Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bank on me !!!

A biker was riding along a beach when suddenly the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, the Lord said,

"Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish."

The biker pulled over and said, "Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want."

The Lord said, "Your request is materialistic, think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking.

The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things.

"Take a little more time and think of something that would honour and glorify me."

The biker thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, "Lord, I wish that I could understand my wife. I want to know how she feels inside, what she's thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing's wrong, and how I can I make a woman truly happy."

The Lord replied,
You want two lanes or four on that bridge?

I saw a bank that said "24 Hour Banking", but I don't have that much time.. said some one and that is how I guess many people still perceive banks and their communication. Well for that matter banks never communicated in the the right sense or spirit and customers were non existing entities who once in a while crept in as nuisance crying for money and materials, from the employee on the other side of the counter who was GOD or atleast next to GOD!

Time has changed and it has changed everything.. even the banks... now with the new and improved customer and all the hype and hoopla about customer centric banking, the old style banks seem to be slowly but surely fading into oblivion. Gone are the days when they said 'bank failures are caused by depositors who don't deposit enough money to cover losses due to mismanagement' ...Every coin is precious and so is every clueless soul who walks in and out of a bank.....And when banks have changed can their communication remain archaic? Should they also not change? SBI and the surprisingly SBI campaign
was an eye opener for many a PSU banks who lived life on lethargy and drove life blood from creeping inefficiency and incompetence, and made no attempt whatsoever to change according to the times but instead remained obscurantist and thus out of the real world....With the influx of new gen banking and their variety of products and services and the amazing communication from their side sweeping a large generation of customers off their feet, there was no other way but to change and change was the only option for the PSU banks.

No wonder Canara bank says, we have changed, for you.... A huge laugh escaped my inner self when I saw the candid confession for the first time after the image make over.....Hear it again.. together we can they say of course but also, we have changed, for you and not because we wanted to change... anyways, for whom is not that important as long as they have and they are successfully communicating it....

South Indian bank some time back roped in veteran carnatic musician Dr Balamurali krishna and it was a cool piece of communication which talked about the generation change and how the bank caters to both the gen.....

And now comes Mammooty to cater to the Mallu crowd in a decent ad which sparks class in and out ,done by a local Ad agency in Kochi.. ( beware the big heros...) a new logo and color to suit the changing styles...see what their website says......In the erstwhile logo of the Bank, the unique picture is that of a coconut tree. The fronds of the coconut palm form the basic theme of our new logo. The sharp ends of the fronds are smoothened, thickened and twisted to form a ‘S’ denoting South Indian Bank. Thus the new logo has the continuity from our erstwhile logo. It can also be seen as two hands clinging to a strong pillar in the middle. The pillar is our beloved institution; the upper hand represents our customers and the lower hand symbolizes our staff members. “S” also projects a Safe, Solid, Smart, Strong, Secular, Shining, Schooled, Seasoned, Successful and Straightforward Bank.

.......what more to say, it is almost complete...

Bank of India ,not to be left behind jumped into the we also changed bandwagon and looked quite amused at the change.. their ads were nosy (they still are ..the campaign is still continuing) where it seems they expect the customer to be endlessly thankful and eternally grateful to them for having taught them modern day banking so much so that the customer never visits the bank
these days' .....well.... if you are talking to the new generation kid with money and all that attitude and no bank visits in his history, this comunication looks like a joker who has fell flat on his ass from the high trapezuim..
It has cut some ice with the old customers but are they the real intended targets?

And that was just a sample... here in this blog we have seen it all.....rrrr..... almost all and hence I dont venture to make it longer...The underline is the moneys that is spent on the repositioning exercise... not only the ads but every touch point.. every aperture where the customer eye meets the brand has to change....
Every employee has to change..... huge amount of training has to creep in...
attitudes have to change.....and no amount of training can do that...
The stoic and blunt looks have to change..... the pan masalas and inordinate tea breaks have to change.. the challans and multi colored coupons have to change ..the dull looks have to change.. the I am The GOD stares have to change and what not...?
If you have been to a PSU bank you will know what I mean... Not that the private ones are paradises.. the plastic smiles and hidden charges galore there but they still, are much better... With so many internal branding problems, can the banks actually mean what they say? Or is it just a ritual where they bosses would have thought they all do and why not we?
It is a transition, a journey in search of the new generation customer who dont want to be seen associated with the old generation bank...... in the process if one wins them it is good but if they are loosing the old gen and not winning the new, what is the end result?

When mindsets remain sludge what big difference can stars and smart communication strategy make?

let the Lord decide.. well as it is seen, in some cases even he will have no clue!!!

Tail end : Bertolt Brecht said and I quote“What is the robbing of a bank when compared to the founding of a bank?”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

scathing.scornful and sarcastic.. well done adformula!

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