A Report on Change in Corporate Identity and its Impact on Stakeholders (A Case of Axis Bank
A REPORT ON
Change in Corporate Identity and Its Impact on Stakeholders (A Case of Axis Bank)
A report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of PGDBM Program of IPM Ghaziabad
This report incorporates contribution of many people and without their support this work would not have come to completion. Therefore, I would like to extend my immense gratitude to all of them who have guided and motivated me throughout the research project.. I am grateful to them for their valuable support & guidance throughout the project. I sincerely thank all those who have rendered their valuable service either directly or indirectly and helped me in making the project successful. I thank my friends who have helped me throughout the project with their knowledge and guidance. Last, but not the least, I would like to express my faith in the Almighty who has given me strength at every phase of life to stand and excel.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Abstract Chapter 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Chapter 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Chapter 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 Chapter 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Introduction Background Objectives Duration of the study Purpose of the study Limitations Conceptual Framework Corporate Identity, Brand Identity & Brand Image Corporate Rebranding Reasons for Corporate Rebranding Corporate Rebranding Tools Axis Bank – Overview History of Banking Industry History of Axis Bank Reasons for Changes in Bank Data Analysis Nature of the study Sample size Data collection Method Data analysis technique
Chapter 5 5.1 5.2 Chapter 6
Findings & Discussions Profile of the consumers Centroid Analysis Summary & Conclusions Appendices Questionnaire Bibliography
UTI Bank, India's third largest private sector bank has gone for an image makeover, changed its name to Axis Bank Ltd. This is the first time that a bank has gone in for a brand-change voluntarily. The bank looks different by changing the name & appearance, since it is Bank, stakeholders would be very cautious when it comes to investments. So by keeping this in mind the company devised a promotion strategy where it clearly says “Everything is the same, except the name”. The Bank had used the UTI brand with great pride for the last 13 years, and has in recent years strongly contributed to the resurgence of the UTI brand. The change in the name of UTI Bank to Axis Bank will affect the interest of customers in the bank. The Bank has therefore decided to create a distinct brand identity for itself. Rebranding provides an opportunity to communicate elements of personality, values and vision, which are specific to the Bank. This rebranding becomes more important as the Bank takes its initial steps in establishing a global footprint. Axis as a name connotes solidity and stature and conveys a sense of authority and credibility. Axis as a brand has the ability to transcend geographical boundaries. But totally changing the brand visuals can give rise to consumer concerns about changes of ownership, or possible changes in
brand values, or even unjustified extravagance. If there is a strong brand personality to which consumers are attracted, then substantial changes may destroy emotional attachments to the brand. People do not expect or like wild swings in the personality behavior of other people, and they are just as concerned when the brands to which they have grown used exhibit similar changes. In this project I will analyze the impact of change in name of bank on its customers. In multimedia campaign bank have clearly announced “only a name change, everything else about the brand remains the same”. It assured customers that the change will in no way affect the services offered by the bank. But change in corporate brand can create an adverse effect on its customers and their market share. Changes can create misconception if they are not properly communicated to the customers. Often customers build an "emotional attachment" to the company and a new look could alienate them.
UTI Bank began its operations in 1994 when the Government of India allowed new private banks to be established. The Bank was promoted jointly by the Administrator of the specified undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (UTI - I), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and General Insurance Corporation Ltd. and its associates viz. National Insurance Company Ltd., The New India Assurance Company, The Oriental Insurance Corporation and United Insurance Company Ltd. UTI Bank Ltd. was set up with a capital of Rs. 115 crore, with UTI contributing Rs. 100 crore, LIC - Rs. 7.5 crore and GIC ( General Insurance Corporation) and its four subsidiaries contributing Rs. 1.5 crore each. The Bank's Registered Office is at Ahmadabad and its Central Office is located at Mumbai. Presently, the Bank has a very wide network of more than 420 branch offices and Extension Counters. UTI Bank has a network of over 1841 ATMs, which is one of the largest ATM networks in the country. India's third largest private sector bank, UTI Bank, has gone for an image makeover, changing its name to Axis Bank Ltd. The rebranding, which came into effect July 30, includes change in its logo and its color. The Registrar of Companies (RoC) has issued a fresh certificate of incorporation to UTI Bank in the name of 'Axis Bank Ltd.' The bank had appointed an internal
committee and also sought help from its official advertising agency, O&M, for the name change. UTI Bank has contributed to the resurgence of the UTI brand in last five six years. The bank had a role to play in this. The bank has retained the burgundy color, but has changed the logo. The logo uses the alphabet 'A' from the word Axis. The logo depicts a strong growth path for the bank supported by a strong base, indicating that the bank is moving on from a position of strength. Earlier, the bank's logo used the letters U, T and I. Their central message is that nothing has changed except the name. The continuity is maintained through the color. The committee had short listed 50-odd names. Finally, Bank chooses the name Axis from a group of ethnic, traditional and funky names. Axis is simple and it conveys a sense of solidity and a sense of maturity. This name also has a universal appeal. They had to change their name to have own brand and identity. The bank have to give up the UTI name after using it for 13 years as they were not prepared to accept terms and conditions from UTI AMC to use the name. UTI Bank decided to choose the new name considering the bank's pan-Indian as well as international presence. The bank would go in for international expansion sometime down the line. "Moving on to Axis would only reinforce the fact that they are a board-driven private bank, as against the previous image which had a quasigovernmental touch, and in that sense, the brand-change will be actually beneficial," The bank is likely to spend around Rs. 50 crore ($12.5 million) in the re-branding exercise in the year 2008. The change in name was considered for avoiding confusion as several unrelated entities were using the UTI brand. The board of directors of UTI Bank had, on April 30 2007, approved the proposal to change its name to Axis Bank. UTI Asset Management Company owns the UTI brand.
On August 1 2007, the bank launched a nationwide advertisement campaign with the catch line "Twins both equal." The rebranding exercise involves changing signage’s across 600 offices and 2,457 ATMs in 346 cities, towns and villages. The bank has already changed the signage’s across eight major cities, including Delhi, Bombay, Kolkata and Hyderabad, among others, while in other 250 cities, change of the signage’s will be done by the end of year. The bank has already redesigned 96 elements, including cheque books, welcome kits, pay-orders, among others, suggesting the name change. It is also using the internet, automated teller machines, mobile channels and call centers to inform its customers about the change in name. The bank has a 6 million customer base and is among the country's top automated banks. The bank - the fifth largest bank in terms of market capitalization - is planning inorganic growth for its ventures dealing with new areas. It is also overhauling its corporate banking with the involvement of McKinsey. This is the first time that a bank has gone in for a brand-change voluntarily, even as there are instances of banks changing their names due to a merger or an acquisition activity — for instance, the Centurion Bank of Punjab.
The background of change of corporate identity of Axis Bank. The awareness level of the new identity among customers. The level of brand comprehension among customers. The overall change of image of bank among customers.
The objective of the research is to identify the reasons for the change in corporate identity of Axis Bank. As change in corporate identity is a strategic decision it affects the interest of
stakeholders of the company which includes customers, investors, shareholders, employees etc. But this research is limited to customers only because the researcher was not able to meet / interview the senior management and shareholders for their views. The objective also includes identifying the awareness level of the new identity of the bank among customers. The level of brand comprehension among customers which means recall of brand by the customer. And finally the overall change of image of bank among its customers.
1.3 Duration of the study
Schedule of the research includes a period of fourteen weeks within which topic selection, preparation of questionnaire, survey conduction, analyses of data collected, preparing a report based on the answer given by the respondents.
In this project I have analyzed the impact of change in name of UTI Bank to Axis Bank on its customers. In the multimedia campaign bank have clearly announced that “only a name change, everything else about the brand remains the same”. It assured customers that the change will in no way affect the services offered by the bank. But change in corporate brand can create an adverse effect on its customers and their market share. Changes can create misconception if they are not properly communicated to the customers. Often customers build an "emotional attachment" to the company and a new look could alienate them. So in this project a detailed survey on the consumer perception about the change in name of Bank and its impact on customers has carried out. Although it’s not easy to understand the consumer perception but with the help of comparison between the services provided by the UTI Bank and Axis Bank, an attempt has been made to collect the appropriate responses.
The proposed research would truly suffer from the following limitations: 1. Identity change is a strategic decision. However, the researcher is not able to meet / interview the senior management for their views. 2. The researcher has to rely on published sources to know the background of the identity change, which may not reflect completely the strategic thinking of the top management of the bank. 3. Axis Bank is a national level bank. Ideally, the sample should be taken from across the country for better analysis. However, time and resource constraints limit the scope of the data collection to Ghaziabad city only. 4. Limited access to previous related researches.
