Bank of Hawai’i

Modernizing a 120-year-old bank brand

How do you help an established bank evolve to meet the needs of a new generation while retaining the best of their legacy?

By refreshing the brand to resonate with modern audiences and elevating digital experiences.


  • Quantitative and qualitative insights  
  • Brand strategy
  • Portfolio architecture
  • Brand expression
  • Brand guidelines
  • Go-to-market strategy


For more than a century, Bank of Hawai’i has been one of the most trusted banks in the Aloha state. With a customer base that skews older and digital disruptors encroaching on their core businesses, they needed to appeal to a younger demographic while remaining authentic to the heritage of the communities they serve.


Through rigorous brand exploration, we landed on a compelling new purpose that allows the bank to connect with people of all ages: To unlock exceptional lives for their customers and communities.

We shaped how this purpose could come to life in their different lines of business and connect across their portfolio. And we created a brand positioning rooted in rigor to inform all their communications.

To support growth into a new demographic, we sharpened the brand positioning for their SimpliFi mortgage application platform, activating the SimpliFi sub-brand in customer experiences, campaigns, and sponsorships.

Finally, we infused the purpose into the visual expression of the brand across imagery, photography, and graphic style and captured the new brand in detailed brand guidelines.


This fresh and modern brand approach has given the Bank of Hawai’i renewed energy and relevance as they continue building on their 120-year history. We continue to work with them to ensure all their touchpoints and communications remain deeply resonant.

The new brand is the result of Northbound’s strategic vision—of what the next 100 years can be for us.

With its unique beauty and culture, Hawai’i is a place where people can live their dreams. The brand purpose we developed—“exceptional lives”—synthesizes the highest common aspiration of customers and what makes the Bank of Hawai’i distinctive, charting a resonant strategic direction for the future.

To reinvigorate this legacy brand, we provided an all-up brand architecture refresh and developed the brand strategy for a new online mortgage application platform targeted to a younger, digitally-savvy demographic. The brand narrative we delivered gets at the heart of what makes the Bank of Hawai’i special.

We ensured the brand promise pulsed throughout their brand ecosystem by updating the visual expression of the brand through imagery, photography, and graphic style.

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