BANK OF BARODA: The Bank of Baroda underwent a rebranding initiative to refresh its brand image and create a more contemporary persona. The old identity was not well recalled or liked, so a dramatic transition was necessary. During a brand overhaul, it is important to ensure that consumers do not misinterpret the changes as a negative sign or that something is wrong with the brand’s previous performance. The Bank of Baroda rebranding initiative went beyond just a new logo, addressing various issues.
Public sector organizations must undergo transformation to remain relevant to the growing young population in India. In a similar vein, Medimix, an ayurvedic soap, had a unique yet unattractive packaging that did not resonate with the youth. In 2006, we made significant changes to the packaging, not merely for superficial reasons but to convey the message that the product was superior. This revamp has also been highly successful in the market. Effective change necessitates smart and persistent communication.
As long as the delivery is guaranteed, consumers will have no concerns. In 2009, foreign banks were assured of fair competition, which motivated Indian banks to enhance their effectiveness and distance themselves from their traditional public-sector reputation. This shift in perspective and the acceptance of a new identity not only aids in attracting new customers but also enables banks such as Catholic Syrian Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, South Indian Bank, and BoB to join this same trend. Nonetheless, it is vital for these banks to execute this transformation without alienating their existing clients.
Banks rely on trust, so the key to successful re-branding campaigns is the integration of a new look while maintaining their previous appeal. In the highly competitive financial services industry, rebuilding a brand has become essential in order to attract and retain customers who have numerous alternatives. Bankers must also consider the post-2009 landscape, where foreign banks will have more opportunities for growth. According to brand consultant Atul Phadnis, access to markets used to be a bank’s strength, but it no longer guarantees clients. Before re-branding, Bank of Baroda (BoB) experienced a significant loss of business, equivalent to the size of Dena Bank, causing its market share to decrease from 5% to 3.5%. However, after enlisting cricketer Rahul Dravid as its brand ambassador and undergoing an extensive image makeover, BoB claims to have gained business equivalent to that of Vijaya Bank. The number of BoB depositors has increased by 5 million, reaching approximately 30 million. Similarly, Canara Bank recently underwent a brand makeover, although their approach to re-branding differed from BoB’s.
BoB decided to recruit a brand ambassador to ensure good recall, whereas the Canara Bank campaign is more subdued and relies on models. Previously, the bank had Indian bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad as their endorser. However, BoB advises caution for banks considering re-branding, emphasizing the importance of fulfilling promises made to the market and implementing rigorous changes. To meet market expectations, it is crucial to adopt global best practices at every stage. I believe that the Baroda Sun, as a symbol, holds great respect and referring to it as the Baroda Sun instills a sense of pride in people.