2.1 Corporate Identity, Brand Identity & Brand Image Corporate identity is concerned with the visual aspects of a company's presence. When
companies undertake corporate identity exercises, they are usually modernizing their visual image in terms of logo, design, and collaterals. Such efforts do not normally entail a change in brand values so that the heart of the brand remains the same - what it stands for, or its personality. Unfortunately, many companies do not realize this fallacy, as they are sometimes led
to believe by agencies and consultancy companies that the visual changes will change the brand image. But changes to logos, signage, and even outlet design do not always change consumer perceptions of quality, service, and the intangible associations that come to the fore when the brand name is seen or heard. The best that such changes can do is to reassure consumers that the company is concerned about how it looks. Brands do have to maintain a modern look, and the visual identity needs to change over time. But the key to successfully effecting a new look is evolution, not revolution. Totally changing the brand visuals can give rise to consumer concerns about changes of ownership, or possible changes in brand values, or even unjustified extravagance. If there is a strong brand personality to which consumers are attracted, then substantial changes may destroy emotional attachments to the brand. People do not expect or like wild swings in the personality behavior of other people, and they are just as concerned when the brands to which they have grown used exhibit similar "schizophrenic" changes. On the other hand, if the intention is to substantially improve the standing of the brand, then corporate identity changes can be accompanied by widespread changes to organizational culture, quality, and service standards. If done well, and if consumers experience a great new or improved experience, then the changes will, over the longer term, have a corresponding positive effect on brand image. If you are spending a vast amount of money on corporate identity, it is as well to remember this. In marketing, a corporate identity is the "persona" of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of business objectives. It is usually visibly manifested by way of branding and the use of trademarks. Corporate identity comes into being when there is a
common ownership of an organizational philosophy that is manifest in a distinct corporate culture — the corporate personality. At its most profound, the public feel that they have ownership of the philosophy. In general, this amounts to a logo (logotype and/or logogram) and supporting devices commonly assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines govern how the identity is applied and confirm approved color palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual continuity and brand recognition across all physical manifestations of the brand. Many companies, such as McDonald's and Electronic Arts, have their own identity that runs through all of their products and merchandise. The trademark "M" logo and the yellow and red appear consistently throughout the McDonald's packaging and advertisements. Many companies pay large amounts of money for an identity that is extremely distinguishable, so it can appeal more to its targeted audience. Corporate identity is often viewed as being composed of three parts: • • • Corporate design (logos, uniforms, etc.) Corporate communication (commercials, public relations, information, etc.) Corporate behavior (internal values, norms, etc.)
Corporate identity has become a universal technique for promoting companies and improving corporate culture. Most notably is the company PAOS, founded by Motoo Nakanishi in Tokyo, Japan in 1968. Nakanishi fused design, management consulting and corporate culture to revolutionize corporate identity in Japan. Sociological sense
Corporate identity can also have a sociological sense. In any large society members of a minority tend to develop a "corporate identity" where they feel a special bond to any other member of that minority even if they have never met the person before. This bond develops because they generally have similar experiences, face similar discrimination, have similar cultural values, economic limitations, etc. In the United States, for instance, persons of Arab or Jewish ancestry, blacks, Hispanics, lesbians and gay men, and persons who follow non-Christian religions, among many other minorities, each have a sense of corporate identity. Within a particular group there are feelings of "we have to watch out for each other" and "I have an obligation not just to succeed, but to help others of my group." A common corollary to this sense of corporate identity is a concern about assimilating into the majority culture to the extent where the minority group ceases to exist for all practical purposes. Corporate identity is promoted, strengthened and encouraged by activities such as teaching the ancestral language, practice of rituals and social customs, observance of holidays, etc., from the minority culture and discouraging marriage outside the particular group or moving to a geographic area where the minority group does not have a significant presence. Organizational point of view Corporate identity is the way corporate actors (actors who perceive themselves as acting on behalf of the company) make sense of their company in ongoing social interaction with other actors in a specific context. It includes shared perceptions of reality, ways-to-do-things, etc., and interlocked behavior. In this process the corporate actors are of equal importance as those others; corporate identity pertains to the company (the group of corporate actors) as well as to the relevant others. Corporate actors construct different identities in different contexts.
Corporate Visual Identity Corporate visual identity plays a significant role in the way an organization presents itself to both internal and external stakeholders. In general terms, a corporate visual identity expresses the values and ambitions of an organization, its business, and its characteristics. Four functions of corporate visual identity can be distinguished. Three of these are aimed at external stakeholders. • First, a corporate visual identity provides an organisation with visibility and ‘recognizability’. For virtually all profit and non-profit organizations it is of vital importance that people know that the organization exists and remember its name and core business at the right time. • Second, a corporate visual identity symbolizes an organization for external stakeholders, and, hence, contributes to its image and reputation. • Third, a corporate visual identity expresses the structure of an organization to its external stakeholders, visualizing its coherence as well as the relationships between divisions or units.
A fourth, internal function of corporate visual identity relates to employees’ identification with the organization as a whole and/or the specific departments they work for.
Corporate visual identity management involves the planned maintenance, assessment and development of a corporate visual identity as well as associated tools and support, anticipating developments both inside and outside the organization, and engaging employees in applying it, with the objective of contributing to employees’ identification with and appreciation of the organization as well as recognition and appreciation among external stakeholders. Special
attention is paid to corporate identity in times of organizational change. Once a new corporate identity is implemented, attention to corporate identity related issues generally tends to decrease. However, corporate identity needs to be managed on a structural basis, to be internalized by the employees and to harmonize with future organizational developments. Efforts to manage the corporate visual identity will result in more consistency and the corporate visual identity management mix should include structural, cultural and strategic aspects. Guidelines, procedures and tools can be summarized as the structural aspects of managing the corporate visual identity. However, as important as the structural aspects may be, they must be complemented by two other types of aspects. Among the cultural aspects of corporate visual identity management, socialization – i.e., formal and informal learning processes – turned out to influence the consistency of a corporate visual identity. Managers are important as a role model and they can clearly set an example. This implies that they need to be aware of the impact of their behavior, which has an effect on how employees behave. If managers pay attention to the way they convey the identity of their organization, including the use of a corporate visual identity, this will have a positive effect on the attention employees give to the corporate visual identity. Further, it seems to be important that the organization communicates the strategic aspects of the corporate visual identity. Employees need to have knowledge of the corporate visual identity of their organization, not only the general reasons for using the corporate visual identity, such as its role in enhancing the visibility and recognizability of the organization, but also aspects of the story behind the corporate visual identity. The story should explain why the design fits the organization and what the design – in all of its elements – is intended to express.
Importance of Corporate Image
The growing significance of managing corporate identity is underscored by a 1989 survey in Britain by Market Opinion Research International, which found that 77 percent of the leading industrialists questioned believed that the importance their firms attached to developing and promoting their corporate identity would increase in the near future. Research a year later by CBI and Fitch Consultants corroborated this finding and the experience of the 1990s strongly suggests that this expectation has materialized. The overriding reason for the burgeoning concern for corporate identity is abundantly clear. We live in a time of immense environmental complexity and change, and consequently corporations have been forced to significantly alter their strategies to better compete and survive. Mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures represent a major dimension of corporate change over the past several decades. Consider the extreme example of the Greyhound Corporation. For most of this century, Greyhound was the largest busing company in North America. In the 1970s, however, the company initiated an aggressive acquisition/diversification and by the late 1980s was competing in five different industries (it even sold off most of its busing operations). To signal this metamorphosis to its external audiences, the company belatedly changed its name to the Dial Corporation and completely revamped its corporate communications. The acceleration of product life cycles is another vital dimension of the turbulent business environment. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the electronics industry. Personal computers can become outmoded in the period of less than a year. In the audio segment of the market, tapes replaced records and, in turn, were replaced by compact discs, which may in the future be superseded by digital audiotapes. Companies with strong corporate images, such as Sony Corporation and Casio, obviously have an advantage in such dynamic markets because their name adds value to their products by reducing uncertainty in the eyes of distributors, retailers, and consumers. Deregulation has been a critical factor in many
industries. For instance, as a result of the court-ordered breakup, AT&T has had to develop a new strategy and a more aggressive marketing-oriented culture to adjust to its new realities. Concurrently, the telecommunications giant adopted a new logo and initiated a communication program to help convey its new identity. Globalization has been still another catalyst in the rise of corporate identity programs. To illustrate, American Express Co. originally was a freight company in the North American market. As the company matured into a global credit card, banking, and travel organization, it wisely developed a corporate communication program aimed at projecting its new identity. American Express understood that a strong and positive global image can be a powerful weapon for firms expanding internationally. IBM, McDonald's, and Baskin-Robbins are examples of other companies that have been able to expand to all areas of the world with relative ease because of their global prominence. A related factor is that as a corporation expands its operation internationally, or even domestically, through acquisitions, there is a danger that its geographically dispersed business units will project dissimilar or contrary images to the detriment of corporate synergy. British-based Courtaulds has a globally dispersed organization but until its latest identity review allowed its operating companies to use their traditional names. As a consequence of this policy, there was little cooperation among these units and no cohesive corporate identity. Courtaulds remedied this problem by instituting a common naming policy and a correlated corporate communication program. Still another factor stimulating the current interest in corporate identity is society's growing expectation that corporations be socially responsive. One salient manifestation of this trend is that many of today's consumers consider the environmental and social image of firms in making their purchasing decisions. Companies such as Ben and Jerry's and Tom's of Maine have built their
strategies around this idea and consequently have grown very rapidly. Another manifestation of the trend is the rise of socially responsible investment funds.
