Oakam: Banking in Plain English

Refresh the brand tone of voice and key messaging as part of a digital rebrand

Oakam is a high street lender changing what it means to borrow money.
They don’t just provide a service, they champion those who have been financially excluded by other banks by providing access to emergency finance and the opportunity to build up a credit rating.
Throughout 2016, Oakam have undergone a digital rebrand and as part of that, they chose to collaborate together to revamp their tone of voice and key messaging across their website and marketing collateral.
Tone of Voice
Together, first we tackled the tone of voice for the brand.
Going from a foundation of “trustworthy, reliable and friendly”, after a couple of brand value proposition and tone of voice workshops, we moved on to the more emotive “empowering, caring and bold.”
From a customer perspective, we really wanted to communicate through every channel that Oakam is far more than a high street lender. Unlike most financial institutitions, Oakam staff are heavily invested in the success of their customers, and develop very strong relationships that last even after the loan has been paid back.
From an investor perspective, we wanted to show that Oakam is a real thought leader in ethical lending practices, ahead of the curve with their use of integrated technology in-store and community-building across the country.
Website
When researching Oakam, one thing immediately jumped out: for the vast majority of first time customers, English is not their first language. This has a huge impact on writing copy for marketing channels.
First, all financial jargon had to be stripped out so that every loan package was simple to understand for someone with an average knowledge of banking and finance.
Second, all copy would have to be simplified and shortened so that it delivered they key bits of information in simple language, while still retaining a spark of personality.
In short, it was a big editing job.
We decided to have slow sliders of micro-copy on the site, to give each ‘sound bite’ room to breathe on the page, with enough time between each slide for non-native English speakers to understand the content.
This approach will also be used across print marketing collateral in early 2017.

Team Credits

Rebecca Magnus

  • Lead writer for an award-winning design studio
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Lead writer for an award-winning design studio