The Middle East region’s excess of investment capital combined with the fast growth of a developing market led to excessive confidence and over supply in the real estate sector. Poor diversification further compounded the risk, leading to a resounding crash.
Gulf Finance House (GFH) was one of Bahrain’s brightest stars, gaining a reputation for unbelievably good returns thanks to a series of high profile development and investment opportunities (MENA/Global). GFH became synonymous with bold statements and success, but rumors also grew about secretive business practices and an egotistical culture. When the market crashed, GFH fell hard, fast and far, leaving many investors high and dry and the brand’s reputation in tatters. The challenges seemed insurmountable, and many questioned if GFH could survive.
First we asked: could the brand name survive such ignominy? Following extensive surveys (staff, investors, public) we determined the name held enough equity to be retained as a symbol of accountability, though fundamental change was required to reposition the brand and restore confidence. We considered what GFH stood for, what the market needed, and how we could position ourselves for success in this new era.
The transformation began with the development of a new structure and architecture. We retained the pioneering aspect of the brand, but balanced it with new qualities of diligence, transparency, and innovation to inspire diversification, professional focus and a new attitude of humility. Performance was placed at the heart of the brand creating a platform for measuring and sharing results.
The new identity dropped the more ‘traditional’ calligraphic treatment and fully embraced a new international tone of voice – expressing in its simplicity the newfound clarity and strength of purpose. The elegance of the brand tool kit directly addressed the need for transparency and a new dynamism that had focus and diligence at its core. The legacy ‘diamond’ elements symbolized the commitment to realizing value potential through insightful intelligence.
The rebrand has been universally hailed as one of the key success stories of the last 12 months, with GFH reporting its best results since the crash and with positive brand perception increasing across all stakeholders – from investors and the market, to the general public. GFH has transformed from troubled ‘finance house’, to fully-fledged financial services group and industry leader.
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