Theory of Corporate Identity
Theory always underlies good practice. Theory identifies and defines the key variables in the process under consideration and explains the interrelationship among them. In the process for managing corporate identity, the fundamental variables are corporate identity, corporate communication, corporate image, and corporate reputation. Corporate identity is the reality of the corporation. It is the unique, individual personality of the company that differentiates it from other companies. To use the marketing metaphor, it is the corporate brand. Corporate communication is the aggregate of sources, messages, and media by which the corporation conveys its uniqueness or brand to its various audiences. Corporate image and corporate reputation are in the eye of the beholder. Image is the mental picture that people have of an organization, whereas reputation constitutes a value judgment about the company's attributes. The objective in managing corporate identity is to communicate the company's identity to those audiences or constituencies that are important to the firm in a manner that is both positive and accurate. This process involves fashioning a positive identity and communicating this identity to significant audiences in such a way that they have a favorable view of the company. The feedback loops in the model indicate that an unsatisfactory image or reputation can be improved by modifying corporate communication or reshaping the corporate identity or both. The principal issues relating to the five components of the model—identity, image, reputation, communication, and feedback—will now be examined in greater detail.
Components of Corporate Identity
Corporate identity is the reality and uniqueness of the organization. It may be broken down into its component parts: corporate strategy, corporate culture, organizational design, and operations. Strategy is the overall plan that circumscribes the company's product/market scope and the policies and programs by which it chooses to compete in its chosen markets. For example, Southwest Airlines is a regional carrier competing in the airline industry through strategies that result in low costs and low fares. Corporate culture is the shared values, beliefs, and
assumptions that the organization's members hold in common as they relate to each other, their jobs, and the organization. It defines what the firm personnel believes is important and unimportant, and explains to a large degree why the organization behaves the way it does. Southwest Airlines has a strong corporate culture that highly prizes company loyalty, internal cooperation, and service to the customer. Southwest's culture supports the company's strategy and is a prominent component of its identity. Organizational design refers to the basic choices top managers have in developing the pattern of organizational relationships. It encompasses issues such as whether basic departmentation should be by function or product division, the overall configuration (tall vs. flat), the degree of decentralization, the number of staff personnel, the design of jobs, and the internal systems and procedures. All of these factors can affect, to some degree, corporate identity. From the perspective of the firm's external constituents, however, the corporate/product relationship normally is the most critical element of organizational design. The corporate/product relationship refers to the deliberate approach a firm follows in structuring the relationship of its products to one another and to the corporate entity. Corporate/product relationships may be categorized as single entity, brand dominance, equal dominance, mixed dominance, or corporate dominance. Single entity companies offer one product line or set of services; consequently, the image of the company and that of the product
tend to be one and the same. Southwest Airlines is an obvious example of a single entity company; it is 100 percent involved in the airline business. Identity problems typically arise for single entity firms such as Southwest Airlines if they expand into areas and activities not immediately related to their current strategy. The corporate planners must carefully consider the corporate identity they desire to have and the concomitant image they wish to project. Under the brand-dominant approach, the decision has been made not to relate the product brand and corporate names. This approach is followed by many consumer products companies. For instance, Marlboro and Merit cigarettes, Post cereals, Jell-O, Kraft cheeses, and Oscar Mayer meats are all well-known products but few consumers realize that they are all marketed by the Philip Morris Companies, Inc. General Motors Corp., historically, has exemplified the equaldominance approach. The principal General Motors' automobile divisions—Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac—maintained separate identities, but each was also closely associated with the corporation. Neither the corporate nor the individual brand was predominant. In mixed-dominance companies, sometimes the brand name is dominant, sometimes the corporate name is dominant, and in some cases they are used together with equal emphasis. Operations, the fourth and final component of corporate identity, is the aggregate of activities the firm engages in to effect its strategy. These activities become part of the reality of the corporation and can influence its image and/or reputation in a wide variety of ways. Several examples will highlight the range of possibilities.
Corporate Image and Reputation
Corporate image and reputation are discrete but related concepts. As noted earlier, corporate image is the model that people have of a company. Corporate reputation, on the other hand, represents a value judgment that people make about the firm as a whole or one or more of its
attributes. Corporate images typically can be fashioned fairly quickly through specific actions and well-conceived communication programs, whereas reputations evolve over time as a result of consistent performance (and they can be reinforced through corporate communication). Clearly, a corporation must be concerned about its image and reputation amongst its important constituent groups. In academic parlance, these significant constituent groups are called stakeholders. They are groups that have a stake in the company. Stakeholders are affected by the actions of the company and, perhaps more importantly, their actions can affect the company. Consequently, its image and reputation in the eyes of its stakeholders is critical to the company. The principal stakeholders with whom most large firms must be concerned are: • • • • • • • • Customers Distributors and retailers Financial institutions and analysts Shareholders Government regulatory agencies Social action organizations The general public Employees
The company's image and reputation vis-a-vis its various stakeholders will influence their willingness to provide or withhold support. Thus, if its customers develop a negative perception of the company or its products, its sales and profits assuredly will decline. Consider the recent
travails of the Nissan Motor Company. In the 1980s it enjoyed the image of a customer-oriented, trendsetting automobile manufacturer with an excellent reputation for automotive engineering. By the mid-1990s, however, as a result of a series of poor decisions, its image as a cutting-edge producer, along with sales and profits, had declined precipitously. It is now perceived by customers as well as other stakeholders as a conservative maker of stodgy, boxy cars with its engineering reputation compromised. The impact of corporate identity in the financial community can be seen through the history of the British packaging, printing, and coating company that recently changed its name from Bowater to Rexham in response to confusion in the financial community as well as among its customers as to its identity. In North America the company traded under the name Rexham, whereas in the rest of its markets it operated under the Bowater banner. The name change was initiated by its chief executive officer to create the image of a global competitor in the eyes of financial institutions and investors, as well as its customers. The company's shareholders are another critical stakeholder group because they ultimately give or withhold their approval of management's decisions through their proxies. Moreover, their "buy" and "sell" decisions influence the corporation's stock price. Government regulatory agencies, another important set of stakeholders, are required by law to monitor and regulate firms for specific, publicly defined purposes. Nevertheless, these agencies have considerable discretion in how they interpret and apply the law. Where they have a positive perception of the firm, they are likely to be much less censorious. Social action organizations represent still another set of stakeholders. To the extent a corporation has a negative reputation in the particular area of concern of a social action group; it likely will be targeted for criticism and harassment by that group. For example, the Labor/Community Strategy Center has organized a boycott of Texaco stations and products in an effort to influence the company to reduce the air pollution emanating
from its refinery in Wilmington, California. Although there are many refineries in the Wilmington area, the environmental group targeted Texaco for its boycott because of a recent much publicized explosion at the company's refinery. A strong positive image with the general public can be beneficial to the firm. Research suggests that a prominent corporate image and an outstanding reputation are consequential factors in attracting a high quality workforce. Merck, Microsoft, and Hewlett-Packard, for instance, have traditionally attracted topnotch job applicants because of their sterling reputations. Current employees represent the internal constituency that a firm must consider when communicating corporate identity. It is widely believed that a positive reputation in the eyes of employees is a prime causal factor of high morale and productivity. This condition is frequently cited as a fundamental reason for the success of Japanese firms. Additionally, it should be emphasized that employees play a large role in representing the company to its external stakeholders. Obviously, each of the various stakeholder groups is likely to have a somewhat different perception of the corporation because each is concerned primarily with a different facet of its operation. Thus, customers are principally interested in the price, quality, and reliability of the company's products and services. Financial institutions are concerned with financial structure and performance. Employees are mainly concerned with wages, working conditions, and personnel policies. Logically, then, a company should tailor its communication to each stakeholder group individually to engage the special concerns of that group. A consistent image among the various stakeholder groups, however, is also essential. Although it is prudent to stress different facets of the firm's identity to its various publics, the firm should avoid projecting an inconsistent image for two key reasons. First, some of the concerns of the stakeholders overlap. For example, the financial community and the shareholders would have many of the same financial and strategic concerns about the company. In fact, many
shareholders rely heavily on the advice of experts from financial institutions. Both employees and the general public have an interest in the overall prestige of the firm and the reputation of its products. A social action group's criticisms whether economically effective or not, is bound to influence some customers and affect the company's public reputation. Of course, a regulatory agency such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would focus narrowly on the firm's safety record and policies but the company's employees and their labor unions also have a stake in these matters. The second and related reason for avoiding an inconsistent image is that the sundry stakeholders are not separate, discrete entities. Membership overlaps. Consider the example of a typical public utility where almost all of its employees are also customers and a significant number may also be shareholders. Furthermore, it is not unlikely that some of its employees will be active in environmental or consumer rights groups that challenge the company on specific issues. It is also likely that some of the company's bankers and regulators will be among its customers.
