BANK OF BARODA In the case of Bank of Baroda it was the need to refresh brand image and create a more contemporary persona as the old identity was not well recalled or liked so a dramatic transition was called for. When brands undergo an overhaul, how should they ensure that consumers do not misinterpret this as a negative sign as though something is amiss and start worrying if it means the brand was not doing well before? Bank of Baroda is a comprehensive re-branding initiative that addressed issues far beyond a new logo.
Public sector organizations must change in order to be relevant to India’s increasingly youthful audiences. Similarly, ayurvedic soap Medimix had an extremely distinctive but unappealing packaging that did not resonate with youth. We changed it dramatically in 2006, not just as a cosmetic exercise but to communicate cues that the product was better. This too has been a huge success in the market. Change requires intelligent, consistent communication.
As long as that is delivered, consumers will not worry With 2009 promising a level playing field to foreign banks, Indian banks have been rushing to not only bulk up efficiencies, they are also rushing to shed their staid public-sector branding. While changing public perception is one step, a new identity also helps draw new customers. Over the last two years, private sector entities such as Catholic Syrian Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank and South Indian Bank have all gone for a new fascia, apart from BoB. Hence now it too followed the league. However, this should be done without alienating its existing clientele.
Banks work on trust. Thus, success of such re-branding campaigns lie in integrating a new look while retaining their earlier allure. In the fiercely competitive financial services industry, it has become imperative, if not mandatory, to rebuild a brand in order to attract and retain customers who have a wide range of alternatives. Bankers also have to take into account post-2009 scenario, when foreign banks will have access to more organic and inorganic growth. ” Brand consultant Atul Phadnis says earlier, the strength of a bank was access to markets. Today, accessibility no longer guarantees clients. ” BoB had lost business the size of a Dena Bank in the 5 years before its re-branding. Its market share shrunk from 5 per cent to 3. 5 per cent. But in the two years after it roped in cricketer Rahul Dravid as its brand ambassador and went on an extensive image makeover, BoB claims to have gained business the size of a Vijaya Bank. Its number of depositors has increased by 5 million to around 30 million. Like BoB, Canara Bank also had a recent brand makeover. However, the approach to re-branding for these banks was quite different.
BoB chose to rope in a brand ambassador to ensure good recall, while the Canara Bank campaign is more sedate and relies on models to do the job. Earlier, Indian bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad used to endorse the bank. However, BoB has a word of caution for banks considering re-branding. Once you make a promise to the market, you have to deliver. The changes have to be rigorous. To meet expectations of the market, global best practices have to be adopted in every stage. I think the Sun is a very respected symbol and calling it the Baroda Sun created a sense of pride in people.