• Transform magazine
  • December 13, 2017

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Mr Cooper greets the home lending sector

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It may sound more like a boutique hotel chain or an upscale eyewear brand, but Mr Cooper is the new brand for 23 year-old American mortgage provider Nationstar.

Working with Phenomenon, a Los Angeles-based brand and advertising agency, Mr Cooper is trying to transcend the boring approach to brand taken by the majority of the mortgage sector. Using warm blues, animation-style imagery and a friendly tone of voice, the new brand achieves just that.

The introduction of a branded character is designed to avoid the ‘business as usual’ tone typical of mortgage and lending transactions. “A home is one of the largest, most important purchases a person will make, yet the home buying process is confusing and outdated. Our assignment was to reimagine Nationstar from a customer-centric point of view, and by doing so, disrupt the home loan industry. They knew they needed to radically change or risk being left for a better known brand,” said Simrit Brar, design director at Phenomenon.

Illustrator Andrew Colin Beck, an American illustrator who contributes to newspapers and magazines, worked with Phenomenon on the new brand. The resulting visual identity uses cheerful icons and friendly images in bright colours that complements the use of an approachable sans-serif. The identity also steers clear of the traditional reds, whites and blues of the lending sector, in favour of a more interesting palette. Nationstar was primarily a red brand and used a literal shooting star graphic in its wordmark. The new approach goes a long way toward modernising the brand and differentiating it from its peers.

However, it may be one small step leap for the sector, but the friendly, approachable strategy with illustrated imagery is not entirely one giant leap for branding. The new brand draws on themes that have proliferated over the last couple of years, albeit in a considered and relevant way.

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