Corporate communication is the link between corporate identity and corporate image and reputation. It should be defined in the broadest possible sense because companies communicate their identities in many different ways. This includes almost everything they do from the way telephones are answered to the involvement of their employees in community affairs. The different categories are Nomenclature, Graphics, Formal statements, Architecture and Interaction and events. Nomenclature
The primary concerns in this category are the names used to identify the corporation, its divisions, and its products. In recent years, many firms have changed their corporate names to communicate a major change in identity. To illustrate, International Harvester changed its name to Navistar to signal its exit from the agricultural equipment industry. Carter Hawley Hale Stores changed its name to Broadway Stores to identify more closely with its store operations and accentuate its revitalization. Graphics Graphics, which were the original focus of image consultants, are concerned with the overall visual presentation of the organization. The graphics system should dictate the design style of the company's literature, signs, and stationery. It involves coordinating the style of the typeface, photography, illustrations, layout, and coloring in all the company's graphics. The key question here, as with the nomenclature issue, is whether the company's visual presentation is appropriately communicating its identity. Consider the example of Alitalia Airline. Although Alitalia was one of the largest transatlantic carriers, it projected an image of a relatively small, casual, inefficient "Italian" airline. To counter this negative image, Alitalia, following the lead of Olivetti and Ferrari, developed a graphics program stressing superior design and high technology. All forms of corporate communication such as aircraft insignias, uniforms, baggage tags, and promotional materials were redesigned to consistently project and reinforce this positive image. Today Alitalia is regarded by the flying public as a major global carrier. The logo is the heart of the corporate graphics design system. Unlike nomenclature, logos can be changed subtly over time to reflect the evolving corporate identity. Formal Statements
This category includes mission statements, credos, codes of ethics, annual reports, advertising copy, and company slogans. Company slogans can be a particularly potent means of communicating to stakeholders. ICICI Bank’s "Hum Hai Na," for instance, has been remarkably effective in conveying the company's identity. Architecture The design of corporate buildings and the interior layout of offices also can reveal much about a company. A series of closed offices suggests a very different culture from a large open room with desks in full sight of each other. Interactions and Events This is a catch-all category, but a critical one, because every interaction a company employee has with a stakeholder, and every event related to a company, communicates something of the firm's identity. This means, for one thing, that employees should be trained and motivated to project a positive image of the company. The increased popularity of training employees on answering telephones shows that many firms understand the criticality of this communication source. Unexpected events also can conspicuously communicate corporate identity. The catastrophe at Union Carbide's Bhopal plant projected a negative image, as did the controversy over the treatment of African-American customers at Denny's. A company's reaction to such events, however, also can play a prominent role in its projected image.
Feedback is essential to managing the corporate image. Without it, company executives are "flying blind." They need accurate information on stakeholder perceptions if they are to make
sound decisions. Ideally, feedback should be continuous. As a practical matter, relatively continuous feedback can be elicited from salespeople, public relations executives, finance managers, and other employees who routinely interact with stakeholders. Based on such input, modifications may be made in the company's communication methods or, if warranted, a formal study of the corporate identity initiated. In addition to systematically utilizing internal sources, it is prudent to conduct formal studies on a regular basis, say every five years. Formal studies are typically performed by identity/image consultants using in-depth, one-on-one and group interviews as their chief research tools. This type of comprehensive outside review would normally include an analysis of the corporate identity, an appraisal of the firm's image and reputation in the eyes of its stakeholders, and an evaluation of the efficacy of its corporate communications. The consultant's recommendations might run from making slight alterations in the corporate communication program to a reshaping of the firm's identity. For example, Jaguar, in the days prior to privatization, learned from research that it had a terrible reputation for quality and reliability among customers. To correct this problem, Jaguar initiated a rigorous quality program which has helped the firm regain its earlier reputation for quality vehicles. The modern concept of corporate identity has a broad sweep and a strategic focus. It views a company's image and reputation among its several stakeholders as critical resources over which the firm has control. The framework presented here outlines a conceptual model through which management can comprehend, monitor, and influence the development of these intangible assets. The concept is relatively simple but its effective implementation can be profoundly challenging. The firms that master this challenge will, in all likelihood, be the ones that will survive and prosper today's turbulent business environment.
Brand identity is the total proposition that a company makes to consumers - the promise it
makes. It may consist of features and attributes, benefits, performance, quality, service support, and the values that the brand possesses. The brand can be viewed as a product, a personality, a set of values, and a position it occupies in people's minds. Brand identity is everything the company wants the brand to be seen as. The brand identity is the audio-visual trade dress of the brand that expresses, and brings to artistic life, the brand definition, especially the:
Central organizing thought of the brand- what the brand is all about from an insider’s perspective, expressed in one short sentence.
Slogan- the publicly expressed statement of the brand that translates the central organizing thought for the benefit of its target customers.
Personality of the brand- the human character of the brand, maybe supported by a celebrity character within the company.
• • • •
Values of the brand- what the brand stands for and believes in. Tastes/appearance of the brand- what it likes, what it wears, how it speaks. Brand heritage- the stories told about the brand - the insider’s view. Emotional benefits of the brand- what the brand delivers emotionally - avoidance of pain, reduction in pain, promotion of pleasure.
Hard benefits of the brand- what the brand delivers rationally- Utility Values. The brand identity, used in all aspects of communication (including literature, brochures,
packaging, the product itself, the Internet, stationery, and so on), must reflect all these things in its:
Graphical design & Type face Use of color & Sounds
The more differentiated the identity, the easier it is to protect from infringement. Competitors will often pick up on elements of the trade dress of the brand leader.
They must be confronted, otherwise the trademark is lost as a valuable piece of intellectual property and, more importantly, the clarity of the company’s identity becomes drowned in confounding “noise” from other brands.
Brand image, on the other hand, is the totality of consumer perceptions about the brand, or
how they see it, which may not coincide with the brand identity. Companies have to work hard on the consumer experience to make sure that what customers see and think is what they want them to. The key in brand image research is to identify or develop the most powerful images and reinforce them through subsequent brand communications. The term "brand image" gained popularity as evidence began to grow that the feelings and images associated with a brand were powerful purchase influencers, though brand recognition, recall and brand identity. It is based on the proposition that consumers buy not only a product (commodity), but also the image associations of the product, such as power, wealth, sophistication, and most importantly identification and association with other users of the brand. In a consumer led world, people tend to define themselves and their Jungian "persona" by their possessions. Good brand images are instantly evoked, are positive, and are almost always unique among competitive brands. Brand image can be reinforced by brand communications such as packaging, advertising, promotion,
customer service, word-of-mouth and other aspects of the brand experience. Brand images are usually evoked by asking consumers the first words/images that come to their mind when a certain brand is mentioned (sometimes called "top of mind"). When responses are highly variable, non-forthcoming, or refer to non-image attributes such as cost, it is an indicator of a weak brand image.
2.2 Corporate Rebranding
It is the wave of 'corporate rebranding' identity, that touch the Indian corporate to go for global identity makeover. India witnessed in major rebranding of corporate identity such as Pantaloons, Hutch, Bajaj auto, Dabur, Bank of Baroda, UTI Bank and IDBI Bank among others. What is corporate rebranding? Rebranding is defined as the process by which a product or service developed with one brand or company or product line affiliation is marked or distributed with a different identity. Rebranding are now creating and reshaping the future of corporate identity. On the
Other hand corporate identity in turn is considered to be the starting point for creating a relationship with customers. New corporate identity is aimed at to give rebirth to the old brand. Brand identity Guru Vahid Mehrinfar has optly said that 'creating a brand identity, including logo and brand name, entails a process where one projects the inherent qualification of the brand'. Hence the process range from change of the brand logo to the positioning based on brand name to portray the inherent qualities. Logos reflects the qualities, aspirations of the brand, the culture and the personality of the organization. Brand identity is what to stay in the mind of the consumers. Hence corporate internal and external link with consumer through brand identity
mechanism go a long way by ensuring consistency of the brand promise. Hence brand identity is not just logo design; it is paradigm shift of the corporate to portray the culture of the brand. A corporate identity is complete set of association along with brand identify the brand based on familiarity and recall.
