Portman moves to renovate identity

Portman Building Society will this week appoint a group to redesign its identity as it moves to complete its merger with Staffordshire Building Society, Design Week can exclusively reveal.

Four ‘very strong’, unnamed groups have been shortlisted, following an unpaid, creative pitch and the winner will be announced this week, says a Portman spokeswoman. Design work will start ‘immediately’ and includes the identity, look and feel, but no name change, she adds.

The revamped marque will be applied from later this year across branches, customer-facing communications and literature.

‘We need to introduce some consistency to our identity,’ explains the spokeswoman.

The merged business will be known as Portman Building Society and will become the fourth-largest society in the UK.

According to a Staffordshire Building Society spokesman, it is planning to retain its own name in parts of its home region, but is changing it to ‘The Staffordshire’. The future of The Staffordshire’s bull terrier icon has yet to be decided, he says.

The Portman branding will have to ‘factor in’ the reality that Portman, until now primarily a southern-based society, will now include branches further north and in the Midlands, the spokesman adds.

The merger, which was announced last month, is dependent on approval by Staffordshire members, the Financial Services Authority and the Office of Fair Trading. A meeting is being held in late September.

More branding work could be up for grabs in the near future, as experts predict the Portman and Staffordshire merger will lead to a flurry of activity and consolidation in the sector.

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