ING is a global bank with a clearly focused strategy – to become ‘The Preferred Bank for its Customers’. Yet different divisions and geographies had developed a confusing diversity of logos and graphic styles, leading to fragmentation of impact and dilution of message. They needed to clearly brand and unify communications around various initiatives, and show their contribution to a single focused narrative.


ING’s internal communications needed radical simplification and streamlining, ensuring that they looked, sounded and engaged from the same place, by telling a more consistent story to employees.

Enter the orange thread

We took a closer look at ING’s communications to develop a consistent yet flexible solution to this challenge. It’s a global bank, with a number of internal initiatives seeking to engage around specific issues and behaviours, and be relevant to all geographies.

To achieve this, we developed 'The Orange Thread', a simple graphic device that is consistently recognisable, yet infinitely flexible. The thread now ties all internal communications together, connecting initiatives, messages, people, places and policies throughout the Bank and around the globe. And to ensure it stays connected, we developed a toolkit to advise on usage for everything from PowerPoints to posters.

The Orange Thread has proven both effective and efficient. It has successfully unified over 200 separate initiatives across the business. Such consistency creates savings, creating a common resource for communications which avoids reinventing the wheel each time. And it creates greater impact, going beyond a design function by more clearly aligning all behaviours to objectives, and objectives to a defined strategic purpose.

We are pleased to report that, following the introduction of the Orange Thread, the company’s next annual Winning Performance Culture (WPC) survey saw response rates increase a staggering 90%. Joining up helps joining in, when there is a consistent story identifying a clear journey for a business.

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