Established in 1997 by parent company ING Group — the Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation — ING Direct Canada is a retail bank with more than 1.8 million customers, employs approximately 900 people, and has over $38 billion in assets. In August 2012 it was announced that Scotiabank would purchase ING Direct Canada and part of the deal would be the dissolution of the ING Direct name and identity within 18 months. This week ING Direct Canada introduced its new name, Tangerine, which will begin to be rolled out in Spring 2014. The new name was created by Sausalito, CA-based Lexicon, the new logo by Toronto, Canada-based Concrete, and the advertising will be handled by Toronto-based john st..
“Tangerine and the new visual identity exemplify everything ING DIRECT has represented since its start in Canada in 1997, specifically its continued focus on being an innovative and progressive alternative for Canadians who embrace forward banking and banking in a direct way,” said Peter Aceto, President and CEO, ING DIRECT. “We’re very excited about the new name because it reflects everything our clients love about us and what everyday banking can be: simple, flexible, accessible, progressive and innovative.”
The “ING” name has plenty of clout around the world and given the premise/promise that ING Direct Canada could not hold on to that name it had to go big or go generic like most banks do (based on the assumption that banks need to sound and look serious and boring because they handle important things like yo moneys). Boy, have they gone big. Choosing “Tangerine” as a name is a bold, ballsy move because it invites so much criticism (good and bad). It’s not some meaningless acronym or the last name of some rich old guy or something invented, like Kleenex. No, it’s a fruit. A tiny, sweet fruit. We all know what a Tangerine is and a tangerine does not issue credit cards. At first, the name sounds like a late 1990s, early 2000s doomed clever company name, like Monday, but the longer you watch the video above and the more you let the name sink in, it’s a rather impressively sticky name. It’s memorable. It stand outs in the banking sector. It’s interesting. You do have to wonder if customers will embrace it and be vocal about who they bank with or whether they will shy away of being mocked by choosing a bank named after produce. As someone who banks at Citibank, I like the freshened feel of Tangerine.
Where the name was bold and daring, the logo takes a more timid and safe approach, perhaps to temper down the fact that the name will be divisive enough. Set in an Avenir-esque sans serif, the wordmark is tightly letterspaced and punctuated with an unremarkable arrow that conveys what every arrow pointing forward is meant to convey: forwardness, upward mobility, the futu… blah blah blah. It’s also a nod to the previous ING Direct Canada logo. But why? If they are not keeping much else why keep such a bland element? The color alone is a proper extension of the old brand. As much as I like the name and the no-holds-barred decision to go with it, the logo is a bit too generic. It doesn’t have to be a weird-ass logo and it doesn’t have to have a tangerine drawn on it but it would have been nice to see a similar bold approach to it. Perhaps the applications and advertising, when they roll out, will kick this into gear.
Thanks to David Roger for the tip.