The $6 Billion Brochure

Driving a Record IPO Through the Invention of a New Brand Space

Above are three faces of a pocket folder, as it unfolds – revealing the essence of 724 Solutions' compelling value proposition at the dawn of the wireless age.

The folder stopped the CEO of a major European device maker in his tracks.  A discussion ensued about the transformational power of wireless. 724 signed the company as a partner.

The slogan "Your customer is in motion" captured the necessity to keep up with customers – wherever they travelled and whatever device they chose.

The Copernican Revolution Comes to Financial Services


Challenge: Evaporating Vaporware

724 Solutions was a wireless banking and brokerage innovator with a functional spec three inches thick and a very big problem set:

  • 724 didn't yet have a robust proof of concept
  • Client banks and brokerages couldn't charge more to offer 724’s services
  • Clients couldn't hope to steal customers from the competition by offering 724’s services
  • The big cost of implementation would likely impact the bonus structure of the executives charged with deploying it

Needless to say, signing up new clients was an uphill battle – until they turned to us.

Contribution: A New Space and a New Imperative

The first thing we did was toss out the spec book. Our insight: this solution wouldn’t be bought by engineers. It would be driven by visionary CEOs who didn’t want their financial institutions left behind by the future. And so we simply made the case for the future as compelling as possible.

The case for the future was distilled and driven home in key places:
• In the identity, including the groundbreaking: “chalk talk” logo, supporting visual style and “your customer is in motion” slogan
• On the complimentary designer mobile phone sent to prospect CEOs
• On the cover of the pocket folder used to house the brochures and product literature
• In trade advertising

Results: The Largest Canadian IPO Up to Its Time

Our argument was enough to sign up customers like Citigroup and Bank of America and partners like Nokia. The brand creative and communications fuelled a $6 billion IPO that led to a $12 billion market cap at 724's peak. Incidentally, 724 Solutions never did launch a full wireless banking, brokerage and shopping service. But they did make history and some people very, very rich.


The Team

Brand strategy, slogan development, visual concepts and copy: Harry H. Cornelius, Cornelius & Co. (Sideren Inc.)

Design: Ove Design and Communications Ltd./Jeffrey Vanlerberghe, Creative Director and Designer (Thrive Design and Communications)