Banco Sabadell has a proud history over 135 years in business. In the years following the 2008 international financial crisis, the bank acquired an impressive 16 competitors, catapulting them from a mid-level regional player to Spain’s fourth largest bank, with a nationwide retail network and operations in the UK and Mexico.

Saffron was engaged by Banco Sabadell following a period of growth to define the strategy for the brand and activate it internally.


  • Brand Strategy
  • Verbal Identity
  • Brand Design
  • Internal Brand Engagement
  • Guardianship

A new reality

The organisation’s acquisitions had brought together many employees from different corporate cultures and new retail customer segments. To ensure a relevant offering for the market and to unify the company’s teams behind one vision, a new brand strategy was required. Our role was to define who Banco Sabadell would be and how they would manage the brand’s transformation to bring the strategy to life.

A bank that behaves differently

We dived deep into Sabadell’s culture to understand what moved their organisation and brand. To understand cultural and business drivers we looked inside, with interviews and focus groups. To understand the relationship people have with money and finance, we looked outside, carrying out extensive ethnographic research. Financial products are increasingly similar and the margin to differentiate is shrinking, so we used the research findings to identify a brand territory within the market for Banco Sabadell to occupy, where they could add value.

‘Anticipating and Caring’

Banco Sabadell’s opportunity was to differentiate themselves through the way they behaved towards customers. The brand idea was defined as “Anticipating and Caring”, to reflect that the bank takes pride in being a close partner to their clients, taking their needs and concerns on board and acting to support them.

Meaningful brand messaging themes

We developed brand-focused messaging that was relevant to all key audiences through a series of collaborative workshops with staff. We defined the audiences, their personas and values before creating messaging options for teams to use when building communication plans.

On-brand experiences

Work to make the brand tangible started early. In partnership with the Customer Experience team we developed an online Experience Toolkit that employees could use to build customer interactions that embodied the brand spirit. It would allow the team to consider each interaction within the framework of the brand promise of ‘Anticipating and Caring’ ensuring brand lies at the centre of customer experience. We also worked with the Communications team, ensuring the promise was seeded throughout major campaigns, like the one starring Rafa Nadal when he was crowned #1 in the world.

Making it real

We developed a road map to bring the brand to life throughout the organisation. From engaging employees to devising customer messaging and delivering experiences, the plan was phased and included processes to measure KPIs and effectiveness.

Internal engagement

Banco Sabadell is a service business, so employee engagement was essential to bring the brand to life. We created a creative concept for an internal campaign that would tell the story in a simple, inspiring and powerful way. The brand was launched internally to bring the team on board, and instil the brand mind-set throughout the organisation.

Safeguarding and governance

As a partner on Banco Sabadell’s Brand Committee, Saffron helped the bank shape the formal mechanisms that could safeguard the brand for the future. By devising a structure for brand governance, we guided them in defining roles and responsibilities for guardianship and amplification of the brand. The internal launch served as a key moment for the lead brand ambassadors within the organisation to champion and push forward the brand.

A bright future

We delivered the tools the bank needed to make their brand real for customers, and a brand platform to unite a new, larger team around a shared goal. Banco Sabadell’s bright future can be supported with a brand that is aligned with their new reality.

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