Killing Brands to Create Value

Building a Master Brand for Bank of Montreal

More Can Be Less

Bank of Montreal struggled for years with its:
  • Name – it wasn't just a Bank and it wasn't just in Montreal
  • Look – its institutional blue begged for a dash of zest
  • Surfeit of brands – fragmentation cost the Bank an estimated  $40 million per year
As a global-facing firm, the Bank needed a modern identity above regionalism and beyond lines of business – without risking 175 years of equity. Creating the "BMO Rondel" as master brand was a master stroke, it:
  • Leveraged the familiar stock symbol B-M-O
  • Embraced the familiar M-bar logo with a splash of red
  • Could be added to almost any existing brand to bring mavericks into the fold
  • Enabled the creation of BMO Financial Group as the parent for all lines of business
Everyone in Canada knows Bank of Montreal has become "BMO. " And after a long, ongoing process of integration it stands as one of the top ten financial institutions in North America. 
HeBMO Bank of Montreal Branding team
The Team
Brand strategy, naming, strategic direction: Harry Cornelius (Sideren)
Design partner: Ove Design and Communications/Dwayne Brookson