ratner. ”

So they’re the three phrases we’re going through, and it’s quite a longitudinal piece. You can’t build a brand in one campaign, right? Once you start, you  have got to build up momentum. And if we’re serious about taking it to the top four, then we’ve gotta be in it like a top four.”


Chief Marketing Officer: Richard Bray
Art Director: Gloria Torres
Product Marketing Manager: Bryce Griffith

Strategic Brand & Creative Agency: uberbrand
Strategy Director/Managing Director: Dan Ratner
Strategy lead: Mehnaaz Ahmed
Executive Creative Director: Matt Grogan
Creative Director: Damien Cassar
Art Director: Andrew Lopez
Producer: Kimm McTavish

Media Agency: Optimise Media
National Strategy Director: Chris Barron
Head of Media: David Cheok
Media Manager: Carmen Boogaard


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