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Standard Bank announced earlier this month that it has changed its brand positioning and tagline and adopted one that epitomises where it sees its role in Africa today.

Thulani Sibeko, chief marketing officer at Standard Bank

Research suggests that Africans are looking for brands that can help them realise their ambitions and put them at the centre of the discussion. They want a brand to believe in them, inspire them and journey with them and, therefore, Standard Bank has changed its brand positioning and tagline ‘It Can Be’, in line with its purpose to drive Africa’s growth and what it sets out to achieve.

Standard Bank’s chief marketing officer Thulani Sibeko said, “The biggest finding that came through was that our continent is full of dreamers, believers and doers, and this prevalence of dream was consistent across all the countries we researched, including South Africa, and with that realisation we adopted a belief that says:

Dreams matter. They matter because they fuel the growth of countries, the growth of societies and if dreams matter and if they fuel growth, we concluded that together with our clients, we have to go into unexplored territories to ensure that those dreams are realised. As a result of that research and those insights, we landed on a new brand promise, which is finding new ways to make dreams possible.

Here, my interview with Sibeko to find out more about the brand refresh, what motivated the bank to do this and why now.

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“Several months back we asked ourselves whether we had a trusted brand and our answer was resolute. Yes, we have a trusted brand. However, what we needed to confront was to ask, ‘How old is our positioning and is it as relevant and potent as it was when it was introduced?’ The answer was simple… While we are trusted, our positioning is no longer as distinctive as it ought to be, and there was an opportunity for a change.

“The ultimate reason why we had to make a change was that we want our current customers and customers who are not with Standard Bank to reconsider Standard Bank and it was very clear that if our current customers need to be reassured that they are with the right brand, if our non-customers need to relook at Standard Bank and say maybe that could be my bank, we had to reposition and that was the genesis of the repositioning.”

In the launch release, Sibeko said that now is the time to begin a narrative of hope, belief and optimism. The phrase ‘It Can Be’ is a celebration of the human spirit, of the belief in our dreams, and there is no better time to introduce this new positive message as encouragement to keep going.