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IndusInd Bank on a brand – building spree

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In the last one year, private sector banks have become aggressive in the digital space, one of them being IndusInd Bank. The bank boasts of a special innovation team and has become a pioneer of the Video Banking facility. Simplicity combined with innovation is the bank’s modus operandi. In September, Lodestar UM became the bank’s media agency and the focus has been to strengthen the brand across all media. Rashi Bisaria spoke to Mohit Ganju, Head, Marketing and Communications to find out how the brand is achieving its goal of responsive innovation.

What is responsive innovation?
Any innovation which is inspired by aspirations of the customers, is termed as Responsive Innovation.
To emerge a best-in-class brand, IndusInd Bank has made ‘Responsive Innovation’ a central theme of its brand building program. The Bank has combined responsiveness with innovation to launch a wide range of banking products and services which are unique, convenient and very relevant to the Indian consumer.

Banking is a sector where the basic processes leave consumers with little choice. The real difference can be brought about by the convenience that we provide to them. Against this backdrop, we have consistently built its products and services around the Responsive Innovation theme, which began in 2008.

All brand campaigns including the current campaign on “video branch”, featuring Farhan Akhtar is an extension of this theme. Under the Responsive Innovation theme, the bank has been offering services which are not only innovative but also relatable and usable for the customers. IndusInd Bank is committed to responsive innovation to create convenience and offer the most advanced services.

These innovations are obviously based on consumer insights, so how are you getting these insights? Do you do extensive research?
We stress on consumer insight . After extensive customer feedback and brand research over the years, the bank has unearthed some crucial insights. We have identified that the customer seeks products and services which offer convenience, time effectiveness and safety in banking. For us it has been a process of discovery to understand the key customer requirement and then work on it to come up with a product or service which would meet such requirements. Hence, it has been a continuous journey to understand customer behaviour.

What is the consumer profile you are targeting?
As the world is rapidly transforming so are the banking requirements and so is customer behavior. The aspirational level of the customers is forever evolving. With digitization coming of age, the customers have become more technology savvy. We are looking at targeting the young, progressive generation which is open to new and innovative propositions.

How have the consumers’ needs changed in the last few years?
The choice before the customer today is far wider both in the selection of banks as well as products. The aspirations are changing . To stay in tune with the customer’s requirement, an organization has to be flexible. Globalisation and digitization have made the environment very demanding. In this new era, a bank needs to be available across all touch points, such as internet and mobile in addition to the branch presence. People are always on the move and they want to make the best of their time. All our new products highlight the change in the trends of customer behavior and their requirements.
Though the traditional brick and mortar model is here to stay, customers are becoming far more digitally savvy and are looking at banking in the digital space. With ecommerce on a growth trajectory, we have sensed the need of the hour and have provided our customers with a new channel- video branch banking, a first of its kind initiative offering an experiential banking service to customers.

Which media plays the biggest role in your media mix?
Television has played the biggest role as it meets our target audience and helps in building the brand. It is indeed a strong medium and has strength to emotionalize and personify a brand.

Apart from television, IndusInd has taken a 360-degree integrated marketing approach to propagate the service messages with TV, out-of-home, radio, digital and cinema forming an integral part of the multimedia campaign.

How important has consumer experience management become for this industry?
Consumer experience management has become a critical differentiator in today’s highly competitive industry. Through good customer experience management , the brands can achieve the following:

  • Strengthen the brand preference through differentiated experiences.
  • Boost sales from existing customers and also get new sales through word of mouth.
  • Improve customer loyalty through valued and memorable customer interactions.
  • In our case, we have built our theme on responsive innovation which means our innovations are based on the requirements of the customers. We wish to delight our customers.

What steps have you taken to manage and enhance the consumer’s experience?
Keeping in line with the theme of ‘’Responsive Innovation’’, which is deeply ingrained in our business model, the Bank continues to introduce market-first products.
A few such innovative propositions from the Bank which provide the customers a new experiential form of banking are the Video Branch facility. This is a step to offer round-the-clock services that are easy to access. By simply downloading the Video Branch app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store, customers can connect with the bank and carry out their banking transactions from anywhere in the world. Yet another innovation is the Bank’s first Digital Branch at IndusInd Cybercity Rapid Metro station, Gurgaon. It is the first bank in India to have a fully Digital Branch at a metro station, whose branding rights are owned by the Bank. Further, the Video Branch machine allows customers to connect with the remote teller over a real-time video call and perform regular banking transactions like statement printing, cheque deposits, opening of FD account and encashment, funds transfer along with dispensation of cash. The Digital Branch lobby also has a smart table with iPads on which customers can do a host of banking and non-banking
transactions.

As a part of the overall rewards enhancement strategy and with a view to further drive online purchasing convenience for its customers, we have launched www.themorestore.in, an online store that enables its customers to redeem their reward points towards purchase of items from an attractive online catalogue as well as purchase merchandise from the site. This is India’s first rewards redemption platform integrated into an online marketplace that provides the best of both worlds to the customer.

My Account, My Number empowers customers to choose 10 out of 12 digits in their IndusInd Bank Savings or Current Account, which could be a combination of any of his favourite numbers. Further, the service is available
online too.

What will your marketing strategy be in the new year?
The market is vast and there are many opportunities out there, but innovation is the way to survive and be noticed. Simple communication is the most effective form of communication. Our marketing strategy will be based on strong customer insights and the need to fill the gaps in the industry.

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