Pioneers of alternative finance
Established over 40 years ago, Jerrold Holdings was a pioneer in the alternative finance market, offering loans and mortgages. With an entrepreneurial culture, the company grew rapidly, building a loan book of over £1bn, which they aim to double in a few years.
Over the years, they developed many loan and mortgage products to meet the changing needs of customers, both personal and commercial. Their market knowledge and financial strength saw them weather the recession when many competitors floundered.
Great service, diluted brand
Jerrold Holdings do most of their business through brokers and their hands-on approach has built strong relationships in the industry. For the brokers, the company’s people are the brand. As the business upscaled, it became more complex, going to market with 10 different brands that left both brokers and customers confused. Increasingly difficult to manage, it made the company feel less than the sum of its parts – a small lender rather than a sleeping giant.
Stand up and be counted
It was time to come out from under the radar – making it simpler for brokers and customers to understand and deal with them. The company had already invested heavily in new systems and infrastructure – now they needed a branding approach that was fit for purpose for the next stage of their growth.
Our challenge was to develop a brand strategy and positioning that set them apart in the alternative lending market. This led to other challenges: firstly to decide which of the 10 existing brands (if any) to keep and secondly how many brands were required to successfully engage brokers and customers and grow market impact and share.
To create a compelling and engaging platform for growth, it was vital that we didn’t lose their entrepreneurial DNA. We wanted to highlight the company’s stature and their difference while making clear that they were not in the traditional high street banking or payday lender spaces. Central to all this was to take the board on the journey and secure their buy-in – not all were brand believers at the beginning.
No computer says ‘No’.
We got under the skin of the business to see what really made it tick. We also got close to brokers and customers to understand what they want now and in the future. There were two key insights: the knowledge and expertise of their people was highly valued by brokers and customers. And their personal, human approach and willingness to go further to find the right solution is admired and appreciated.
We confirmed our findings at a Calling 360 Hub, which brought together clients, customers and brokers to discuss and validate our brand recommendations. The brand positioning was built from here and a eureka! moment followed, when we it became clear that we could unite the company behind one brand with a single ambition.
‘Together’ by name and nature
We recommended that the 10 existing brand names (including Jerrold Holdings) were replaced by one: Together. Inclusive and simple, it reflects the way the company works closely with brokers to create the right answer for their customers. For the customer it's all about being on the same side - together.
“We have been massively impressed by Calling’s enthusiasm, creativity and how quickly they ‘got us’. They took us on a journey and the results are amazing. The business has never been stronger and we now have a brand, a name and a look that reflect this. The whole company is buzzing. I couldn’t be more excited about the future.”
MARC GOLDBERG, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR
We built the visual identity on the idea that Together is refreshingly personal, with a shared common goal that focuses on the outcome for the customer. Creating an effective verbal identity was key to bringing this idea to life.
The brand also needed to speak confidently to brokers and customers, reflecting its knowledge and experience. This approach was captured in the line ‘Together we make a real difference to brokers and our customers. It’s what we’ve always done.’
We developed this no-nonsense verbal approach across the business to create a consistent way of communicating. It can be heard everywhere from the automated call system to internal comms, from customer letters to exhibition stands, in FAQs and online advertising.
The launch of the new brand identity has created a real buzz with employees, brokers and customers.
“Calling didn’t have an easiest of jobs: dealing with a diverse and highly entrepreneurial senior team some of whom didn’t ‘get’ the value of brand. They coped brilliantly. Getting buy-in to a ‘one brand’ was a big win but building enthusiasm for brand full stop was an even bigger win. The best and most successful branding project I have ever worked on”.
STEVEN AMOS, MARKETING DIRECTOR