Santander CMO credits brand repositioning for successes

Santander’s chief marketing officer has says its brand promise to be “simple, personal and fair” has already produced results by prompting people to switch their current account from rivals. 


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The bank launched its biggest media campaign in March. Ads highlighted how products such as its 123 current account – which includes features such as cashback on household bills – ticked the ‘simple, personal and fair’ boxes.

According to recent data from TNS, Santander attracted almost a quarter (23 per cent) of those switching their accounts in April. It lost 8 per cent with the net gain of 15 per cent the highest by far among the major UK high street banks.

The net gain in April was up markedly on the 9 per cent registered in October – one month after the Payment Council’s current account switching service launched.

CMO Keith Moor told Marketing Week the customer acquisition drive and its focus on personal benefits helped drive the performance. “I am happy with it [the campaign]. Recent data and our quarterly trading statement show we are winning the switching war and the campaign has helped contribute to that.”

The performance in recent months is a significant turnaround for the bank, which used to regularly top lists for poor customer service because of problems caused by integrating the Alliance and Leicester and Bradford and Bingley businesses bought in 2008.

Moor hinted future marketing could also highlight the way its products and staff help people and communities. Such achievements have not been “heavily promoted” in the past through fear that lack of trust in UK banks could lead to criticism from people eager to point out the failings of financial services companies, Moor added.

“We provide products that help people get on in life. On a personal and individual level we help people in small ways.”

Santander is to sponsor ITV’s coverage of the World Cup this summer in Brazil. The bank will use the partnership to push the ‘simple, personal and fair’ message and the 123 account.

Moor says the partnership is a good way to push its products to hard to reach audiences such as young males. 

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