Branding for Fintechs: Varied and Vibrant

Branding for Fintechs: Varied and Vibrant

<div class="p-lr"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">Learn what there is to know about branding for fintechs</p></div></div></div>

<div class="p-lr mt-24 mb-56"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">A financial institution is supposed to instill confidence. In its branding, it is supposed to be solid as a rock. Right? It’s not as bad today as it was right after the 2008 crash, but there’s still a widespread distrust of traditional banks, as well as some healthy general skepticism towards anything finance-related. Fintech is a massive market, and just seeming reliable is nowhere near enough. It might come as a surprise, but currently, branding for fintechs is both varied and vibrant.</p></div></div></div>

<div class="p-lr"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h2-style">Teaching Your Audience</p></div></div></div>

<div class="p-lr mt-24 mb-48"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">In any market you need to explain your product, but it goes beyond that in fintech. Your branding, at times, needs to be downright educational. If your fintech is B2B, you need to explain in clear, straightforward, and concise terms, in how exactly does it help a business make more money (or spend less money). On this topic, we have a whole another article on <a href="https://www.embacy.io/story/how-to-make-a-b2b-website-a-guide" class="underline">how to make a website for a B2B product</a></p></div></div></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910ef8aee1252fea028a_vav-1.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="https://stripe.com/" class="underline">Stripe</a> presents not only one of the finest examples of a B2B fintech website with visuals that are both colorful and not overwhelming, and perfect straightforward copy for the product — but also they often take the educational approach in their marketing, with newsletters and articles with sound financial advice</p></div>

<div class="p-lr mb-104"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">On the other hand, we have B2C fintechs. Most people out there simply aren’t financially savvy. You’ve probably heard, once or twice, someone say, "why did they teach us trigonometry in school instead of how to fill out taxes?". You’re going to have to explain some things, and show how your fintech helps to deal with them (without coming off condescending).</p></div></div></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910d2cd2b372e82680a7_vav-2.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="http://robinhood.com/" class="underline">Robinhood</a> makes investing accessible, and their branding is just as accessible as their product — "Investing for Everyone"</p></div>

<div class="p-lr mb-104"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">Yet, if you do aim at a savvy audience, say, investors with years of experience and an extensive portfolio, this educational aspect of your branding doesn’t go away. You need to show them that you’re just as knowledgeable and more, and that your product suits this knowledgeable audience.</p></div></div></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/63219111767068ed2f5874c7_vav-3.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr">In our brand identity for <a href="https://vauban.io/" class="underline">Vauban</a>, we blend sophistication with style. Look at this Swiss-inspired website coupled with the bold color scheme. You can check out the Behance case on the project <a href="https://www.behance.net/gallery/98696873/Vauban" class="underline">here</a></p></div>

<div class="p-lr"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h2-style">Types of Fintechs</p></div></div></div>

<div class="p-lr mt-24 mb-104"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">There are all kinds of fintechs: neobanks, billing and payment software, crowdfunding, all kinds of crypto-related things, etc, etc. What matters from the branding perspective, is that they fall into two broad categories: those that need to seem trustworthy, and those that need to seem exciting.</p></div></div></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910e9298aa55df1e7a13_vav-4.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr">The visuals for <a href="https://investors.palantir.com/" class="underline">the Palantir Investor Relations page</a> are both subdued, yet fascinating</p></div>

<div class="p-lr mb-104"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">These are not mutually exclusive: no brand wants to seem unreliable (especially in fintech), and no brand wants to be completely dull. The difference is in which one is more important for a given fintech. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Moreso, this division isn’t dependent on the type of fintech: one neobank might want to seem sturdy and reliable, while another is just entering the market, and might first want to seem thrilling.</p></div></div></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910e56c2517307c143f6_vav-5.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="https://anna.money/" class="underline">ANNA</a> mixes the straightforward and friendly copy with the suiting visuals. And that kitty is just the cutest</p></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910e607c932a30d6198e_vav-6.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr">In our project for <a href="https://www.defialliance.co/" class="underline">DeFi Alliance</a> we’ve created a whole another world. The identity is based on terraforming, and we show with DeFi Alliance’s help these startups will transform the tomorrow. You can check out the Behance case on the project <a href="https://www.behance.net/gallery/122630565/DeFi-Alliance-Brand-Identity" class="underline">here</a> </p></div>

<div class="p-lr"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h2-style">Establishing Trust</p></div></div></div>

<div class="p-lr mt-24 mb-104"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">For a while, all the fintechs that wanted to seem reliable used blue as the primary color for their visual identity (and not just fintechs, most products with the same goals for branding as solid, reliable, neutral). It doesn’t work anymore. It’s been done to death. Unless you’re <a href="https://www.revolut.com/" class="underline">Revolut</a>, don’t stick with white background and blue accents (and even Revolut doesn’t do that much anymore). If you do, your audience will feel the same emotion towards your branding, as one does towards the paintings from Picasso’s Blue Period, and we don’t mean the feelings of appreciation for great art.</p></div></div></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910d83827a7e7cad9afd_vav-7.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr">Revolut’s website in 2020 and Revolut’s website today</p></div>

