The brief

We were asked by IKANO Bank UK to develop a core customer value proposition. One of the IKEA family of companies, IKANO UK had traded successfully for 10 years as a b2b credit and loyalty provider; they now sought to extend their interests to online retail banking.

Our approach

We set out to understand IKANO’s culture, heritage, values and beliefs, and those of competitive offers. We identified potential gaps in the market and developed a range of benefit-led proposition territories. We thoroughly tested the options using traditional and ethnographic research and, working alongside the global team in Sweden, finalised the proposition as “Unleashing financial power to the many”. Everything we learned pointed us towards ‘people power’. IKEA had established itself as a cross-generational brand, empowering people to create their own homes affordably. Sweden’s reputation had been untouched by the banking crisis, and core Swedish values of no fuss, simplicity and fairness pointed to an opportunity for a democratic positioning. The Bank’s commitment to fairness, and determination to be in the top three providers for savings and loans rates, created products to support the promise.

Creative application comprised core copy and visuals for all communications channels provided as toolkits for internal and external implementation teams. We also supported and negotiated a major brand partnership with JustGiving built around empowering local community projects to be financially supported.

The results

Three months after launching, IKANO Bank UK CEO Dan Joy reported: “We are picking up tens of millions of Savings with relatively little effort and Loans are taking off as we speak.”


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