Creating a greater emotional connection

In 2017, Standard Life plc merged with Aberdeen Asset Management. For the Pensions & Savings part of the business, with exclusive use of the Standard Life name, this represented an opportunity to focus on their ambition of becoming customers' first choice for their life savings.


With press coverage and commentary around retirement all 'doom and gloom', Standard Life had a unique opportunity to own optimism in the market.

Their message being that, with the right partner by your side guiding you to make good decisions about your life savings, you can have a future to look forward to. Standard Life's new strapline, 'There's a lot to look forward to' captured this essence.


Our brief was to develop a new visual language to reposition Standard Life.

Early on we took the decision to retain the logo, which research told us had great recognition and positive brand sentiment.

Conveying a feeling of positivity informed every part of the brand. The existing colour palette was rationalised and tweaked for improved accessibility, and the introduction of dark to light gradients helped imbue a sense of optimisim and progress.

We created the new brand language with The Golden Thread as its signature element which embodied this optimistic spirit.

It represents the supportive role that Standard Life plays in the lives of its customers – subtly guiding and protecting them at key moments. To show these moments, we built a library of original photography with a unique treatment. 

We created guidelines that unified the visual identity of all communication, regardless of whether the business was talking to retail customers, employers or advisers. This culminated in a single and distinctive brand style. Creating shared assets allowed for greater efficiencies across the thousands of items produced each year. 

Research told us that the Standard Life brand was recognised and trusted, but their offering was not understood, nor was there an emotional connection towards the brand. A launch campaign of media activity was designed to address this head on.

Three clear business objectives were set:

1. To improve positive brand sentiment

2. To increase correct product association with a focus on pensions and retirement

3. To re-engage existing customers with their Standard Life savings

Furthermore, specific campaign engagement and conversion goals allowed us to measure and optimise performance.


Emperor are an invaluable partner. The team took the time to get to know our business and provide us with a brand which sets us apart and engages with our customers and partners on an emotional level.

- CLARE NEIL / Head of Brand, Sponsorship & Content, Standard Life

Over a six week burst, the campaign achieved fantastic visibility, being seen or heard 72.9 million times.

The customer dashboards received a 117% uplift in logins and generated an additional 583 new registrations, achieving a key objective of re-engaging existing customers with their Standard Life savings.

60% of those who engaged with the video content on, watched to completion – achieving a campaign conversion goal, aligned with reinforcing correct product association.


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