Santander’s Keith Moor: Now is the time to talk about our brand purpose

Santander’s CMO Keith Moor explains why the brand waited to talk about its purpose, and why he hopes it will help rebuild trust with consumers.

We have had a purpose-led strategy as a business for a number of years now, from back in 2013. We chose at that time to talk more about how we bring our propositions to market and about being simple, personal and fair, as that resonated with the market at the time. We always knew we wanted to talk about our purpose, but we wanted to be in a position where we could substantiate it and talk about it in a more eloquent way.

Our communications strategy is intrinsically linked to the business strategy, which looks at the things we do for customers, our employees, our communities in which we serve and the things we do for shareholders. We have targets for each of those and this has been in place for a number of years.

As far as marketing is concerned, I am a big believer in not doing something before you have got it working properly internally. We have seen our customer satisfaction scores increase, we have good service and are doing great things in communities. We put all those things in place to make sure that when we started talking about it, we could substantiate what we’re doing.

It’s well-documented that banks have suffered for decades because of the crisis back in 2008 and losing trust. It’s important that banks rebuild trust with customers. In order to do that, you need to engage with them, and they need to believe what you’re saying, so you need to prove what you’re talking about. This is similar to RBS, TSB or Nationwide; we’re all talking about the same thing. We all know we need to rebuild trust and be more transparent. We also need to show people that banks have a bigger role to play in society than just make money.