The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce will launch a facelift with a new logo this week as part of a multi-year effort to revitalize the bank’s brand and financial performance.
CIBC executives have been working on a rebrand codenamed “Project Tetris” inside the bank since 2019. The launch of the new logo was originally planned for May, 2020, but the officials opted to delay it while dealing with the results. from the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time in decades, the change in logo of CIBC is the most obvious part of the bank’s effort to rebuild its corporate culture and relationship with its customers. Chief Executive Officer Victor Dodig hailed the project as well as the construction of the bank’s new headquarters in downtown Toronto, called CIBC Square, as a touchstone of CIBC’s wider effort to modernize.
In recent years, the bank has made acquisitions to grow its operations in the United States, has invested heavily in updating its technology, and has worked to make its retail banking operations more competitive with rivals – Particularly in mortgage loans. The bank has also worked to restore a reputation for misunderstandings associated with the past financial crisis, which have contributed to the persistent valuation gap between CIBC’s stock and its Canadian banking peers that has now largely closed.
Mr. Dodig adds that by creating more awareness of and affinity for the bank, the bank can build on those more tangible changes and help boost financial returns over time.
“One of the things we’ve worked really hard for is to create a different bank,” he said in an interview. “This is the right time to externally express CIBC’s modern approach to the market.”
The new logo is a custom shade of red, a change from the darker claret red that has been the background of the bank’s brand for years. it remembers A previous logo designed for the bank’s centenary year in 1966 had two chevrons, now joining them together to form a diamond-shaped symbol. The bank also introduced a new tagline: “Ambitions Realised.”
The logo will be revealed to bank employees on Wednesday and the public on Thursday, with a major advertising campaign the bank intends to reach 95 percent of Canadians. Digital sites will be updated immediately But the bank will slowly change Signatures at 1,021 branches and 3,022 automated banking machines through the fall and spring of next year. CIBC is also to replace 1,500 advertisements, gradually replace over 60 lakh customer cards as they expire, update 6,000 internal forms, and redesign 50 digital applications.
The rebrand aims to appeal “first and foremost to customers and potential customers”, Mr. Dodig said. But it aims to instill a sense of pride among employees and make CIBC a more attractive place to work.
According to a report by Brand Finance Canada, CIBC’s brand is estimated to be worth $9.1 billion. “We haven’t really made a significant investment in this — in terms of our look and feel and what we’re trying to project into the future — in nearly two decades,” he said. “This is a significant investment in a valuable asset for our bank.”
The launch of the new brand comes at an opportune moment for CIBC, which has posted strong earnings growth in the recent quarters. Yet the bank, like its rivals, is also facing an uncertain economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This has come under continued pressure from low interest rates that have reduced profit margins from lending, as well as weak demand for new loans. In that context, the bank may face questions from some investors as to whether rebranding and moving headquarters is the best use of resources.
Mr Dodig declined to provide details of the cost of the rebrand, and said the bank would make disclosures in its financial filings. But he also said the project “has not decoupled” from other investments the bank may make, and “is well within the envelope of our return projections for our shareholders.”
He said he hopes the rebrand will help boost the Net Promoter Score — which measures how likely customers are to recommend the bank to others — as well as brand views and awareness. If it succeeds, he also thinks that the knock-on effect will eventually help boost key financial metrics such as earnings per share and return on equity.
“I think there is a derivative effect for our shareholders,” Mr. Dodig said. “The new brand is not a promise of something we are going to become. It is a statement on the bank that we have worked hard to become.”
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