In 2008, through the leadership of SLDNXT, TD embarked on a review of their brand architecture and approach, with the ultimate goal of becoming a stronger branded house. SLDNXT was retained to assist in the branding and strategy process that would better leverage how their identity could play a greater role in building brand equity, as part of the path to purchase of financial, wealth and insurance products.
billion market capitalization
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The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 22 million customers in four key businesses, operating in a number of locations in financial centers around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Auto Finance Canada; Wealth and Insurance, including TD Wealth, TD Direct Investing, an investment in TD Ameritrade, and TD Insurance; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, and TD Auto Finance U.S.; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with approximately 8 million active online and mobile customers.
TD Bank Group had grown significantly through the acquisition of various institutions, with their unique operating nomenclature that has led to a wide range of brand name usages, from TD Canada Trust and TD Waterhouse in Canada, to TD Ameritrade and TD Banknorth in the U.S. The sub-brand approach was not consistent, with some names reflecting a category descriptor such as TD Insurance, while others reflected the original name of the acquired identity. The TD Shield was also inconsistently applied across the brand touch-points, potentially leading to a dilution of the brand equity. As part of their goal to grow the presence of TD through regional acquisitions, it became paramount to clearly identify the best use of the identity across the various moments of truth.
Adding to the wide range of sub-brand applications was the lack of a consistent position and value proposition that jeopardized the ability of TD owning a unique brand position in what was perceived as an undifferentiated category. The lack of a consistent brand position fuelled greater cultural differences found between the operating business units.
Alignment of the visual metaphors to help define the TD brand story
We explored a range of branding platforms, validated through research, and united the organization under a central compelling theme that supported brand's "Comfort" position
For the TD brand, phase one involved the following:
Knowing your competition and identifying your strengths and weaknesses can be your best advantage. Our SWOT analysis takes an in-depth look at the current playing field within the category and maps out a focused path to ensure on-shelf success.
The competitive analysis identified the following opportunities:
The sales choreography at branch level did not leverage some of the unique and proprietary segmentation tools.
A critical facet of any branding initiative is the ability to clearly define the core emotional equities of the brand that will allow the organization to evaluate and support a significant change. Our alignment process allows the use of visual metaphors to help define the TD brand story and key equity levers that would allow a seamless and coherent execution. In the case of TD, which had won the JD Powers customer satisfaction amongst North American banks for seven executive years, there was a need to educate the organization on the importance of a “less is more” strategy for the brand and how it was being delivered at each moment of truth.
From the input at the session, Shikatani Lacroix developed a management presentation that outlined the future vision of the bank and the factors that would allow it to achieve a coherent strategy. The design team developed a range of ideas for how the advertising and marketing material would be fully integrated, in addition to how this would translate into a unique branded experience within their branch retail network.
For TD, phase two involved the following:
In support of a cohesive brand implementation and consistent messaging at each brand moment of truth, our design team explored a range of additional touch points that needed to reflect the new direction for the brand. These new touch points included the development of “Comfort Zones” as part of the bank”s sponsorship of the Toronto Blue Jays, Canada’s only major league baseball team.
The biggest success has been the ability to gain alignment and support across the entire organization in support of the new brand strategy. TD continues to own the “Comfort” position that endures, differentiating this organization in a very competitive marketplace.
SLDNXT continues to act as TD’s brand strategy and design agency, working on daily implementation issues that arise as the program is introduced across a global network of offices and retail branches.
A new brand strategy better leveraged the TD identity in building brand equity as part of a path to purchase of financial, wealth and insurance products.
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