Rebranding Strategies There are some cases in which corporate rebranding is the primary initiative needed to successfully reposition a company or brand. Rebranding strategies and rebranding initiatives are appropriate and needed when the company or brand already has strong, relevant underlying differentiation, is currently doing everything right, and the sole purpose of rebranding is to reflect what the company is already doing in a much more compelling, persuasive manner. In short, corporate rebranding is about strategically polishing the company with sharper, more differentiating positioning. Most companies in need of rebranding suffer from generalized positioning. Usually a company doesn't want to narrow its message too much for fear of missing opportunities. Therefore, the company doesn’t strongly position itself as an expert in its sweet spot. As a result, people searching for what the company does best don’t recognize the company as an expert, and the company needs to fight harder to win the business it is really good at, business it should win easily every time. On the other hand, conventional wisdom is that more generalized positioning gives a company more opportunities. The reality is this generalized corporate positioning positions a company as, you guessed it, a generalist. To win business, generalists have to not only won over other generalists but they have to also beat out specialists.
Words of Caution Unfortunately, many marketers and ad agencies view corporate rebranding as a change in corporate identity. This alone rarely yields significant results. Sure, occasionally a corporate logo may need an update, but that typically isn’t going to solve much unless other change occurs. Beware of internal and external voices that promote the need for a new corporate identity as a panacea for the company’s problems. Also, be sure to assess whether it’s rebranding or repositioning that you need. While corporate rebranding can make a significant difference in attracting and securing new business, its benefits will be short lived if you don't deliver on your brand promises or if more significant change was really needed.
Table 2.1 Four Stages in Corporate Rebranding
The most common objective of rebranding is to develop a new image of the company in the market.
The issue areas can be built into an integrating conceptual model of the re-branding process as an aspect of, or activity within, corporate renewal. It suggests that re-branding though indeed infrequent, might be seen as part of a cyclical model of organizational management and renewal.
Table 2.2 Main Areas in Corporate Rebranding
Main Areas in Corporate Rebranding
Figure 2.1 Conceptual Model of Rebranding Process
This model suggests a process based approach to corporate re-branding organizations which starts from consulting and discussing the issues with the stakeholders. Then the strategies for the Re-development of brand should be developed so that it should be properly communicated to the stakeholders. The management of the firm and its brand should be properly handled &
implemented so that it reflects the goals and objectives clearly. Then monitoring the stakeholder’s perception about the change is necessary in order to evaluate the success of the project. These issue areas can be built into an integrating conceptual model of the re-branding process as an aspect of, or activity within, corporate renewal. It suggests that re-branding though indeed infrequent, might be seen as part of a cyclical model of organizational management and renewal activities and schemes.
2.3 Reasons for Corporate Rebranding
There are several reasons why a corporate takes the brand makeover strategy: 1. Visibility and Recognisability: It provides an organization with visibility and recognisability so that people should recognize name and the core business philosophy through its brand identity. 2. Diversification into new area: Diversification into new area of operation may require new corporate brand image makeover so that general public can easily differentiate it. 3. Merger Acquisition: A successful rebranding strategy portrayed the post merger brand activity in the similar line of business. For example Maruti Suzuki Company.
4. Demerger: Demerger embarks upon the firm to opt for new brand identity to position differently from its existing association. For example Reliance Communication Limited. 5. Transformation: Sometime to face the new market challenges makeover of brand is considered to expand its operation either in the new segment or regenerating new values in the market. For example various companies like Hutch, Pantaloons, Indian airlines etc. 6. Others: •
Taking the brand into a new area like retail or internet marketing Planning an IPO Rejuvenating the existing brand Launching into a new market Developing a new variant of the existing product.
• • •
There is a list of examples given below:
Table 2.3 List of examples of Corporate Rebranding
It changed its logo from "knowledge group" to "Future group" featuring the upcoming retail revolution. The rejuvenation from its traditional logo, the new banyan tree identity combine with form and color featuring freshness and stability. It expresses a brand that is positive, proactive and progressive. The new look of Bajaj brand identity and logo depicting a flying "B" in pitch blue is a great makeover to show style with technology. It replace its blue and yellow identity with a vibrant orange call "Baroda Sun" with cricketer Rahul Dravid as brand endorser to project itself as a modern and tech savvy bank. The wheel of the sun temple at konarak inspires the new graphic depiction of a partly visible blue wheel. It stands for timeless motion, trust and courage to face competition.
Bank of Baroda
The today's brand marketers are facing cutthroat competition in the domestic market. Rising competition in the domestic form, force the company to go for a corporate brand makeover. But a mere change in logo will not serve the purpose; it requires a overall corporate identity makeover to represent a fundamental shift in the way the companies will operate. The main reason that corporations change their name is because of mergers and acquisitions with other businesses. In such cases, a complete new name may be chosen to signal capabilities. In other cases, a new corporate name arising from a merger or acquisition may be based on some combinations of the two existing corporate names. Finally, in some cases, the name with more potential inherent brand equity is chosen and the other name is regulated to a sub-brand role or eliminated altogether. Deciding the appropriate strategy is depends on the existing and potential brand equity associated with each brand in the context of the newly merged business. Another reason that corporate names may need to be changed is because of divestitures, leveraged buyouts, or sale of assets. The corporate name may also need to be changed because of public misperceptions about the nature of the company’s business. Finally, significant shifts in corporate strategy may necessitate name changes. In changing the corporate name, the assumption is that the existing brand associations do not have the desired strength, favorability, and uniqueness and that a new name can be chosen perhaps in combination with a corporate image campaign that better conveys the desired brand image. Name changes are typically complicated, time consuming, and expensive, however, and should only be undertaken when compelling marketing or financial considerations prevail and a proper supporting marketing program can be put into place. A new corporate product cannot hide product or other marketing deficiencies.
2.4 Tools of Corporate Rebranding
There are different tools of corporate rebranding and it should be adopted carefully because costs associated with rebranding are normally high because reaching the Right audience repeatedly is difficult. The different tools and strategies to tackle the implementation are: Internal communications • • • • Internal brand proposition Management visibility Internal feedback Rebrand “intent and direction”
External communications • • Unified and aligned brand change programme for all employees External rebrand engagement and feedback
Another important tool for Corporate Rebranding is Corporate Brand Matrix
The Corporate Brand Matrix is a tool for planning, sourcing, budgeting and staffing institutional rebranding programs and a tool which helps the client, consultants and designers and unable them to speak the same language. The Matrix is based on three propositions:
1. It can identify effectively all purposes for undertaking a rebranding initiative, 'the
drivers,' and the strategic branding options (in the form of communication goals) commonly associated with each driver. It is one axis of the Matrix.
2. It can also identify all the tools and tactical choices that can be used to effect rebranding.
It is the second axis.
3. This gives us a structure for learning from history -- a potential data base of` rebranding
case histories. What were managements' driving purposes and what tools were used to achieve each purpose? In Corporate Brand Metrics, there are two axis: • • The “Driving Purpose” axis The "Tools and tactics" axis
The “Driving Purpose” axis: Drivers are of three kinds -- structural (organizational change), strategic, or functional.
Structural Drivers to accommodate structural changes Communication Goals Merger of equals, best of both Transformed survivor brand New vision, forget the past
Merger & Acquisition
Preserve existing equity Express a new vision
Table 2.4 Structural Drivers
Strategic Drivers to effect strategic repositioning Driving Purpose
Communication Goals Drivers Functional Drivers to improve branding functionality Change direction Refine industry/ core competence Driving Purpose Communication Goals Broaden the scope remove limiting category association Name weakness increase name impact & recall Narrow the scope Express a more specific focus Name confusion increase name differentiation Changing internal culture Enhance pride & confidence Design weakness increase visual strength / quality Change expressed personality renew / refresh public image Advertising breakthrough incorporate the successful element Change perceived composition redefine the defining units Legal requirements retain or transfer brand equities
Table 2.5 Strategic Drivers
The “Tools & Tactics” axis: There are four broad tools categories Identifier tactics, identity system elements, situation factors and changed events which are as follows:
1.Identifier Tactics Name Change
Table 2.6 Functional Drivers
Borrowed words Created words Abbreviations Brand
Word-mark dominant Symbol dominant
2. Identity Systems
Visual systems Typography Graphic devices Palette Verbal elements Formal/ legal names
Table 2.7 Identifier Tactics
Unit signature systems
Visual endorsement Monolithic Mix of systems
3. Situation Factors
Corporate level facts
Table 2.8 identity Systems Elements
Industry definitions Geographic scopes Ownership Management
4. Change Events
Sub corporate facts
Competencies Defining units Subsidiaries Brands & Products
Table 2.9 Situation Factors
Table 2.10 Change Events
Low visibility Medium visibility High visibility
Employee mention, functional focus Public launch ads, internal publishment Anchors installation campaign, staged events
The Corporate Brand Matrix is a comprehensive tool for planning an institutional rebranding.
