Uncovering the power of emotional branding with Billink
Imagine yourself in a sneaker store. Two sales assistants greet you when you enter. You know which pair of shoes you’re looking for, you just need the right size. Would you approach the person one who smiles when they greet you, or the one that doesn’t?
A friendly smile is a great way to make a positive first impression, and this works for brands too. Brands use emotions to make their services and products relatable, trigger consumers’ subconscious desires, and differentiate themselves.
Billink, a Dutch Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider, noticed their brand wasn’t cultivating their obsession with positive experiences and decided it was time for a brand revamp. They wanted to humanize their brand and give their customers a better and more relatable brand experience.
Billink made it to the Emerce100 and was going to be crowned the BNPL champion of the Netherlands. They saw this as the perfect opportunity to reveal their new brand identity.
The art of emotional branding
We kicked off the project with a thorough brand assessment. This helped us identify the brand’s strengths and pinpoint where there was room for improvement. Our findings confirmed that Billink’s brand identity didn’t reflect what they stand for. We also spotted an opportunity to build deeper emotional connections with Billink’s customers.
Emotional branding enables brands to build deeper and more powerful connections with their customers. After all, to build strong relationships that last, customers need to feel an emotional bond. And such emotional bonds have a greater impact on business results than customer satisfaction, according to Harvard Business Review.
We wanted to unlock Billink’s determination to create positive experiences to forge deeper connections with their customers. As they’re a payment provider, it’s crucial for them to build brand trust.
First, we needed to rework Billink’s brand foundation. We solidified Billink’s purpose, mission, vision, and values. The brand was positioned so that it evokes emotion and portrays trustworthiness, friendliness, and happiness. Then it was time to move on to the brand identity.
Turning every shopper into a happy one
Your logo is the face and visual representation of your brand. It has the power to make a strong first impression and separate you from the competition. While Billink’s current logo was recognizable and distinctive, it didn’t reflect the Billink brand.
We developed a few different concepts, and one in particular stood out. We turned Billink’s “b” into a smiling face illustrating their mission to turn every shopper into a happy one. The smiling “b” gives that positive first impression of a trusted and happy friend. We then created an icon from the “b” that can also be used as a stand-alone element.
Remember that smile I mentioned in the beginning? With their new logo, Billink got that friendly first impression sorted. But there were other aspects of their brand identity that still needed some work. I’m referring to their brand colors, photography, and typography.
Billink had a minimalist color palette where the secondary color teal complemented the primary color orange. We added a blood orange to the secondary colors and swapped it with the existing gray. This happier and more energetic color fits better with the friendly image that Billink wants to portray.
After refreshing the color palette we moved on to Billink’s photography. We curated an extensive photo library that captures shoppers and retailers at different stages of the customer journey. Which is an excellent way of portraying Billink’s personality, evoking positive emotions, and humanizing the brand.
Last but not least, we turned our focus to typography. We replaced Billink’s existing font with two contemporary sans-serif fonts that complement each other perfectly. To ensure brand consistency, we created a brand guide containing guidelines on how to use the logo, colors, typography, and photography.
The big brand reveal
Once the branding was done and dusted, it was time for a multi-channel awareness campaign to show the world the new Billink brand. We created a TV ad, a bumper ad for YouTube, and a full-page print ad for the Emerce magazine. The new look and feel was unveiled when Emerce dubbed Billink the best BNPL provider in the Netherlands.
With their new branding, Billink is ready to become the biggest Dutch BNPL provider. The refreshed brand identity evokes emotions, leaves a positive first impression, and reflects Billink’s commitment to turn every shopper into a happy one. The new happy-b icon is so well received that it’s even starting to become a mascot.
And I can vouch for its success because I can’t help but smile whenever I see that friendly face. After all, they say smiling is contagious and Billink's new logo and icon are a testament to that.