If you’ve read the Star recently and seen this ad, you would have been forgiven for thinking that Ambank is an electronic gadget retailer. The focus of these ads are the devices. Only when you start reading the copy do you realize that it’s a reward for the delinquent among us who need to transfer their balance credit card debts.
To me as a marketer, this is dilution of brand value. In one fell swoop, the Ambank brand and what it stands for (not that I know what it stands for anyway!) becomes submerged under these other consumer brands. Basically the bank is telling people, look I need these gadgets to attract you to my custom since I can’t really offer much else in the form of differentiation.
Now, let’s shift focus to another bank – Public Bank. This erstwhile lead-bank has seen its domination of the local market whittled away by foreign banks and a re-energised CIMB Bank. It’s not difficult to understand why this could have happened when you see its marketing campaigns , as the bank appears locked in the 1970’s with its outdated look and feel. Public Bank still seems to be pandering to its core Chinese businessman market and appears to have lost the plot with the younger set. I would be worried if I were Teh Hoong Piow.
Finally, we come to EON Bank and its choice of a grocer’s theme for its branch décor. Fruits or vegetables anyone? Come to EON Supermarket Bank – we’ve got the freshest range for you. ‘nuff said.