AXIS BANK – AN OVERVIEW
3.1 History of Banking Industry
Banking in India originated in the first decade of 18th century with The General Bank of India coming into existence in 1786. This was followed by Bank of Hindustan. Both these banks are now defunct. The oldest bank in existence in India is the State Bank of India being established as "The Bank of Bengal" in Calcutta in June 1806. A couple of decades later, foreign banks like Credit Lyonnais started their Calcutta operations in the 1850s. At that point of time, Calcutta was the most active trading port, mainly due to the trade of the British Empire, and due to which banking activity took roots there and prospered. The first fully Indian owned bank was the Allahabad Bank, which was established in 1865. By the 1900s, the market expanded with the establishment of banks such as Punjab National Bank, in 1895 in Lahore and Bank of India, in 1906, in Mumbai - both of which were founded under private ownership. The Reserve Bank of
India formally took on the responsibility of regulating the Indian banking sector from 1935. After India's independence in 1947, the Reserve Bank was nationalized and given broader powers.
Early History At the end of late-18th century, there were hardly any banks in India in the modern sense of the term. At the time of the American Civil War, a void was created as the supply of cotton to Lancashire stopped from the Americas. Some banks were opened at that time which functioned as entities to finance industry, including speculative trades in cotton. With large exposure to speculative ventures, most of the banks opened in India during that period could not survive and failed. The depositors lost money and lost interest in keeping deposits with banks. Subsequently, banking in India remained the exclusive domain of Europeans for next several decades until the beginning of the 20th century. The Bank of Bengal, which later became the State Bank of India. At the beginning of the 20th century, Indian economy was passing through a relative period of stability. Around five decades have elapsed since the India's First war of Independence, and the social, industrial and other infrastructure have developed. At that time there were very small banks operated by Indians, and most of them were owned and operated by particular communities. The banking in India was controlled and dominated by the presidency banks, namely, the Bank of Bombay, the Bank of Bengal, and the Bank of Madras - which later on merged to form the Imperial Bank of India, and Imperial Bank of India, upon India's independence, was renamed the State Bank of India. There were also some exchange banks, as also a number of Indian joint stock banks. All these banks operated in different segments of the
economy. The presidency banks were like the central banks and discharged most of the functions of central banks. They were established under charters from the British East India Company. The exchange banks, mostly owned by the Europeans, concentrated on financing of foreign trade. Indian joint stock banks were generally under capitalized and lacked the experience and maturity to compete with the presidency banks, and the exchange banks. There was potential for many new banks as the economy was growing. Lord Curzon had observed then in the context of Indian banking: "In respect of banking it seems we are behind the times. We are like some old fashioned sailing ship, divided by solid wooden bulkheads into separate and cumbersome compartments." Under these circumstances, many Indians came forward to set up banks, and many banks were set up at that time, a number of which have survived to the present such as Bank of India and Corporation Bank, Indian Bank, Bank of Baroda, and Canara Bank. Post-independence The partition of India in 1947 had adversely impacted the economies of Punjab and West Bengal, and banking activities had remained paralyzed for months. India's independence marked the end of a regime of the Laissez-faire for the Indian banking. The Government of India initiated measures to play an active role in the economic life of the nation, and the Industrial Policy Resolution adopted by the government in 1948 envisaged a mixed economy. This resulted into greater involvement of the state in different segments of the economy including banking and finance. The major steps to regulate banking included: In 1948, the Reserve Bank of India, India's central banking authority, was nationalized, and it became an institution owned by the Government of India. In 1949, the Banking Regulation Act was enacted which empowered the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) "to regulate, control, and inspect the banks in India." The Banking Regulation Act also provided that no new bank or branch of an existing bank may be opened
without a licensed from the RBI, and no two banks could have common directors. However, despite these provisions, control and regulations, banks in India except the State Bank of India, continued to be owned and operated by private persons. This changed with the nationalization of major banks in India on 19th July, 1969. Nationalization By the 1960s, the Indian banking industry has become an important tool to facilitate the development of the Indian economy. At the same time, it has emerged as a large employer, and a debate has ensued about the possibility to nationalize the banking industry. Indira Gandhi, thethen Prime Minister of India expressed the intention of the GOI in the annual conference of the All India Congress Meeting in a paper entitled "Stray thoughts on Bank Nationalization." The paper was received with positive enthusiasm. Thereafter, her move was swift and sudden, and the GOI issued an ordinance and nationalized the 14 largest commercial banks with effect from the midnight of July 19, 1969. Jayaprakash Narayan, a national leader of India, described the step as a "masterstroke of political sagacity." Within two weeks of the issue of the ordinance, the Parliament passed the Banking Companies (Acquition and Transfer of Undertaking) Bill, and it received the presidential approval on 9th August, 1969. A second dose of nationalization of 6 more commercial banks followed in 1980. The stated reason for the nationalization was to give the government more control of credit delivery. With the second dose of nationalization, the GOI controlled around 91% of the banking business of India. After this, until the 1990s, the nationalized banks grew at a pace of around 4%, closer to the average growth rate of the Indian economy. Liberalization
In the early 1990s the then Narasimha Rao government embarked on a policy of liberalization and gave licenses to a small number of private banks, which came to be known as New Generation tech-savvy banks, which included banks such as UTI Bank (now re-named as Axis Bank) (the first of such new generation banks to be set up), ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank. This move, along with the rapid growth in the economy of India, kick started the banking sector in India, which has seen rapid growth with strong contribution from all the three sectors of banks, namely, government banks, private banks and foreign banks. The next stage for the Indian banking has been setup with the proposed relaxation in the norms for Foreign Direct Investment, where all Foreign Investors in banks may be given voting rights which could exceed the present cap of 10%, at present it has gone up to 49% with some restrictions. The new policy shook the Banking sector in India completely. Bankers, till this time, were used to the 4-6-4 method (Borrow at 4%, Lend at 6%, Go home at 4) of functioning. The new wave ushered in a modern outlook and tech-savvy methods of working for traditional banks. All this led to the retail boom in India. People not just demanded more from their banks but also received more. Current situation Currently (2007-08), banking in India is generally fairly mature in terms of supply, product range and reach-even though reach in rural India still remains a challenge for the private sector and foreign banks. In terms of quality of assets and capital adequacy, Indian banks are considered to have clean, strong and transparent balance sheets relative to other banks in comparable economies in its region. The Reserve Bank of India is an autonomous body, with minimal pressure from the government. The stated policy of the Bank on the Indian Rupee is to manage volatility but without any fixed exchange rate-and this has mostly been true. With the growth in the Indian economy expected to be strong for quite some time-especially in its services sector-the
demand for banking services, especially retail banking, mortgages and investment services are expected to be strong. One may also expect M&As, takeovers, and asset sales. In March 2006, the Reserve Bank of India allowed Warburg Pincus to increase its stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank (a private sector bank) to 10%. This is the first time an investor has been allowed to hold more than 5% in a private sector bank since the RBI announced norms in 2005 that any stake exceeding 5% in the private sector banks would need to be vetted by them. Currently, India has 88 scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) - 28 public sector banks (that is with the Government of India holding a stake), 29 private banks (these do not have government stake; they may be publicly listed and traded on stock exchanges) and 31 foreign banks. They have a combined network of over 53,000 branches and 17,000 ATMs.
3.2 History of Axis Industry
Axis Bank, previously called UTI Bank, was the first of the new private banks to have begun operations in 1994, after the Government of India allowed new private banks to be established. The Bank was promoted jointly by the Administrator of the Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (UTI-I), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), General Insurance Corporation Ltd., National Insurance Company Ltd., The New India Assurance Company, The Oriental Insurance Corporation and United Insurance Company Ltd. UTI-I holds a special position in the Indian capital markets and has promoted many leading financial institutions in the country. As on the year ended March 31, 2006 the Bank had a net worth of Rs. 2872.19 crores with the public holding (other than promoters) at 56.65%. Net Profit for the year was up 44.98% to Rs 485.08 crores.
