With the Indian economy picking up after fears of a second recession have appeased, there is a general upbeat in the market. In light of this, banks seem to have loosened their purse strings and are going ‘gung-ho’ in their marketing spends. Banks such as Kotak Mahindra, Union Bank of India, HDFC, IndusInd and now Axis are going all out in their bid to grab the consumer’s attention. Kotak Mahindra last activated a diverse campaign – ‘Money ka Matlab’ (the meaning of money) showcasing how money means different things to different people. The campaign (reviewed here) was largely a branding exercise celebrating 25 years. Union Bank of India launched a campaign (reviewed here) – Your dream is not yours alone endorsing the people behind celebrities such as Sachin Tendulkar and A.R. Rahman. And now, Axis Bank has joined the foray and launched a campaign positioning the brand as a ‘partner through life’.
With so many strategies being effectuated, the zeal in banks to become the ‘preferred choice’ shows right through. So how can banks transform their zeal and spends into (candidly put) more income to their coffers?
- Give them a reason: While the importance of building brand equity cannot be discounted, it is vital to focus on a single campaign message. I have watched all the commercials, enjoying the creativity but not once thinking about using any of the banks’ services. None of the banks in their commercials gave me that ONE call to action.
- Get them talking:Sometimes you just want your TG to know who you are, what you are and why you are. That is just as good. But after the 10-second slot, are your viewers talking? Ideally that is exactly what they should do. Give them a reason to, a platform to and an ear to! Did I hear social media?
- Re-focus your focus: Often banks get so excited with their campaign that any message they send following the campaign is plastered with campaign messages. It is not evil to do so, but when it is overdone (which it mostly is) even a good campaign boomerangs scaring that timid customer away
- Redefine experience: It is the customer’s experience and not yours silly. I have worked in several projects where I have heard people deciding the campaign go on about what they like, what they don’t like, what they think the customer should get – you get the tone right. The customer, their needs and their expectations alone should be the single purpose. The customer’s experience is your priority. The customer is YOUR king. It is time you turn to them and ask – What do you want?
Plan your ad spends to be big. Infuse creativity in every aspect of the campaign. By all means do these and more. But at the end of this planning trail, ensure that the one you have sitting on a pedestal is the customer (and not the brand). And, that we’ll call a toast to your brand.
- Union Bank of India – Your dreams are not your alone (brands-india.com)
- Kotak Mahindra – Money ka Matlab (brands-india.com)