Despite demonetisation, SBI has soared in the rankings. Here's the secret?
SBI, the only Indian bank to feature in the Global Fortune 500 Companies, is also a brand with a 210-year old legacy.
SBI's chief marketing officer, Dinesh Menon is not oblivious to the challenges facing a banking world that must move beyond cash and into the digital realm while waiting for infrastructure to catch up. But, he says, "The acid test of consumer's trust in a brand is how much the consumer is willing to forgive/overlook a brand's failings if/when it happens." He believes one of the reasons why SBI has maintained its position as one India's Most Trusted banks is because, despite being a 'vintage' brand, SBI has transformed into a "contemporary bank with perhaps the widest possible suite of digital products and services that caters to a varied cross section of India's demography."
While technology has made life easier, it could also prove to be the bane of a brand's existence. Consumers now expect a certain degree of digital competency. Although trust in the BFSI sector still continues to be about security and growth of money, says Menon, "with technological disruption it has expanded to service quality (ease of use/convenience). Shortcomings on these vectors can erode trust."
2017 will be an interesting year for bank brands which are juggling tougher ground realities and higher customer expectations. For SBI the question is: can the oldest contemporary bank in the country maintain its position as India's Most Trusted Bank brand?