ACB looks to move on from the past and recast its image with a new brand identity.
After 21 years of operations the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) has officially announced it will gradually change to a new brand identity. The purpose of the change is to remove any negative image stemming from the corruption case involving former Vice Chairman of the Board Management, Nguyen Duc Kien, three years ago. The existing image is also too old, according to Mr. Vo Van Quang, a branding expert, and the bank has chosen the right time to make the change.
According to the bank, the change is also part of its new strategy of maintaining its leading position in the market and defining a customer-oriented focus. The new logo is modern and simpler than it predecessor, continuing with the three bold letters of ACB with a dot in the middle of the letter C. With the old logo, there were 12 horizontal lines from A and C to B. The bank explained that the dot means the development of deeper services. Each employee needs to focus on serving customers, which it the bank’s strategy from now to 2018. The logo is also a stylized image showing a satisfied smile and a united arm, expressing the sustainable relationship between the bank and State agencies, shareholders, customers, employees, and the public.
The bank trialed its new logo at some branches in 2013 and received positive feedback from customers. Branches and transaction offices will gradually change to the new logo and it will be applied on all contact channels and publications, staff uniforms, and the website. The bank cooperated with a prestigious UK-based design consulting company, over the last four years to build the new brand identity. Some large banks in Vietnam have already changed their brand identity, and said they preferred to engage foreign consultants in their brand development, which can cost in the millions of dollars.
Local marketing experts said that in recent years the media has been full of stories about the bad debts and restructuring of banks. The change in ACB’s image is a way for the bank to renew its image in eyes of customers and confirm its prestige. This change in brand identity is a reasonable step to take, Mr. Quang added, in the context of the banking industry’s tough competition and its ongoing internal issues. He also noted, however, that the change is not only in its image but also the image of the entire system of the bank.
Mr. Martin Roll, a foreign marketing expert, said that, in the banking industry, if there is only borrowing and lending there would be no difference. Banks need to create a difference regarding services. A representative from the bank told VET that the bank focuses on providing the best solutions possible to meet customer demand, investing in technology and human resources in the new phase of development. In particular, its marketing activities will be defined clearly and accompanied by a business plan for each period and a vision and strategy for the long term. “With many years of history, the bank believes it will create a breakthrough in the market and increase its reputation among customers,” he said.
Indeed, the bank has seen positive changes in its business activities and restructuring over recent years after the scandal and its high ratio of bad debts. Mr. Quang said that the bank is likely to be among a few banks to adopt a new brand strategy.