• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

First Bank’s in 120 yrs of strong brand and value creation

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First Bank of Nigeria established in 1894 has been through many seasons and weathered several storms. The successful story of the 120 years old bank is largely linked to innovation, the workforce and its continued re-engineering strategies to satisfy its customers.

The bank with strong customer base and assets at over $22 billion is among a few institutions across the globe that have stood the test of time and served generations of customers with constant resounding dynamism and relevance to its communities.

With right symbol – Elephant – which represents the bank’s might, stability and strength, First Bank has continuously transformed, leveraging age as strength to dominate the financial industry through new products and services such as the implementation of biometric ATMs.

In the last 20 years, the bank has embarked on transformation agenda. In 1996, it flagged off business transformation project codenamed Century 11. The objective was to refresh and reposition the brand to align with the constantly changing features of the marketplace. This project was revalidated in 2001 with the theme, Century II – The New Frontier.

The transformation theme again played out in April 2004, when it flagged off a fundamental brand transformation launch that unveiled a new chapter in the bank’s existence. The transformation, the managers said, signals a bold plan by the bank to redefine the service delivery landscape of the financial services sector.

Through the transformation project, FirstBank has successfully revolutionized its operations, strengthened its brand equity, enhanced customer satisfaction, and established itself as a dependably dynamic global brand. The Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications of the bank, Folake Ani-Mumuney said recently that there are refreshing and innovative changes in the Bank right from the profile of the people to the efficiency of processes.

Further to providing 24-hour access to the bank for customers and bridging the gap between customer issues and resolution, the bank is  creating new experience within its banking halls by improving the ambience of its over 600 branches and creating a friendlier environment for customers to enjoy hitch-free transactions.

In spite of the innovative changes at the bank, the managers have realized that the pace of change  is faster than the pace at which customers’ perception about the bank is changing. It adopted ‘Show and Tell’ communication strategy in the transformation agenda to bridge the gap.

The campaign was aimed at helping showcase and project the transformation the bank had undergone in the recent past and to communicate these initiatives to consumers. The campaign showed FirstBank is in tune with the changes in trends, consumer lifestyles and behavior and ultimately, according Folake, create  excitement and positive buzz around the brand through use of disruptive and avant-garde creative communication

Under the communication strategy, the bank managers introduced  a campaign that would shore up believability and acceptability. “A campaign that will allow us communicate a lot of things about the Bank – the transformation initiatives, products and service offerings, within the framework of a single compelling concept. It therefore came up with ‘Did You know’ campaign.

“Our dedication to serving our customers and communities is anchored on a foundation of ethics, integrity and succession planning that fuels our courage, tenacity and boldness to evolve and adapt to global trends in a consumer driven market” the bank said.

Of course the bank would not achieve all the milestones without a strong workforce. The bank invests in building the capacity and competencies of its people who have resounded as pillars of fortitude through societies around the world. “We have produced formidable minds, that have gone on to become other bank MDs, MDs of Government Organizations, Commissioners, Ministers as well as Prime Ministers; our story of success can only be told through the successes of our people”, the bank managers said.

The bank with offshore branches and its character of constant innovation, recently under its holding company FBN owners of First Bank and other subsidiaries unveiled a refreshed brand identity but still maintaining its traditional logo of elephant, which symbolisises strength and size.

“The elephant is the respected and instantly recognizable icon of our brand identity and as such, we have retained the elephant. We have however re-ignited this iconic symbol with a number of enhancements that communicate a robust evolution relevant to today”, Folake said

She said the new corporate identity has been designed to ensure that the FBN Group continues to be at the forefront of the African financial services industry.  The Group is on a definitive mission to build a strong global presence in order to reinforce its leadership position whilst constantly striving to find better ways to service customers and drive growth.

The iconic African elephant has been a robust symbol of strength and growth for FirstBank, FBN Holdings and all its subsidiaries, establishing the organisation as a clear leader in the financial services industry.

“At the core of our heritage is our commitment to value creation and excellence, without which we could not stand firmly in service to our staff, investors, stakeholders and our customers across the world”.