Citi Salutes

Transforming veteran entrepreneur lives and livelihoods through access to small business opportunities

1 min read

Citi, the consumer division of Citigroup, came to Ideon with a vision for becoming the primary small business partner for veteran entrepreneurs leaving the service and their families. Although Citi historically has served veterans through various services, it lacked a core brand to define its veteran entrepreneurship facing programs. Ideon consolidated Citi’s various veteran initiatives as “Citi Salutes: Realizing Your Dream”, a powerful new “Why” brand which has allowed Citi to solidify a reputation as a trusted financial partner for USA veterans who want to own businesses once out of service.

The aspirational name, “Citi Salutes”, was crafted to highlight Citi’s deep utmost veneration for veterans, a salutary respect which undergirds the company’s relationship with the nation’s patriots. At the same time, the name carries institutional gravitas through its reference to the Citigroup brand, indicating to veterans that Citi is a trustworthy financial partner.

The new tagline, “Investing in Veteran Small Business Success”, encapsulates the core of Citi’s partnership with veterans. The punchy tagline supports the new brand story which speaks directly to the drive of a million service members transitioning out of the military in the coming years. 

Ideon creatively designed digital and print materials as well as campaign launches which all embodied a new brand design, underlining the approachability and human spirit of Citi while staying true to Citigroup’s corporate brand. We helped launch Realizing Your Dream via a Citi-funded business competition to award a dozen business start-up grants to veteran graduates of V-WISE and veterans of the SBA’s Boots to Business Program. Further, we orchestrated Citi as a proud corporate sponsor of V-WISE’s ongoing conference series around the nation.

Veterans can easily navigate their options to partner with Citi at the new Citi Salutes Website, an accessible tool which Ideon designed within Citi’s iconic blue color pallet, visually and rhetorically strengthening Citi Salutes’ brand. 

Ideon is honored to have transformed Citi’s partnership with veterans from a product based “what brand” into a living “Why” brand identity. Citi Salutes continues to revolutionize what it means to be a veteran entrepreneur in the 21st century.

Nandika Madgavkar, former SVP of Citi Community Development is a fan, explaining "I have long been a fan of Ideon’s creative energy and chutzpah. Ideon can take a run-of-the-mill initiative and infuse it with the energy, color and brand presence that immediately draws the viewer’s eye and attention."