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From masses to classes, new look Union Bank seeks to bridge the class divide

From masses to classes, new look Union Bank seeks to bridge the class divide

Author | Nitin Sharma | Tuesday, Sep 02,2008 8:58 AM

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From masses to classes, new look Union Bank seeks to bridge the class divide

Yet another major state-owned bank has undergone a brand makeover to woo the Gen Next. Union Bank of India has embarked on a rebranding exercise with the appointment of Mudra Communications for its advertising duties. The bank would be spending Rs 75 crore on its 360-degree re-branding campaign. Union Bank is the third state-owned bank to go for a re-branding exercise in recent times, the other two being Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank.

Commenting on the development, MV Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, Union Bank of India, said, "It all began 18 months ago when Union Bank partnered Mudra Communication Group, The Boston Consultancy Group and Infosys to start the process of change. The first step was to prepare for the change. About 20,000 employees were made aware of the need for change and their role in the process. A parallel movement was set into motion under a project 'Nav Nirman', which aimed at harnessing the combined might of the people and technology building relationship through people and delivering with speed and efficiency enabled by superior application of technology."

"Today, the average age of the country is around 25 years, whereas the average age at the Union Bank is around 47 years, this is where we had a disconnect in terms of business and for that we did not require to change our staff, but transform them by making them equipped with the right kind of technology that will help us serve our customer in the right way, and emerge as a globally diversified bank by 2012," Nair further said.

Mudra conducted a detailed consumer study through in-depth interviews and focused group discussions with co-target groups. Based on this research, Union Bank developed its new brand identity, which includes a new logo that is a representation of universal symbol. It comprises two letters 'U' of Union Bank of India interlocked into one another. The symbol weaves around the word 'Union' which stands for integrity, security, strength and partnership. The colour Blue stands for commitment to service and Red for the passion that the Union Bank employees bring to work.

Madhukar Kamath, Managing Director & CEO, Mudra Group, said, "The challenge for us at Mudra was to embark on a consumer centric exposition of the philosophy behind the change, right from the logo to its manifestation in the form of internal and external communication. The stimulating part of the challenge was to project the dynamic phase of the brand, without losing what lies at the core. It was a fantastic journey of working together, which began with an elaborate understanding of what the consumers really cared for and it was a truly enriching one also."

Speaking to exchange4media, Bobby Pawar, Chief Creative Officer, Mudra, said, "Mudra is both the creative and media agency for Union Bank of India, while its re-branding exercise is being handled by Water. Mudra will soon be rolling out a 360-degree campaign, starting with a TVC, which will be on air in 10 days' time, along with the print, radio and outdoor campaigns. The campaign will be focused on showcasing the new symbol, which will raise levels ahead to reinforce the properties of partnership to help its customer realise their dreams – the dreams in a dynamic global market of today and tomorrow and yet retain the old byline of the Union Bank – 'Good people to Bank with'."

Speaking on the occasion, TY Prabhu, Executive Director, Union Bank of India, said, "The re-branding exercise is the culmination of the transformation process undertaken by the bank one and a half years ago to reach the next level of performance and customer service. We have addressed three key issues before entering into the re-branding exercise like leveraging of technology and bringing centralisation of various processes, including loan processes, empowering and equipping staff in relationship banking, and lastly, creating business verticals in the bank covering corporate, SMEs, retail, personal banking and transaction branding, and bringing specialisation at branch level along the verticals."

Speaking to exchange4media, Prabhu said, "Our IT partners who helped us in the re-branding process are IBM for hardware, Wipro for CBS technology and Infosys for software technology."

Explaining why Union Bank had not used a brand ambassador, Nair said, "Indian banks are more recognised by their names than the brand images. I would rather utilise the bank's money to improve staff efficiencies than paying up huge sums to a brand ambassador."

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