<div class="p-lr mb-104"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">That was a bit of a hyperbole. Using white background with blue accents has been overused for a reason: it works. The branding won’t excite anyone, but it is solid and can solve your branding goals.</p></div></div></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/632191111f8ef784529c2264_vav-8.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="https://www.stacks.co/" class="underline">Stacks</a>. Often enough, crypto-related projects show themselves as the alternative to traditional markets, which results in bold and exciting branding. Depending on your goals, going for more straightforward branding in this market and working off the contrast might be a good idea</p></div>

<div class="p-lr mb-104"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">But you don’t have to stare at this digital blue and wait for some gift of sound and vision. A fintech can brand itself as sensible and dependable without resorting to that default option. Some examples:</p></div></div></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910e2ab71d7bea496fe2_vav-9.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="https://www.kron.no/" class="underline">Kron</a>. with its soft colors and the pitch-perfect use of photos leave us feeling warm and fuzzy inside</p></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910e1900d2f5c73589d6_vav-10.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr">With the right colors and the friendly illustrations, the crowd sharing platform <a href="https://ko-fi.com/" class="underline">Ko-fi</a> is amiable and approachable</p></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321911156c2514b97c14417_vav-11.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="https://www.cma.se/" class="underline">CMA</a> provides complicated products — solutions that help big financial institutions all over the world. In our project for them, every product has its own shape, inspired by the Japanese wood-carving technique Kumiko. You can check out the Behance case on the project <a href="https://www.behance.net/gallery/118582465/CMA-Brand-Identity-Web" class="underline">here</a></p></div>

<div class="p-lr"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h2-style">Money is Exciting</p></div></div></div>

<div class="p-lr mt-24 mb-104"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">As we’ve established, the traditional approach, the knee-jerk response to the question "what should branding for something finance-related be like?" is "solid, reliable, neutral". That being the default response is in itself a good enough reason to go against the grain and go for something exhilarating. Of course, the real reasons to do so are a lot more practical. The first one being that all the fintech markets are booming, and if you’re just entering one, you need to stand out.</p></div></div></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910edbc6a75f7c7620f7_vav-12.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="https://web.meetcleo.com/" class="underline">CLEO</a> gets right in your face</p></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910ea3ecf8b5fb6b4795_vav-13.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr">The Australian <a href="https://www.beforepay.co/" class="underline">Beforepay</a> is bold and memorable, all while maintaining the right amount of friendliness to it</p></div>

<div class="p-lr mt-24 mb-104"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">The second reason being your audience. Quite a lot of fintechs are aimed at people who would groan and roll their eyes at the word "fintech". Yet, those very people still use digital banking, and they’re subscribed to some podcasts on Patreon, and some of them might even dabble with crypto, just a little bit.</p></div></div></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/632191106f7379e6b1d358da_vav-14.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="https://www.klarna.com/us/" class="underline">Klarna</a>. Buy now pay later platform with hot pink for accents in its visual identity, goes bold in style. And they have <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8qoBmMUnPY" class="underline">commercials featuring Snoop Dog</a></p></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/63219111607c93ad14d619bc_vav-15.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="https://sushi.com/" class="underline">SushiSwap</a>. Unlike a lot of traditional products that became fintechs, crypto doesn’t have a history or something physical to tie it down to — so, crypto fintechs might have to reach for visual metaphors. But as long as it’s bold and tasty, it can even be something like neon sushi</p></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910d0caa323792a66997_vav-16.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="https://www.lemonade.com/" class="underline">Lemonade</a>. The cute illustrations and the soft and unexpected pink accents are refreshing</p></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321910c41e0517c76e8b9c0_vav-17.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr"><a href="https://billi.app/" class="underline">Billi</a> is another great example of the current trend on friendliness in fintech branding — and it works. As long as you don’t consider it just a bit too cutesy</p></div>

<img src="https://assets.website-files.com/62e119d58c1c3abc0a13d8f9/6321911176706813465874c8_vav-18.webp" loading="lazy" alt="" class="s_image_full">

<div class="mt-16 mb-104"><p class="text-gr">Our brand identity for <a href="https://www.bravecash.com/" class="underline">Bravecash</a> just won’t stand still. You can check out the Behance case on the project <a href="https://www.behance.net/gallery/126080091/Bravecash-Branding-Web" class="underline">here</a></p></div>

<div class="p-lr"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h2-style">Outro</p></div></div></div>

<div class="p-lr mt-24"><div class="g-7-15"><div class="transp-bl"></div><p class="h4-style">Looking for a universal solution for branding goals in fintech is a waste of time. While there are some patterns in fintech branding, like the current trend on appearing nice and friendly, it’s a huge and varied market — where playing it safe doesn’t work anymore. You need to keep in mind your audience and your exact goals. And don’t be blue.</p></div></div></div>

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