Lombard Odier and Rethink Everything

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Lombard Odier and Rethink Everything

Fabio Mancone - Chief Branding Officer

Fabio Mancone

Chief Branding Officer

Article published in COMINMAG.CH, 24 February 2019

In line with its positioning as a sustainable investor, Lombard Odier Group is rewriting the rules of private banking, by taking a holistic approach to clients. The strategic transformation is expressed through branding and new headquarters.


Fabio Mancone, Lombard Odier opted for the title of Chief Branding Officer rather than Chief Marketing Officer. Why?

With so many points of contact nowadays, brands have to take a holistic view when it comes to communication. In branding, you have to consider the overall brand experience across the marketing mix, from digital to right through to physical.

When talking about branding, you have to consider the overall brand experience …

Your background is in fast-moving consumer goods (Unilever and Kraft Foods) and the luxury sector (Lancôme, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani and SMCP). What does your experience bring to the world of banking?

Both FMCG and fashion have always been very client-oriented. Marketing and communication in these industries is very responsive.

Market and trend analysis is essential: brands have to look to the future to stay one step ahead of the competition. Banking clients are becoming ever more complex and demanding. We needed to clarify Lombard Odier's positioning around a unifying project that would allow our 223-year old Firm to emphasise its solid foundations and look to the future. At the same time, we created an emotional affinity and connection with people internally and externally, based on a shared understanding of the world, its challenges and opportunities.

We needed to clarify Lombard Odier's positioning around a unifying project that would allow our 223-year old Firm to emphasise its solid foundations and look to the future.


How did you go about it?

I had three months to examine the situation in detail. Going back over the history of Lombard Odier I realised that the bank's DNA has a broad appeal in today's world. The rethink everything concept is a unifying, meaningful and authentic branding exercise that displays the courage of the managing partners. 

The rethink everything concept is a unifying, meaningful and authentic branding exercise that displays the courage of the managing partners. 


What do you mean by that?

We decided to take a fresh and honest look at what's going on in the world today, highlighting its effects on finance and the economy. The 2018 rethink sustainability campaign went further, stressing the need for sustainable investing in the early 21st century. Climate change, demographics, natural resources and digitalisation are the some of the key challenges having a serious economic impact. As a privately owned bank, we have a duty to put forward a long-term vision. We’ve been doing this since Alexandre Lombard, one of our founding partners, in the 19th century, discouraged people from investing in the confederate states where the economy was based on slavery. The American Civil War proved him right. We don’t sell financial products, we sell the knowledge of our independent advisors. We are free from market pressures and external public shareholders so we focus on the long term. That's what builds trust.

Climate change, demographics, natural resources and digitalisation are the some of the key challenges having a serious economic impact.

This is evident in the tone of your image campaign, which was a far cry from standard banking visuals, especially the "shareholders" visuals, with four children staring in mute challenge.

The visuals for rethink everything mark a break with our old communication style and messages, and from the banking industry as a whole. They represent Lombard Odier's commitment to take nothing for granted, question everything in a changing economic environment, and to reinvent ourselves for the sake of our clients. We are especially proud of the shareholders artwork because it sets our responsibility as adults in a threatened world in the context of the expectations of future generations.

The visuals represent Lombard Odier's commitment to take nothing for granted, question everything in a changing economic environment, and to reinvent ourselves for the sake of our clients.

How do you establish such a disruptive brand signature?

All brands need to build customer loyalty whilst attracting new clients. Understanding the world around you doesn't in any way mean denying who you are; it means confirming that your positioning is still relevant.

All brands need to build customer loyalty whilst attracting new clients.

And to get that message across you launched a major communication campaign?

With so many points of contact, we need consistency in all of our communications. Our website, our visuals, our content, our social media – everything has to work together to create meaning for our clients and make us stand out. We need complete consistency in all our communications, across all media.


What channels have you been focusing on – and what have the results been?

Online, the new campaign video had just under 1.2 million hits in three months across all platforms. The original format was one and half minutes, but we also made a 30-second version for LinkedIn and a 15-second clip for Instagram.

The videos had a significant impact on traffic to the new site: over 400,000 additional unique visitors during the campaign. These leads will be invited to sign up for our newsletter, which can be customised to reflect people's interests.

We also bought advertising space in the local and international business media, both paper and digital. But we also focused on our colleagues: we see employees as both an audience and an essential communication channel.

We also focused on our colleagues: we see employees as both an audience and an essential communication channel.

Real estate is another critical contact point.

Absolutely. Our building needs to reflect our positioning. At the end of 2017 we finished renovating our magnificent historic head office in rue de la Corraterie. The managing partners wanted the new interior to combine tradition and contemporary style. The refit has been very popular and suits the character of the old town house perfectly.

But the unique impression in terms of client experience and working environment will come through in the construction of our new corporate head office, which will bring all of the bank's employees under one roof for the first time in Bellevue (opposite La Réserve, ed.) in 2022. The 1Roof project was designed by the prestigious international architects Herzog & de Meuron, based in Basel. The building will provide symbolic physical unity for our employees and express our modern approach to clients and the market. Lombard Odier has a rich history, but its face is firmly set towards the future.

Lombard Odier has a rich history, but its face is firmly set towards the future.

Are you interested in fintech at all?

Switzerland has a head start in security and stability, which should provide a boost for emerging fintech companies. Developing technical banking solutions is a strategic challenge for our industry. Lombard Odier has had a cutting-edge portfolio management platform for many years. In fact it has been so successful, we have started to develop access for other banks too.


You have been engaged in a process of massive change for two years now. Why the rush?

The world is in flux, so we need to be flexible and agile. As our latest campaign points out, the current sustainability revolution affects every sector all over the world. For the sake of our clients, we need to understand these fundamental changes and how they affect the economy and finance. That's the price of continuity. When you are 223 years old, you have to heed the words of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the author of The Leopard: If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.

When you are 223 years old, you have to heed the words of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the author of The Leopard: If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.

Wichtige Hinweise.

Die vorliegende Marketingmitteilung wurde von der Bank Lombard Odier & Co AG oder einer Geschäftseinheit der Gruppe (nachstehend "Lombard Odier") herausgegeben. Sie ist weder für die Abgabe, Veröffentlichung oder Verwendung in Rechtsordnungen bestimmt, in denen eine solche Abgabe, Veröffentlichung oder Verwendung rechtswidrig wäre, noch richtet sie sich an Personen oder Rechtsstrukturen, an die eine entsprechende Abgabe rechtswidrig wäre. 

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