Making Bank Iowa’s Brand Soar

When a brand is getting stale or outdated, we often rush to the solution of a complete rebrand. It sounds fun, right? New logo, fresh colors, renewed energy.



For those of us who have been there, done that, it’s not always a walk in the park. Rebrands take a lot of time and money, and for something as important as your brand, which stands for who you are as a company or organization, it had better be done right.

That means research, buy-in and sufficient resources to dedicate to the project. Plus, once the brand is determined, it must be rolled out internally and externally, with everything from building signage to business cards.

Still sound like fun? Or maybe more like exhausting? Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for a company to completely overhaul their brand. There are lots of success stories out there (and there are just as many failures).



If your brand has good bones or strong recognition but is feeling a little stagnant, you don’t need to throw it all out the window. In some cases a brand refresh might be much more impactful. Think of it like this — if you wear the same ole shirt but with different accessories it’s still the same shirt just with new perspective. Your brand can have the same experience. You can work with existing elements and create something that feels new.



Bank Iowa is the perfect example of a successful brand refresh. When they came to us, their market research showed they had low brand awareness and internally the team agreed that their brand had become a bit stale and lacked personality.

So, what did we do…?

Did we change the logo? No. Did we change the primary brand colors? No. Did we take brand elements that had always been there and give them new life? You bet we did.




We implemented a modern secondary color palette, selected a new main font, ditched an old tagline and used simple, bold images and icons in our ad creative. My favorite part of it all is how we embraced the bird icon in their logo.

The bird icon had always been present in the logo, giving a nod to Bank Iowa’s founders who originally started it as an aviation company. Throughout the brand refresh, we have made the bird a true symbol of Bank Iowa, incorporating it in various promotional campaigns and ad creative.

From creating a “Bird’s Eye View” aerial video social campaign for all the communities Bank Iowa serves, to the “Catch the Bird” frisbee promotion at Iowa Cubs games, to launching a new product — “FreeBird CheckingTM” — together with Bank Iowa, we gave new meaning and significance to the logo.




Bank Iowa isn’t afraid to do things outside the banking box, which not only makes them an amazing client, but makes them a fun brand to engage with.

Throughout the year, we’ve had the CEO body surf through bank employees for a photo shoot, created an April Fool’s social post about launching a line of personal care product called Eau de Wallét (The $cent of Money), promoted the opening of a new location with ads on Pandora featuring Dutch words and phrases, and so much more.



Okay, so we’ve obviously had a bit of fun reinventing this brand, but as marketers, we all know results are key. Our job is not done, but we are well on our way! Check out these stats:

  • 47% growth in social media followers
  • 67% growth in engagement on social media within 1 year; in year 2, we are on track to more than double the engagement from the prior year
  • 16% growth in website sessions within 1 year
  • 30% increase in brand awareness
  • 9% increase in Brand Health Score (a measure of performance, awareness, recall and loyalty)

The stats say it all — you can refresh your brand without doing a complete overhaul. And when you’re strategic and creative, you can even make your brand soar.


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