ANZ Simplification Programme - National Bank Brand Change Direct Communications
Telling all 1.2 million customers first!
On 26 September 2012, ANZ made the biggest move in the banking industry for well over a decade – the National Bank brand was to come together with ANZ. The task was simple – communicate to National Bank customers before they heard it from anyone else. There was only one catch – continuous disclosure requirements meant nobody could be told of the planned decision before it was announced to the market, the media and competitors.
The campaign was complicated by being of the utmost commercial sensitivity, and it had to be delivered in just 7 months with minimum resources.
A strategy was developed to communicate to all 1.2 million National Bank customers immediately at the time the announcement was made. This involved lodging a DM piece with 12 base versions and 649 letter variations within one hour of the decision, whilst simultaneously sending an email to 400,000 customers. The content was incredibly delicate, with customers needing to be given the rational facts around the brand decision before the inevitable counter-spin from media and competitors.
The project required a bank-wide customer relationship marketing approach to manage customers through a volatile period of change. However, with no existing customer-centric data available, the bank needed to build from scratch a database that not only provided a single customer view across all business units but also supported customer analysis, the production of message matrices and mail files, and enabled customer data to be fed into a frontline support tool. It also required the development of a unique large-scale testing methodology to ensure there were no errors.
Due to this campaign, the initial stage of the brand transition was an unqualified success. All key messages were absorbed by customers and competitor activity was successfully repelled with virtually no customer attrition. In fact in the first few weeks since the brand announcement ANZ’s mortgage customer share increased 2% (source: RBNZ).