One bank that has an interesting campaign in the market right now is POSB. Their idea, ‘neighbours first, bankers second’ is extremely powerful and well suited to the brand given its history as the ‘people’s bank’ of Singapore.
The challenge for the brand is always going to be living its position however and ensuring it drives every single one of its activities and operations.
This is easier said than done.
The reason – when you make a claim people tend to hold you to it.
What POSB is saying to the market through the idea of ‘neighbours first, bankers second’ is that they are not a typical bank but a bank more likely to be supportive in situations where you wouldn’t necessarily expect them to be.
It’s a good position – provided the brand can deliver on it – through product, service and the way they interact with customers on a daily basis.
The challenges for ‘neighbourly’ behaviour of course will come not when the chips are up but when they’re down. It’s when mortgage payments get reneged on and when people default on credit lines that the bank will face its first real challenges to its position.
If it responds in a truly ‘neighbourly’ fashion (a manner that’s patient and sympathetic), its position will be strengthened, reinforced and the brand will become attractive to an even larger contingent of customers.
If it responds in a way inconsistent with the expectations the idea has created, then the positioning will be diluted and ultimately lost.
Like most brands, whether POSB can hold on to its position depends on whether it can live it on a daily basis in its business.