FICO Brand Architecture
Financial branding and naming strategy
Best known to consumers for its credit scoring operations, FICO is a leading analytics software company, helping businesses in 90+ countries make better decisions that drive higher levels of growth, profitability, and customer satisfaction. FICO clients include the top 100 banks in the world, more than 600 personal and commercial line insurers, the 100 largest US credit card issuers, and more in every sector. Like most large companies with a long history, FICO had tons of products but no branding architecture guidelines. The portfolio was disorganized and inconsistent—some names were descriptive, some branded; acronyms and initialisms had run amok; terms were used inconsistently; and FICO’s flagship platform was called different things across the company and by clients. This kind of confusion can leave customers uncertain what to buy, render internal teams unable to communicate clearly, and waste resources trying to figure out how it all fits together every time a new product is developed.
Well, we love organizing, and we love a challenge! We immersed ourselves in the brand, interviewed key stakeholders in the marketing, sales, and product teams to understand the pain points for each, and reviewed the entire portfolio, including every registered trademark. Working very closely with the client team, we produced a consistent, logical architecture for both fixed products and custom solutions; rules for use and scope of existing names; recommendations on which legacy names should be retired; a glossary of standardized terms to improve interdepartmental understanding; a decision-tree style naming protocol for new and acquired products; updated guidelines for trademark; recommendations for the flagship platform name; and a guide for phased implementation of the new architecture. Whew!