How to leverage your brand assets like Llyods

Post by David Nichols, Group Managing Partner and Global Head of Invention.

Lloyds bank is great example of creating, applying and building distinctive brand assets. I posted here about their masterbrand campaign that established the ‘By Your Side’ brand idea and refreshed the black horse symbol. More recently, I’ve been impressed by how the Lloyds brand and agency team have been able to leverage these brand assets to launch a new product: the Smart Start accounts for 11-15yr olds.

Here’s why I think the new campaign (visual summary below, full ad here) is such an effective piece of marketing.

1. Drives ‘fresh consistency’

We don’t have to wait until the end of the ad to know which brand it’s for – as soon as we see the running horse, we know it’s Lloyds.  It’s utterly consistent with their previous ads in tone, style, photography and use of the horse.  Yet it’s new fresh and brings a new dimension. This is ‘fresh consistency’ in action – by repeating their distinctive brand properties Lloyds are building memory structure and by adding freshness they are keeping their message engaging – building the brand.  

2. Drives product sales, not just awareness

Too often when it’s time to ‘sell some products’, marketing teams abandon their brand campaign. Instead, they do a ‘product ad’ that communicates the functional benefits but limits the branding to a logo in the final shot.  Here, Lloyds have shown how to keep utterly consistent with their brand campaign, whilst telling an engaging story about a key product.  This chapter of marketing therefore drives brand and product awareness simultaneously.

3. Creates a halo for all products & services

By leveraging their distinctive brand properties in this way, their ad for a youth bank account also drives awareness of their other services: corporate banking, business accounts and all their services get a lift. This kind of consistency delivers more bag for every marketing buck.


The Smart Start campaign shows how you don’t have to chose between building the brand and building the business. The team have created a freshly consistent campaign that dies both jobs.  


To note, I do think Llyods could go further in driving awareness and campaign effectiveness by amplifying their brand assets across all parts of the mix.  The black horse is not currently used on their website or in other areas like Business Banking, Wealth Management or Corporate Banking. Driving their brand assets more consistently across the business and deeper through the marketing mix could increase RoI and amplify awareness.