The future is here.
DIFC is one of Dubai’s iconic brands and a key contributor in building the Middle East’s financial services industry. The world’s leading financial powerhouses have chosen to set up their regional offices at DIFC due to its prestigious international reputation and access to emerging markets.
However the world has changed. Fintech or Techfin, the entire industry is evolving at a staggering pace and true to DIFC’s culture or innovation, DIFC was not standing still and watching the changes happen around them. Whilst the core of DIFC’s mandate remains to grow the financial services sector in Dubai, they recognised early on the need to provide an ecosystem and environment for Fintech and technology companies to not only startup, but to also access funding and a supportive business community. So with all the infrastructure being put in place to move to the next stage of sustainable growth, DIFC needed a brand that reflected their innovation vision. To add a unique angle to the project, DIFC not only needed to appeal to the business community, but also to reinforce their presence as one of the most dynamic and harmonious urban environments in the region.
What we did
After analysing the market and prevailing trends, for the business and the destination, we proposed a new brand positioning supported by an updated brand architecture model. One of the key recommendations was to consolidate the brand to using only the acronym DIFC as this was the how both business and visitors referenced the brand and the destination. A simplified and logo was supported by a refreshed, lighter and more agile brand language. We extended the brand language across various design systems, with a particular focus on the digital design systems for the existing channels, future digital platforms and online communities. The brand language has the flexibility to adapt to specific audience requirements, flexing from the seriousness and dependability required for financial services to being more dynamic and agile for fintech and technology business to the vibrancy of an urban destination.
All the brand work was brought together in an online guideline system, Brand Affinity, allowing DIFC to easily engage employees and agency partners with the brand and its new strategic direction.
Insights and research