CEC Bank

CEC is the oldest Romanian bank. Established in 1864, twenty years before the National Bank, CEC (initially the acronym for The Savings House) is one of the few Romanian historical institutions having survived Communism. After having been appointed as President of CEC in 2007, Radu Gratian Ghetea, a prominent banker and President of the Romanian Bankers' Association, made a priority out of corporate revitalization on his agenda and CEC commissioned Brandient to rebrand the corporation.

Client file

Brand Strategy

After 1990, the competitiveness of CEC on the banking market steadily eroded and the external brand context was worsened by the perception that CEC “is not a bank” but only a Savings House. The initial analysis revealed that a major reason for CEC’s eroding competitive position was the denial of its own history and reputation, its own true identity, and that its huge hidden value must be brought to light and must become an engine of corporate revival.

The huge awareness of CEC imposed keeping the name while adding Bank was a strategic decision in order to counteract the wrongly perceived non-bank position.

Brandient worked alongside CEC teams for a year, going through brand audit and positioning, verbal and visual identity, retail design, literature design, external communication platform, website design and brand engagement sessions.

Corporate identity

The new graphic identity places CEC Bank simultaneously in tradition and revival, conveying the reliability required by the category at the same time. A national symbol, the oak leaf stands out through design in the new shield icon of the bank that seems to have been there for ages.

The whole brand is organic, defined by familiarity, honesty and perseverance and it is above all, a Romanian brand.

This redesign takes the bank leap years forward in sophistication, yet at the same time back to its 1864 foundation. Virtually overnight, CEC Bank is credibly a global competitor (at least in image), yet retains the home-field advantage. To quote the Prime Minister again, “It is a well-done thing.”

— Tony Spaeth, Identityworks.com

Retail experience

Interaction with the customers is paramount for CEC Bank both as a service company and as a bank with a preponderant base of individual customers.

Since the bank’s retail environment was outdated, Brandient lead the internal and external retail design alongside a team of specialized architects, supervised the implementation in the flagship locations and developed a relevant guide.

Communication platform

The new brand needed a conceptual platform to stay consistent with its brand essence and to ensure a cost-effective, memorable and impactful communication across all communication vectors.

We delivered a copy platform, concepts and executions for print, OOH, on-line, commercial literature (brochures, leaflets), including the internal communication (newsletter, posters etc.) – both for the immediate brand launch and for the long run.

Brand engagement

CEC Bank was a quite complex project and all those involved in the revitalization of this historical brand have a good reason to be proud of it. However, amongst all stakeholders, the employees remain the most prominent brand ambassadors. Hence the importance of the brand engagement sessions aimed to acquaint the organization with the new brand.

These sessions have attracted an amazing response from the internal stakeholders and the new identity became a cohesion factor for the organization and an agent of change even before the public launch.