Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.


What Will Green Do for You?

Brand Channel profiles H&R Block's current identity....

The quest for a new identity began July 1999, when H&R Block decided to align its brand image with its business strategy and reposition the company for expansion. Known as a personal income tax preparer, H&R Block now wished to promote an array of financial services besides tax prep, including home mortgages, financial planning, and investing advice.

However, research showed that, while the H&R Block brand was strong, the company was known solely for its tax work in a market that included American Express Tax and Business Services, Intuit, and Jackson Hewitt. To compete against its new rivals in a financial advisory world populated by names like Dean Witter, Schwab, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch, the company needed to stand out.

The idea was to breathe new life into the H&R Block brand, to make the customer stop and say, "That's not the H&R Block I think I know."

The fresh, contemporary green (a contrast to the dark green of another American classic brand John Deere) is intended to communicate a progressive identity and
reposition H&R Block as a full-service financial provider. With a core market in the US and Canada, H&R Block also offers services in the UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. The company's visual look needed to play well globally.

While the green is a nice switch, and the ID is more substantial, I still think most people regard H&R Block as the "McDonald's of the Financial World."

What are your thoughts? Does the new ID convey something to you?