Axis Bank stands apart from its private sector competitors — ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank — in one crucial respect. While the other two banks have envisaged retail banking as a key area of strategic emphasis — with the share of the retail business (both on the funding and asset sides) growing strongly year after year— the share of retail business, particularly retail assets, has actually come down quite sharply in the case of Axis Bank. The numbers here are quite interesting. For ICICI Bank, retail loans now (as of June 2007) account for as much as 70 per cent of the bank’s total loan book of Rs 2,00,000 crore. For HDFC Bank, retail assets are around 57 per cent (Rs 28,000 crore) of the total loans as of March 2007. In the case of Axis Bank, retail loans have declined from 30 per cent of the total loan book of Rs 25,800 crore in June 2006 to around 23 per cent of loan book of Rs.41,280 crore (as of June 2007). Even over a longer period, while the overall asset growth for Axis Bank has been quite high and has matched that of the other banks, retail exposures grew at a slower pace. If the sharp decline in the retail asset book in the past year in the case of Axis Bank is part of a deliberate business strategy, this could have significant implications (not necessarily negative) for the overall future profitability of the business. Despite the relatively slower growth of the retail book over a period of time and the outright decline seen in the past year, the bank’s fundamentals are quite resilient. With the high level of mid-corporate and wholesale corporate lending the bank has been doing, one would have expected the net interest margins to have been under greater pressure. The bank, though, appears to have insulated such pressures. Interest margins, while they have declined from the 3.15 per cent seen in 2003-04, are still hovering close to the 3 per cent mark. (The comparable margins for ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank are around 2.60 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. The margins for ICICI Bank are lower despite its much larger share of the higher margin retail business, since funding costs also are higher). Such strong emphasis and focus on lending also
does not appear to have had any deleterious impact on the overall asset quality. The bank’s nonperforming loans are even now, after five years of extremely rapid asset build-up, below 1 per cent of its total loans. From a medium-term perspective, it appears that Axis Bank could be charting out a niche for itself in the private bank space. It appears to be following a business strategy quite different from the high-volume and commodity-style approach of ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank. That strategy also has its pluses in terms of the relatively higher margins in some segments of the retail business and the in-built credit risk diversification (and mitigation) achieved through a widely dispersed retail credit portfolio. But, as indicated above, Axis Bank has been to able to maintain the quality of its loan portfolio despite the concentrated nature of wholesale corporate lending. The Bank today is capitalized to the extent of Rs. 357.48 crore with the public holding (other than promoters) at 57.03%. The Bank's Registered Office is at Ahmadabad and its Central Office is located at Mumbai. Presently, the Bank has a very wide network of more than 608 branch offices and Extension Counters. The Bank has a network of over 2595 ATMs providing 24 hrs a day banking convenience to its customers. This is one of the largest ATM networks in the country. The Bank has strengths in both retail and corporate banking and is committed to adopting the best industry practices internationally in order to achieve excellence. Axis Bank continued its robust growth in the December 2007 quarter and has once again beaten analysts’ expectations on all parameters. However, the difference this quarter is that the growth in profitability has been driven more by a significant jump in the net interest income (core business) rather than non-interest income unlike in last several quarters. Net interest income leaped by 91 per cent y-o-y to Rs 747 crore—the highest in the past four quarters—as advances
and deposits grew by 50 per cent and 35 per cent respectively and also there was an increase in net interest margin (NIM). Its NIM went up by 63 basis points q-o-q and 91 basis points y-o-y to 3.91 per cent. This was because of a jump in yield on advances while CASA (current and savings account) was maintained at 45 per cent sequentially. Though other income went up 74 per cent y-o-y to Rs 488 crore, it was still lower than the 87 per cent growth reported in the September 2007 quarter. The bank’s fee income increased by 81 per cent to Rs 348 crore and trading profits were up 65 per cent to Rs 131 crore in Q3. All these factors led to doubling of operating profit to Rs 672 crore while operating expenses went up 67 per cent. However, its net profit grew relatively slower at 66 per cent to Rs 307 crore as provisions and contingencies went up 290 per cent and a 68 per cent jump was recorded in tax provisioning. However, growth in net profit is still higher than previous three quarters and has been higher than expectations. Axis Bank is relatively immune to the slowdown in the retail credit and high cost of funding. This is because retail credit’s share of 25 per cent has gone down from 28 per cent last year and other advances like corporate, SME (small and medium enterprises) and agriculture loans have grown faster than retail-advances. Changes brought in the Bank are:
Table 3.1 Changes in UTI Bank
Solutions for a life time
Not Yet Declared
3.3 Reasons for Changes in UTI Bank
Few banks have gone in for a brand makeover; UTI Bank is one of them that have changed its name to Axis Bank. It seems to be quite clear from the strategic decision about the way forward, the change in identity, the positioning of the bank, the pros and cons of pursuing organic growth, etc. One of the reason for bringing changes in the corporate identity is to enhance the image of the bank because now they want to become an MNC bank. Why did the bank decide to change its brand name? Bank has done this partly because there are shareholder-unrelated entities that carry the UTI brand, which was becoming increasingly untenable. If there are no shareholder relations between the two organizations, how can they actually share a common name? When UTI was split into two vehicles, the brand was given to UTI Mutual Fund and others were permitted to use the brand only till January 2008. When it became clear to the bank that it was no longer tenable, they
decided to have a brand of our own. The name Axis was chosen as it means a line of reference, around which everything is measured. Their feeling is that with time, people will think of the bank brand as Axis Bank. The tough test was whether in the next six months people would forget old name or not. Otherwise, nothing has really changed in the bank. They raised capital worth Rs 4,500 crore, which helped Axis Bank to start off on a strong footing. They feel that this capital would last at least for three years in the case of pure organic growth.
The UTI brand had a quasi-government sovereign ring to it, especially when it goes outside metros. It was an advantage, then why bank have taken this decision on cost of losing it? Bank’s customer base is very different from the customer base of a mutual fund. So they have never really able to ride on the brand. The pace at which customer base have grown indicates the level of customer service bank provide. Also, the UTI brand was seen as a public sector brand. They were board-managed private sector entity. By changing the name, Bank have reinforce this image. Where Axis Bank positioned from the business point of view? Axis Bank has taken first step towards seeing themselves as becoming an MNC bank from India. They have presence in four overseas locations — Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Dubai. This is part of a journey for becoming a pan-Asian bank and then, eventually, a bank that is more multinational. They are foraying into smaller towns and entering district headquarters in a big way. In the next thirty months, they want to be present in 450 district headquarters. They have received licenses to open 150 branches and 500 ATMs. Also they are planning to open 125 branches by July 2008, half of which would be in large cities. They are also setting up a large
agriculture financing business, for which they need to be close to farmers; hence the bank is going to open branches in villages. Besides, the bank has set up priority banking branches for customers with deposits of over Rs 5 lakh. It is one of the fastest growing customer bases of our bank, growing at 4% each year. They have three such specialized branches now, and planning to have one each in all the major metros.
Would it have been very tempting for the bank to stay on the existing brand by paying a higher royalty, given the cost and time involved in this exercise? In recent years, the Bank has contributed more than their fair share on restoration of the UTI brand. But when it was clear to them that there was no other option, they decided to bite the bullet. Bank decided to assume their very own identity. The UTI identity came to the bank from the undivided Unit Trust of India (UTI). The split of UTI was the starting point for what was eventually a search for a new identity. When Axis Bank looks at private sector peers, there are missing links, since most of them have a mutual fund and insurance business? Axis Bank has tried to focus on Commercial banking since their inception. As the first step towards diversion, bank has set up an AMC to manage a private equity venture. They would be in a position to launch the first tranche of the fund by end of September 2008. The AMC will provide equity support for infrastructure projects. There are not many private equity funds here, focusing on infrastructure projects.
4.1 Nature of the study
As the objective of the study to identify the impact of change in corporate identity of Axis Bank, the research is exploratory in nature.
4.2 Sample Size:
A sample of 100 respondents was selected by using stratified sampling technique.
4.3 Data Collection methods:
The data was collected in two phases. With secondary data analysis various factors regarding the research will be studied. Focus group study was used to explore the research objectives more
precisely and primary data was collected using a series of in depth interviews and questionnaire. The following data collection tools will be used. Sources of Secondary data: • • • • Books, magazines and periodicals Previous related researches Company website Other relevant and reliable websites
Sources of Primary Data: A cross sectional population compressing both the existing customers of the bank and non customers. Data collection methods: • • • In depth interviews Focus Group Survey
Data collection instruments:
4.4 Data analysis techniques:
Appropriate data analysis techniques will be used which are able to provide the results in line with the research objectives. The data analysis techniques to be followed depend on the content of the questionnaire. A standard statistical software package like SPSS will be used for data analysis. Following data analysis techniques will be used • • Percentage Analysis Centroid Analysis
Report writing: A thorough report will be compiled focusing on purpose of the research, its dimensions in form of objectives, methodology followed while conducting the research, various data collections methods used in the research supported by appropriate data analysis techniques in detail. The report will end up with final conclusions and recommendations.
FINDINGS & DISCUSSIONS
of Consumers/ Percentage Analysis
Gender Gender Male Female
No. of Respondents Percentage
Figure 5.1 Gender
1. Out of total sample size 86% of respondents are male. 2. Out of total sample size 14% of respondents are female. 3. Majority of respondents are male. Table 5.2 Age
Age No. of Respondents Percentage
18-25 yrs 25 25%
26-40 yrs 43 43%
41-55 yrs 18 18%
Above 55 yrs 14 14%
Figure 5.2 Age
1. Out of total respondents 25% are in age group of 18-25 years.
2. Out of total respondents 43% are in age group of 26-40 years.
3. Out of total respondents 18% are in age group of 41-55 years. 4. Out of total respondents 14% are in age group of above 56 years.
