Case Studies - Protecting a powerful new name for an historic local business

One of the most satisfying brand protection projects for a trade mark attorney is assisting clients with a successful re-branding exercise. Savvi Credit Union's re-branding is still one of my favourite brand evolutions and I am very grateful to them for allowing me to share their story.

St Patrick’s (ESB) Credit Union first opened its doors on Mount Street in Dublin in 1962, to serve the staff and families of Ireland's leading utility corporation the Electricity Supply Board (ESB). The ESB's retail arm Electric Ireland has long held a trusted position as the nation's leading energy supplier. The ESB was synonymous with both progressive technology and customer care in Ireland, a reputation enhanced by many well-loved TV campaigns (for a nostalgia overdose, check out the videos linked below). St. Patrick's ESB Credit Union mirrored these values by providing members with a deep commitment to its community and to socially responsible business.

Fast-forward fifty years and the credit union has experienced enormous growth in members and embraced both legislative changes and an increasingly competitive playing field for financial institutions with many new international and online offerings vying for attention. St Patrick’s (ESB) Credit Union merged with four other credit unions over recent years and has became the second largest credit union in Ireland with over 22,000 members.  At a time when other financial institutions are cutting costs by moving away from employing staff, the credit union remains a member-oriented service and continues to offer a face-to-face service whilst also offering online services for convenience. In 2017, the credit union re-branded as Savvi Credit Union with a new name to appeal to the broader and more diverse membership, and to reflect the evolution of a modern but personal service.

Their re-brand was carefully considered and was unanimously approved by members at a special general meeting – after all, it was the most important change in over fifty years – and was designed to reflect the key values of helping and supporting their members make wise financial decisions and to communicate a new experience that continued to uphold all the traditions and integrity of the credit union, and drew inspiration from its heritage of community service.

"The new Savvi brand reflects a wise and clever choice and delivers exactly what Irish society is demanding." - Karen Mulligan, Deputy CEO of Savvi Credit Union

Every aspect of the Savvi Credit Union evolution was carefully considered and crafted. A bespoke palette of colours was chosen for the new logo, which was also brought into the launch materials by way of pink, green and yellow clothing on models and used in decorations within branches. Savvi Credit Union produced a super video which demonstrated the management's deep regard for the heritage of St Patrick's, and which introduced the new brand as a respectful progression. A re-brand of this scale required leadership, members' goodwill and positive, clear communication.

I was delighted to assist with obtaining trade mark protection for Savvi Credit Union’s new name and logo, which was designed by Nik Dillon and the talented creative team at leading Dublin brand consultancy Alkamee. Hanna Moore + Curley carried out trade mark clearance searching which was crucial to ensure the new identity could be legally protected. We worked closely with Nik and Adam at Alkamee, guiding and reassuring Savvi Credit Union throughout the trade mark application process. 

The award-winning rebrand was awarded silver in ‘Best Visual Identity from the Financial Services Sector’ and bronze for ‘Bronze for Best Brand Evolution’ at the Transform Awards Europe in 2019. It is a joy to assist with successful re-branding exercises and I take great pride in seeing clients like Savvi Credit Union evolving and carrying their story forward into a new chapter of growth and success.

Mary White

Irish Trade Mark Agent at Hanna Moore + Curley

Dublin

Garryard House,
25/26 Earlsfort Terrace
Dublin 2
D02 PX51
Ireland.

Tel: +353 1 661 3930
Fax: +353 1 661 3453

[email protected]

Belfast

The Mount, 2 Woodstock Link,
Belfast BT6 8DD,
Northern Ireland.

Tel: + 44 28 90 737 293
Fax: + 44 28 90 730 199

[email protected]

China

Room 8017, Chunhui Building,
No. 24 Tangshan Road, Xigang District,
Dalian 116011, P.R. China.

Tel: +86 411 8361 4855

[email protected]

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