Brand building in the banking sector has taken off in Vietnam over recent years. VIBank, MaritimeBank, VietinBank, SeaBank, Bao Viet Holding, OceanBank, MekongBank, and ANZ have all changed their brand identity. Last month, DaiABank announced a change to its brand identity to make it consistent with its development strategy for the future.
A representative from DaiABank said that the bank has never really paid full attention to building up its brand, even though it was established 18 years ago. The time came, though, when it had to adopt a brand strategy, given the increasingly severe competition among banks.
Many domestic banks have finally recognised the need to build their brands. This will affect the entire bank, from its structure and targets to the attitude and vision of all concerned, and the investment huge as it takes a long time to improve the quality of products and services.
According to Dr Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh, Head of the Banking Strategy Institute, Vietnam’s banking sector has not had many good brands. Banks struggle to build their brands because they are yet to determine their core products and services. “Banks have made little effort to differentiate their retail products, relying only on the interest rates they offer,” according to the general director of a Ho Chi Minh City-based commercial joint stock bank.
Building brands in the banking sector is a difficult task. Advertising is just one factor in brand building activities, with human resources, technology, networks and added value also being necessary.
No Vietnamese bank has conducted research or used statistics when building their brand strategies, said Mr Nguyen Trung Thang, Chairman of the Masso Group. And there has never been a comprehensive report or survey on potential customers in any sector, not just banking.
Advertising experts say that Vietnamese banks need to differentiate their brand to improve their identity in domestic and international markets. Customers must be targeted and better strategies adopted. BIDV and Techcombank, two of the sector’s major players, are preparing to launch new brand identities, having noted it’s a key factor in competitiveness and success.