Reading the mumbrella article by Tony Richardson on how much he loves the ANZ Banks’ Barbara Ads reminds me of how much I don’t love them. The ANZ ads annoy me and highlight the gap between what their brand campaign promises and the service the bank actually delivers to me, one of their customers.
While there is ‘truth’ in the advertising based on most people’s experience of banks, I don’t think what the ANZ claims it is offering matches the reality.
Last week I was on a 10-day holiday in San Francisco, with a key emphasis on going shopping. I’ve been overseas a number of times and I’ve never before advised my bank that I’m going overseas or had any issues with my credit cards while I’ve been away. This time, however, I had an automated call from the Commonwealth Bank after my second purchase in San Fran telling me to contact them about potential fraudulent transactions. I was mildly annoyed that they gave me a 1300 number that I couldn’t call from overseas, but after a bit of hunting around, I found the lost card number and called that. Two calls later, and after being kept on hold for a bit longer than I would like when calling from overseas, it was all sorted out.
I then used my ANZ card. After one transaction with a company I have also purchased from online, my card was barred by the ANZ. No phone call. No SMS. Nothing. I was unable to use the card. The following day, I tried to use the card again and it was again declined, more than 14 hours later. Again I rattled around trying to find the international number (yes, I should be more organised, but that’s not how I generally roll). I got onto them and they confirmed they had barred my card. My reaction: Well, thanks for letting me know, guys. There was no apology and no ‘this was missed as part of our procedure’ excuses.
In addition to this, I was to be charged over-limit fee because, for some reason, I couldn’t get the ANZ online banking to work on my iPhone and, not being able to check elsewhere, I went over the limit.
I will admit I am not the most organised person, but if a bank is going to say in its ad that it is more customer friendly than other banks, its operations need to deliver on that brand promise.
So, thinking about your business, be it a start-up or a large multinational, the key message is that you have to be able to deliver operationally what your brand stands for, otherwise you lose all credibility. All too often great campaigns with awesome brand statements are made that don’t stack up in the real world. Think of the Telstra Making Life Easy ads back in the 90s – a great campaign, but how many people really believed Telstra made their lives easier?
If you’re going to make grand-standing promises, you have to go through your whole business and work out how you’re going to deliver on a brand promise, from your ad campaign, to the way the phone is answered, to how you manage your customer communications and communications channels. All of this needs to be aligned or people just won’t believe what you’re saying.
This all brings to mind to a recent brand campaign we did at work, but I think I’ll leave that for another blog…