Country Base: China
Industry/Sector/Keywords: Financial Services, Technology, Online Payments, ECommerce
Below: Before and After Images in Slide Show, Summary, Credits
Alibaba had long been leading the internet financial services industry with Alipay and Yu’e Bao which subvert traditional banking services. In 2014, there was a more decisive push from Alibaba to lead China’s new online payment and financial services frontier with its “Ant Financial” brand. It required a very strong and unique brand to declare its strategic and innovative breakthroughs.
Internet financial products are a relatively new concept, and there are few benchmarking brands. All future brand building efforts had to be based on creativity and imagination. This was both a challenge and an opportunity for us. We needed to find the best balance between mobile and financial service attributes, and establishing more effective emotional connection with consumers.
A strong and excellent brand perception would benefit Ant Financial in the way forward to leading the internet financial services industry. We helped to declare their big entry and to build up the perception of a leading pioneer. The brand idea is “To bring about small but positive changes to the world,” a concept with strategy and visual elements that reflect characteristics of ants.
For the identity, we chose to depict the whole body of the ant to strengthen the association. At the same time, we refined it to be more abstract to convey the Internet spirit. We endowed the ants with colorful tones, to adapt to the highly fragmented target segments. The cartoon images gave the brand more connotation and characteristics of its different attributes – finance, technology, service and technical imagination. The cartoon images can also engage and build intimate connection with consumers.
The brand was launched in October 2014 and aroused the attention of media, investors and the public. Ant Financial’s current valuation is expected to be RMB 200 billion – RMB 250 billion (approximately 31-38 billion in US Dollars), and the brand has started the preparation of the first round of financing for the 2017 A-share stock listing. It has attracted a large number of SOEs (State-Owned Enterprises) as well as other well-known private equity funds.
Client: Ant Financial – www.antgroup.com
Brand Strategists/Designers: FutureBrand – www.futurebrand.com
Executive Creative Director: William Woduschegg
Creative Director: Johnson Gu
Senior Designer: Marlboro Ma
Senior Designer: Walker Wang