Case Studies - Brand Design

Codesign Creates New Identity for Women’s Micro-finance Group

The new identity for SEWA Grih Rin Limited (SGRL) discards impersonal, intimidating stereotypes and embraces the roots of a SEWA initiative as a community-driven, social enterprise.

  • Studio or team
  • Year completed
    2019

The Client

SEWA Grih Rin Limited (SGRL) provides affordable housing finance to under-served, low income households in urban and peri-urban locations in India. By creating an asset in the woman’s name, SGRL champions their financial inclusion and active participation in improving the quality of living for their entire family.

New Energy, New Name

The complete original name ‘SEWA Grih Rin Ltd’ presented recall issues owing to its length and use of uncommon terms like Grih (home) and Rin (Loan).  The new brand name, Sitara, means star. Always a shining symbol and associated with ideas of hope, fortune and direction — the name connects meaningfully to the brand’s view of progress. A familiar and simple term across several languages in India, Sitara is also used as a girl’s name in India, cuing the organisation’s core of women-centric initiatives.

A Symbol of Hope

Keeping in mind varying levels of literacy amongst the audience for Sitara, the symbol was crafted as a key asset to illustrate brand purpose and aid recall. Inspired by Indian traditions of illustrative decorative arts, the ornamented symbol carries direct references to housing, community and star, brought together in a harmonious composition. It’s strong seal-like character cues stability and strength providing it stature in the world of finance and banking.

A Vibrant Language of Progress

A simple schematic of bright colours and bands, was designed to bring strong ownership and distinction across all brand touchpoints. Inspired by rich hues of Indian textiles, the visual language exudes joyfulness and frames communication in an optimistic, confident tone. The simplicity and flexibility of the design elements, ensures that implementation across different channels and media is seamless and consistent.

In Summary

The branding exercise was timely and critical, to consolidate and strengthen the organisation’s perception amongst users (women loanees) and investors alike, supporting a holistic growth mandate. The rebranding initiative also marks a significant departure, from top-down approaches to branding for under-served sectors—choosing instead, its roots in the community of its women users as its source of strength and identity.

One Big Thing

Field visits to branch offices and settlements provided valuable insights through conversations with women loanees, cluster and branch managers. These conversations were critical to understand the roots of the SEWA institution in community and witness first-hand the pride financial inclusion brings for the women loanees. Profound ideas of progress and empowerment often suffer from generic and grand interpretations in the practice of brand design; in this case the first-hand interactions with both the users and continuous dialogue with organisation stakeholders helped distil a point-of-view that was both simple and authentic, yet inspirational for external and internal stakeholders of brand.

One Comment

  1. SEWA Grih Rin Limited (SGRL) provides affordable housing finance to under-served, low income households in urban and peri-urban locations in India. By creating an asset in the woman’s name, SGRL champions their financial inclusion and active participation in improving the quality of living for their entire family.

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