The European Union is often associated with rules, rules and more rules, some verging on the ludicrous, but implemented with varying degrees of discipline from member state to member state. This view of the EU clearly doesn't apply when it comes to branding where, often, anything goes.
On casual observation most EU affiliate organisations have an identity crisis. Some use approved EU brand components in professionally implemented identities, others take liberties that no commercial brand would countenance. The result is easily confused visual identities and a plethora of similar acronyms. In order to demonstrate some individuality, while maintaining links to powerful EU imagery, some organisations' identities even corrupt EU-style visual elements, usually the blue background and the yellow stars, often inadvertently infringing EU trademarks!
Few organisations have carved out a clear positioning for themselves and, as a consequence, we now see important EU bodies coming across as somewhat unprofessional.
The Committee of European Banking Supervisors [CEBS], which was launched earlier this year, is one of the few to recognise early in its existence the importance of creating its own professional brand identity.
Chancellor, Gordon Brown, lobbied hard to have CEBS - the most senior banking supervisory body across the EU - located in London and although the organisation's offices are yet to open, its new Website goes live next week. Whilst it is expected that the main users of the site will be members of CEBS and the European banking & financial communities, the public will also have access to it. As the "shop window" of the organisation, it had to clearly convey the degree of authority and credibility demanded by the stakeholders.
Following a Presentation of Credentials, UK brand experience specialists, Nucleus, was appointed to create a positioning and identity that fused EU banking responsibilities with independent authority and credibility. The new brand eschews use of EU blue and yellow stars and opts for a differentiated look and feel, inspired by EU bank notes and a desire to communicate its banking expertise.
Early evidence of the new look and feel can be seen on the CEBS website which Nucleus also designed and built. Additionally, Nucleus Managed Services, the company's managed hosting division has also been awarded a two year contract to host and manage the site.
According to Dave Rundell of the FSA who is responsible for overseeing the rebranding programme, the new identity "provides CEBS with strong branding and international recognition".
At present, the website is only in English although it's anticipated that other languages may be incorporated over time. The web address is www.c-ebs.org.
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