Absa Group, formerly Barclays Africa Group, today launched a new visual identity, supported by a new marketing campaign, as the group separates from the international Barclays PLC group to form a standalone African bank with global scalability.
Absa Group owns Absa Bank in South Africa as well as Barclays-branded banks and other subsidiaries in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Absa Group also has representative offices in Nigeria and Namibia.
Barclays PLC’s reduction of ownership in Absa Group has enabled the African group to shape a new corporate strategy and to roll out an identity that reflects its African roots and which is fit for a forward-looking business in a digital era. As part of the co-creation of the group’s new strategy, a new business purpose was established: ‘Bringing your possibility to life’.
The group’s new logo features ‘absa’ in lower case, offering a more human, approachable and understated feel than its predecessor. Stripped of complexity, the new button-like logo sits comfortably among popular new brands in a digital space. Absa’s brand colour has been expanded to a wide spectrum of reds.
“Our ownership change has given us the opportunity to relaunch Absa as a different bank and we needed a new visual identity to mark the substantial re-set we’re making as a business,” said David Wingfield, head of Absa Group Marketing. “Our new brand is an expression of the new identity we are creating as an entrepreneurial, digitally-led bank with deep knowledge of African markets and with global scalability.”
OgilvyRED (New York), Grid Worldwide and Yellowwood consulted on the brand change.
The brand refresh programme starts in South Africa today and will be completed in 2019. The rebranding programme will extend to nine other African markets, where Absa’s banks are currently branded ‘Barclays’, over the next two years. Thousands of assets and infrastructure, including bank branches, ATMs, forms, offices, online platforms, websites, business cards, uniforms and more across Africa will be rebranded by mid-2020.
Absa’s substantial brand equity and pedigree as a stable bank will be leveraged in extending the brand to countries outside of South Africa. The brand already enjoys recognition in African countries where the Absa Premiership League is screened on TV. Absa will also leverage sponsorship properties in several countries to spearhead the brand change in those markets.
The brand refresh in South Africa will be supported by Absa’s new ‘Africanacity’ marketing campaign, conceived by FCB Africa and launching today.
“‘Africanacity’ was created as a bespoke word that embodies the distinctly African ability to always find a way to get things done,” said Wingfield. “We’re a continent with immense challenges, but also one with tremendous tenacity, soul and a sense of togetherness.”