Tim Nicolle

A personal post from Tim Nicolle

CEO of PrimaDollar

People who know me, even not very well, would probably say that I am not short of confidence. Short for sure – confident, definitely.

So the process of revisiting our branding and positioning was not one that I was going to find easy on a personal level; what we wanted was going to be difficult to get right.

  • On the one hand, we wanted continuity with the past.
  • On the other hand, after months in stealth mode, our new portal and API platform are bringing major benefits directly to customers and partners – and we wanted this to be clearly visible and clearly communicated.

The pivot from “fin” to “fintech”

PrimaDollar has become a fintech.

With the launch of our game-changing trade finance platform, we are now delivering a completely new level of customer service. Our clients can now execute paperless trades, fully online, controlling and viewing their positions and trades through real-time dashboards – drilling down to cash collection against individual invoices. Integration of machine learning and live logistics data is now ahead and rapidly arriving.

The path to scale not only requires cheaper and better products, but also requires a step-change in the way that those products are delivered to the market. Accessing low-cost trade finance has never been easier, now available directly from us online, or via global logistics partners, local and international banks who can integrate our products via APIs.

We have moved from a speciality finance company with some good technology, to a fully tech-powered business.

The branding and positioning challenge

We wanted a new website that reflects our transition from “fin” to “fintech”.

The brief that we gave to our designers, Kevin and his team at The Design Lab, was:

  • Create a website that is still clearly us – PrimaDollar.
  • But also a website that clearly communicates the benefits that importers and exporters who move onto our platform receive from a truly digital customer experience.
  • And a website that speaks to our own online portal and the APIs that we provide for partners, like shipping lines, freight forwarders and local banks; via our APIs, they can integrate our trade finance into their own online customer journeys.
  • Above all, we wanted to stand out from the crowd.

These changes in our products, services and positioning are very important. With technology now moving to the heart of our business, we have stepped away from the chasing pack and we are charting a different course.

The result

You can see it in front of you, and we have certainly ended up somewhere that we didn’t imagine.

When we first met Kevin and his team at The Design Lab, a local branding consultancy here in the UK, I think we guessed that they would take an unconventional approach. Kevin’s point, well made, is that we needed to create a complete break between our “legacy” business and the new platform, and that this needed to be addressed in our branding, as well as presented in a new site. So the project evolved rapidly into more than just building a new website.

The main theme has been a bold new presentation of the business using a specific palette of bright colours that are blended and layered behind short sentences that deliver simple messages. We have gone from a brand in one colour to a brand that is multi-coloured –  moving from two dimensions to three. Our complicated website focussed on solutions has been replaced by a much simpler site that is focussed on our products.

Some key design elements in the brand were retained to deliver continuity. Our orange is still there, albeit we have shifted it up to a brighter and more optimistic tone. The PrimaDollar logo is the “P” and “d” which mirror each other – and so the design team used these devices throughout the site to soften the boldness of the new colours and to create a link back to what has gone before.

Our new site speaks properly to our fintech positioning and agenda:

  • a modern, technology-led, financial business;
  • effective products, clearly presented;
  • delivering direct benefits to our clients and partners.

Our new site and new branding are also playing well across South and East Asia where many of our clients are based; colour is very important in these markets and the boldness and confidence of the presentation have pulled in a lot of favourable comment.

Thank you

Linking back to my point at the beginning, as we all realise – driven businesses have driven management teams. And, of course, driven management can get in the way of change. But often, it is important to bring in the experts and let them do their jobs, supporting them with the right people.

Congratulations and thanks to our team, and to Kevin and his team at The Design Lab. They brought an exceptional creative drive to our new branding. They have worked hard and well together to make this happen.

They delivered what we wanted but perhaps did not quite expect.

How can I find out more about PrimaDollar and trade finance?

With a global network and global coverage, talk to us.

  • More about export finance: here
  • More about supply chain trade finance: here


  • Price export finance online: here
  • Find your local office: here
  • Read more about PrimaDollar: here

and The Design Lab can be reached: here

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