Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Relationship banking

You realize how far removed advertising is from the reality of some brands when you interact with them.

ICICI Bank's TV ads show a customer visiting the bank for some work . His date of birth is mentioned in the form . The ICICI person notices it and arranges for a muffin with a candle. The customer is visibly touched . And there's a voice over saying something about relationship banking.

If the ad agency did any research they would have figured there's no way they can stretch reality of ICICI's sorry customer relationships to create an ad about ICICI nurturing relationships . So they decided to adopt the fiction route. This hypothesis possibly explains the ad .

In my experience with the bank lately - it seems that have no employees . Let me explain . They have people who identify at best with the department they work with. They have no connect whatsoever with 'ICICI Bank'. "It's a system issue " + " back office has not done the work" +"that is to be done by another dept" are popular reasons for most problems. The bureaucratic way they operate makes Amex look intelligent :)

This is a bank that's ok when everything is functioning routinely . Any deviations - be prepared to spend time , effort and resources in chasing various departments to accomplish the task. In fact , there's an opportunity for someone to launch a 'how to deal with ICICI Bank' service.

Ms Kocchar should worry less about expansion . And worry a lot about where this bank is headed with it's culture.

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