31 January 2008

Commbank is determined to be different..well, just the agency.

The new Commonwealth Bank brand positioning by US agency Goodby Silverstein reflects a an out-of-touch management using poorly briefed and conceived programs to demonstrate successful internal reinvention.

While the company has been undergoing an internal five year transformation program, designed to re-engineer almost every aspect of how the bank works, the same cannot be said for the branding.

Firstly, the new Determined to be Different campaign launched this moth, is not even a brand positioning. It’s entirely disingenuous for the Bank to claim it as the next step from the Which? Bank campaign as this a tagline as an addendum to the transformation project, rather than brand being a central plank of it.

Secondly, Determined to be Different campaign is just too simply such an abstract claim to be believable. It's self centred, it's an unfunny parody, there’s no customer centredness and while some attempts at substantiation are carried via the website, these are the same empty statements.

So it’s one of the problems I constantly see with advertising led brand programs is this huge gap that exists between the change programs and an organisation's inability to run successful and parallel strategic brand programs.

And organisations who continue to do this runs the risk of getting caught in the gap, and I fear that’s what’s going to happen when customers start fronting up to the Commonwealth Bank, really daring them and wanting them to be different.