Annual Income Below 1 lacs 2 2%
Table 5.3 Annual
Annual Income No. of Respondents Percentage
1-2 lacs 19 19%
2-3 lacs 52 52%
Above 3 lacs 27 27%
Figure 5.3 Annual Income
1. Out of total respondents, 2% are having annual income below 1 lakhs. 2. Out of total respondents, 19% are having annual income between 1-2 lakhs. 3. Out of total respondents, 52% are having annual income between 2-3 lakhs.
4. Out of total respondents, 27% are having annual income above 3 lakhs.
4. 5. 6. 4. Occupation Occupation
No. of Respondents Percentage
Figure 5.4 Occupation
1. Out of total respondents, 22% are running business.
2. Out of total respondents, 43% are in service.
3. Out of total respondents, 15% are professionals. 4. Out of total respondents, 11% are students. 5. Out of total respondents, 9% are engaged in others occupational activities.
Educational Qualifications No. of respondents Percentage
Graduate 52 52%
Post Graduate PhD 21 21% 19 19%
Others 8 8%
Table 5.5 Educational
Figure 5.5 Educational Qualification
1. Out of total respondents, 52% are graduates. 2. Out of total respondents, 21% are post graduates. 3. Out of total respondents, 19% Phd. 4. Out of total respondents, 8% are having other qualifications.
Awareness about the change
Aware about the change No. of respondents Percentage
Yes 100 100%
Table 5.6 Awareness about the change
No 0 0%
Figure 5.6 Awareness about the change
Interpretation Out of the total respondents, 100% are aware about the change in name of UTI bank to Axis Bank.
5.2 Centroid Analysis
a) Customer Sales Representatives/ Tellers
Intensity Level of Customer Sales Representatives / Tellers
Interpretation: On a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is termed as poor and 5 is termed as excellent, respondents have ranked UTI Bank near 3.02 and Axis Bank near 3.43. This signifies that customers are finding changes/ improvements in the services provided by customer sales
Figure 5.7 Intensity Level of CSR
AX I S BA N
UT Ba I nk
representatives / tellers. Now The Bank is more concentrating more on customer satisfaction.
b) Supervisors / Management level
Intensity Level of Supervisors / Management level
Figure 5.8 Intensity level of supervisors/ Mngmt level
BA S N K AX
UT Ba I nk
On a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is termed as poor and 5 is termed as excellent, respondents have ranked UTI Bank near 2.40 and Axis Bank near 3.01. This signifies that customers are finding changes/ improvements in the services provided by Supervisors / Management people. Now they are more available to customers to solve their queries.
c) Branch Facilities
Intensity Level of Branch Facilities
S N BA K
Figure 5.9 Intensity Level of Branch Facilities
UT Ba I nk
Interpretation: On a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is termed as poor and 5 is termed as excellent, respondents have ranked UTI Bank near 3.28 and Axis Bank near 3.48. This signifies that customers are finding little changes/ improvements in the branch facilities in terms of clean & well cared environment, pleasant and attractive décor, no long line wait ups etc.
SUMMARY & CONCLUSIONS
After going through a detailed research it is clear that consumer is finding differences in the services provided by UTI Bank and Axis Bank. Now the bank is more focused towards customer satisfaction which is improving their market share. A name change can create differences in consumer perception about the bank but with the help of effective rebranding campaign bank is spreading information about the services and creating awareness. The bank looks different by changing the name & appearance, so by keeping this in mind the company devised a promotion strategy where it clearly says “Everything is the same, except the name”.
Customers are finding changes/ improvements in the services provided by customer sales representatives / tellers, management people and branch facilities. It shows, perhaps, Bank is going to become a multinational corporation bank but they are more focused towards their home country customers. As UTI bank was the third largest bank in India and had a quasi-government sovereign ring to it, definitely change in corporate identity could harm their identity in domestic market. But with the help of effective corporate rebranding strategies the bank has done the positive repositioning in the minds of the consumers. All the respondents are fully aware about the change in name and logo of the bank and the strategic decision took place.
Axis Bank is a national level bank. Ideally, the sample should be taken from across the country for better analysis. However, time and resource constraints limit the scope of the data collection to Ghaziabad city only. The finding in Ghaziabad city shows that:
Most of the customers lie in the age group of 26 to 40 years which means that Axis Bank is popular in the mid-age group.
Most of the respondents are having annual income in the slab of Rs 2 to 3 lakhs which means Axis bank is targeting the middle income group people as their customers.
A large percentage of respondents have service as their occupation which is followed by business which signifies that bank is concentrating more on saving bank account schemes followed by others.
Most of the Axis Bank customers in Ghaziabad city have good educational qualifications. Most of them are graduates.
There is 100% awareness among the customers about the change in name of bank. This signifies that Axis Bank is creating awareness through various marketing tools. It shows an effective implementation of corporate rebranding strategy.
Customers are finding differences in the services provided by the UTI Bank and Axis Bank in terms of branch facilities, customer service representatives and management people. Now customers are more satisfied and finding improvements in the services of the Axis Bank. That shows bank is now more focused towards customer satisfaction.
The overall satisfaction level of the customers from the Axis Bank in terms of all the services provided like banking facilities etc are showing improvements after the change.
Most of the customers are relating UTI Bank with the words like Quasi-government sovereign, Reliability and Security. That shows consumer perception with the UTI bank was very strong in terms of security and reliability as quasi government ring was attached to it.
Customers are relating Axis Bank with the words like Global, Modern etc which shows the strong growth path for the bank supported by a strong base, indicating that the bank is moving on to become a MNC Bank.
Axis bank advertisement is very popular among the customers. There is 100% recall ratio of the advertisement of the twin sisters and the tagline “Everything is same except the name”. Almost every respondent was able to recall the Axis Bank advertisement and tagline.
Dear Sir / Madam, I, at IPM Business School, Ghaziabad conducting a detailed marketing research on the change in name of UTI Bank to Axis Bank. The objective of this research is to know the awareness level of customers about the change. I assure you that it won’t take much of your time and your answers will be a great help to us. (The information given by you will be kept completely confidential.) 1) NAME 2) GENDER 3) AGE ( years) : : : Male 18-25 26-40 41-55 56 and above 4) ANNUAL INCOME: Less than Rs 100, 000 Rs 100, 000 – 200, 000 Rs 200, 000 – 300, 000 More than Rs 300, 000 5) Occupation Student 6) Educational Qualification: Graduate Others : Business Service Others Post graduate PhD Professional Female
If others please specify………………………………….. 7) Are you aware of the change in name of UTI Bank to Axis Bank? Yes No
8) Do you have an account in Axis Bank? Yes No
9) How long you have an account in Axis Bank? 0-2 yrs above 10) Do you have account in another Bank? Yes No 2-4yrs 4-6yrs 6yrs and
If Yes then please specify………………………………………….. 11) Please indicate any perceptual changes do you find in the transition from UTI Bank to Axis Bank on the following parameters. Please rank the following parameters in reference as mentioned. Please give rank 5 on those parameters which may be termed excellent, 4 as good, 3 as average, 2 as fair and 1 as poor.
a) Customer Service Representatives/Tellers Attributes UTI Bank Axis Bank
Friendly and courteous manner Knowledge of bank's products & Services Fast and efficient service Recognition of you as valued customer Professional and attractive appearance
b) Supervisors/Management Attributes UTI Bank Axis Bank
Friendly and courteous manner Knowledge of bank's products & Services Fast and efficient service Available to customers when needed Professional and attractive appearance
c) Branch Facilities Attributes UTI Bank Axis Bank
Clean & well cared facilities Efficient, no wait service No long line ups at counter Pleasant & attractive décor ATM Facilities at convenient locations
12) Assume that UTI Bank was not a bank but a human being, then how would you describe that human being?
……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………… 13) Assume that Axis Bank was not a bank but a human being, then how would you describe that human being?
……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………
14) What one word comes to your mind instantly when you think of UTI Bank?
15) What one word comes to your mind instantly when you think of Axis Bank?
16) Can you briefly describe any advertisement of Axis bank that you have seen in the last 6 months? 0% recall 50% recall 100% recall
17) You have seen Axis Bank logo, in your opinion what sense does it convey?
……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………
Please rate your overall satisfaction on the scale of 1 to 5 for services
provided by Axis Bank:
Very Dissatisfied 1 Dissatisfied 2 Neutral 3 Satisfied 4 Very Satisfied 5
Thanks for your valuable cooperation
• • http://www.axisbank.com/aboutus/aboutaxisbank/About-Axis-Bank.asp http://in.ibtimes.com/articles/20070806/uti-bank-goes-for-rebranding-new-name-axisbank-ltd.htm •
http://www.corporatebrandmatrix.com/the-matrix.asp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_identity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banking_in_India
Books, Magazines, Journals:
Brand Reporter Strategic Brand Management by Kevin Lane Keller, Edition IX.
I hereby declare that the project report titled “Change in Corporate Identity & its Impact on Stakeholders (A Case of Axis Bank)” is the result of my original work. This report has not been submitted for the award of any diploma or degree by any other institute or university.