Brand by Santander

Santander worked with PRECIOUS, the leading network and awards for women of colour. Together, they developed a research project to explore ways to support women of colour in business. However, the bank needed help implementing the research findings and sought our help to advance this initiative.

Summary

After commissioning research with PRECIOUS, Santander approached us for help. They wanted to understand, analyse, and act on their findings. They were eager to find ways to support women of colour in business, but they needed help to use the research findings. Santander knew had to build trust with the Black community and felt we could help them connect with Black women.
Who Led The Project
Collette
Category
Research
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Audit
We reviewed Santander's dense and unwieldy research report. We looked at patterns in the data and used them to identify the problems women of colour face in business and potential solutions. We found the data lacked context. So, we sent questionnaires to and interviewed women of colour who own businesses to add to the research. Santander was pleased that our approach made the research usable. Without this approach they couldn't have moved the programme forward.
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Explore
It became clear Santander needed direct feedback from the women it intended to support to bring the research to life. To better understand the issues faced, we helped Santander convene a working group of women of colour in business (at varying life stages), running product-based businesses. With this group, we led safe space listening and co-creation sessions. This culminated in a workshop with the group, Santander senior staff, and industry stakeholders. Here, business owner shared real life experiences of the biggest barriers they faced in starting, growing or sustaining their business. The Santander team benefitted from hearing these insights first-hand and had the opportunity to ask questions to each woman. We also explored collaboratively the solutions that would help business owners break through these barriers, and how Santander could help. After discussing our findings, we co-created an action plan that recommended support tailored to the needs of the women we consulted.
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The bank was impressed by our approachable and energetic nature, and how we encouraged contribution across the group. The sessions were bold but never compromised, nor did anyone feel put on the spot – crucial for the difficult topics we covered.
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Evaluate
This project broke new ground for Santander and the broader banking sector. It also provided visibility for - and was led by - the views and voices of women of colour in business. Santander aimed to build meaningful support for women business owners of colour. They intended its impact to be long-lasting and relevant. The bank still works with many women from our group demonstrating the impact of the project.
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OUR insight
During this project there was a real recognition of the joy that comes with co-creating with women of colour and Black women specifically. Showing up for Black women is a big part of my personal brand so it was lovely to have a Brand by Me project that was doing that too.
Collette
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“Brand by Me were professional, timely and thought provoking. I always felt they struck a great balance between the members of the steering group and the banks’ team – as a Black woman, Collette was also able to add her points as well without losing the impartiality her role in this initiative demanded. I loved their creativity, sunny approach and strength.”

Louise Robinson, Head of Breakthrough, Santander

Recognising and addressing how your brand upholds systems of oppression helps drive social justice. We can show you how.

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