The Secret Marketer: global brands need to honour their pledges

If you saw advertising that claimed: “We are one of the world’s largest banks”, wouldn’t you assume that the brand in question operated a global presence?

Secret Marketer

If you saw advertising that claimed: “We are one of the world’s largest banks”, wouldn’t you assume that the brand in question operated a global presence?

This is one of the reasons why one of my family members opened an account with that bank while studying in Spain. She also turned to the brand because she knows it from its heavy advertising in the UK.

All was well while she was studying, but after transferring her account back to the UK, the first monthly statement she received contained the phrase “Liquidacion de Cuenta” in big letters across the top of the document.

Now, in the current economic crisis spreading across the banking sector of mainland Europe, the word “liquidacion” implies something grave.

She called her bank in Spain, but there was no reply. Was this because it was siesta time or had the bank already gone bust?

She called her bank in Spain, but there was no reply… Was this because it had already gone bust?

She then called the UK operation. Like too many banks, all calls were routed to a central call centre, which is clearly under-resourced to take the necessary volume of calls. After waiting a full 18 minutes before she heard the dulcet tone of the usual colloquial telephone operator, the call did not start well. There was no apology for the delay in answering (for which I was paying because the 0800 numbers for customer service enquiries are long gone).

And then as she explained the dilemma, she was told she could not make an enquiry about an account from outside the UK.
But you are a global bank? No no no.

Well can someone tell me what Liquidacion de Cuenta means? No no no.

OK, but could you just reassure us that your parent bank has not gone bankrupt? No no no.

Does that mean that no it hasn’t, or no you don’t know? No no no.

She gave up.

What is the lesson here? I am possibly being unreasonable to expect a global business to have a global CRM system, but this is another example of where a brand has extolled the virtues of a great corporate message but failed to deliver that on the ground.

It also reinforces the point I have made before about the risks of putting your brand image in the hands of individuals who fail to grasp the importance of brand ambassadors. They may be cheap but are rarely cheerful.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here