Ninety years on, Union Bank refreshes itself

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | September 02, 2008
Still 'Good People to Bank With', Union Bank readies itself for the influx of foreign banks that will soon make their presence felt in India

Change & #BANNER1 & # is truly the only constant. Banks, in particular, have been following that rule in recent times. Bank of Baroda got itself a new logo and brand ambassador a few years ago. In recent times, UTI Bank was renamed Axis Bank. Canara Bank, too, has revamped itself.

Adding to the ever increasing list is Union Bank of India. The bank, which was founded in 1919 and inaugurated by the father of the nation, MK Gandhi, has undergone a change twice in nearly 90 years of functioning.

This time round, Union Bank of India, along with its creative agency, Mudra, and Boston Consulting Group, chalked out an agenda to create this change.

Addressing the press in Mumbai, MV Nair, chairman, Union Bank of India, says, "We learned we needed to change now because we realised that the entire population is younger."

First logo

The recent logo

New logo
The other factor that prompted the rebranding exercise was technology, which is part of life now. Union Bank of India wanted to highlight that it too had the technology to reach out to its consumers. Moreover, a few more foreign banks will soon be entering India and the bank decided it needed to prepare itself.

As part of the change, Union Bank of India will leverage technology to centralise various processes and empower its staff in customer relationships. The bank is also creating business verticals in the banking sector, such as corporate banking, retail banking, etc., explained TY Prabhu, executive director, Union Bank of India.

Mudra and its new design and strategy cell, Water, conducted the research study. "Research was conducted in various markets with the core consumer groups of Union Bank of India," says Ashish Mishra, chief strategist, Water, speaking to afaqs!

The rebranding exercise also includes a changed logo. This was preceded by a teaser in the form of an outdoor. The hoarding showed a bird turning a new page to show the new logo. Though the logo is not completely visible, the previous page shows a section of the old logo.

The logo, which now features two interlocking U's in red and blue, stands for the consumer and the bank. Nair says, "The two U's stand for union and the integrity, security and strength, which Union Bank of India stands for." The colour blue represents commitment, while red is symbolic of the passion that exists at Union Bank of India.

Union Bank of India will continue with its earlier tagline, 'Good People to Bank With'. The creative proposition that the bank will carry forward is, 'Your Dreams are not Yours Alone'. This is in a bid to indicate that the bank is ready to help fulfil everyone's dreams.

With the new logo and branding, Union Bank of India promises to the customer value for money service, a variety of channels through which the customer can choose to carry out banking activities, a timeline with all services offered, and absolutely no opaqueness with respect to the services and products offered.

The communication that will follow the teaser will largely involve print and outdoor and also include a 10 second TV commercial. The TVC will be aired in about 10 days.

The budget allocated for the branding exercise and advertising is close to Rs 75 crore, as compared to last year's Rs 32 crore.