These days there is a lot of talk about brands moving away from the
usual big top-down broadcast mode on to a more equal one-on-one true
conversational engagement level with current and potential consumers.
This trend is being accelerated of course by the rise of social media
and the effective transfer of marketing power away from the
corporation and on to the individual. So word-of-mouth is back, many
recognize that in reality it never went away!
Most brands are struggling with this “marketing’ power shift
challenge, the bigger the brand the more challenging the shift. Brand
responses vary from for example P&G’s huge launch of its corporate
brand “P&G” targeting & ” proudly sponsoring Mum’s” see link here
www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ruHOaHrGnQ ; to Starbucks whole hearted
embrace of Social Media in all its formats, well reported in the blogosphere
When it comes to complex service brands such as retail banks, despite the
plethora of brand reputation problems associated with the sector, the
opportunity for one-to-one engagement in retail banking is of course
The key with retail banks is for the brand to become the
branch and vice-versa and for bank HQ to essentially become the “back
office” in a kind of inverted hierarchy. The cultural and
organizational challenges are significant and of course staff behavior
is the key. The role of marketing is this scenario is to activate,
celebrate and facilitate this multi-branch customer relationship
building and to get that message out to consumers in a very evidential
self-discovery kind of way.
New age marketing is about brand behavior at the one-to-one level.
Banks are suffering and accelerating personal technology will
accelerate the commoditization of retail banking unless high street
banks in particular re-mobilize relationship building at branch level.
The only thing that counts are the relationships,the key thing that
counts on relationships is staff behavior, and that is why the branch staff
really are the key to the banks future.
(c) Noel Toolan, May 2012