Third time unlucky for bank

16/07/2008 - 22:00


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Bankwest has again topped the waning brands list in a survey of WA's leading marketing, advertising and PR executives.

Third time unlucky for bank

Bankwest has again topped the waning brands list in a survey of WA's leading marketing, advertising and PR executives.

The brand has continued to defend its inglorious title ever since the question was first introduced three years ago.

Moreover, it is the only brand to have been on the list more than once in any position.

One executive commented that the bank has "fallen from height as it couldn't maintain its profile. Since the takeover it has lost touch with the market. Now it's just another bank".

But BankWest head of marketing, David Morgan, would beg to differ.

"Recent Roy Morgan research points to an increase in customer satisfaction from 2007 and we sit above the big four banks in customer satisfaction rates in Western Australia and nationally," he said.

"BankWest's own research indicates that our brand awareness levels remain consistent at 99 per cent in Perth and WA despite heavy competitive activity."

In the survey, BankWest ranked as sixth most recognised brand, but many industry players believe it should perform better.

Earlier this year, BankWest was ranked as one of the top brands to have 'increased in authenticity' in the Authentic Brand Index, a joint venture between brand consultancy Principals and market research company Synovate.

Another poor performer was Evans and Tate.

One executive mourns "the demise of an old and well known brand in the wine industry", upholding the trend in pessimistic outlook for long-established state brands.

But McWilliam's Wines chief executive officer, George Wahby, believes it's important to differentiate between the performance of Evans & Tate the company versus Evans & Tate the wine brand.

"McWilliam's Wines purchased the Evans & Tate wine brand in late December 2007 and, since then, it has risen to the number one Western Australia wine brand by value and is showing value growth of 14 per cent, almost four times the growth of the Australian table wine market," he said.

He added that a multi-million dollar national advertising campaign would commence in the lead up to the important summer and festive season to support the brand, along with a number of new product releases and innovations.

As far as 'any publicity is good publicity' goes, this has been made manifest by The West Coast Eagles, which ranked just below BankWest in the most recognised category.

This is despite receiving some harsh comments from survey respondents, including "winning would help".

The Right Group project director Yvonne Stickland said the brand was damaged by off-field antics and club culture, irrespective of recent re-signing of sponsors and high membership.

But Marketforce chief executive John Driscoll believes the measure of a brand is how it manages itself in times of crisis.

"Clearly, WCE have had a difficult year but the public can see they are taking steps to address problems.

"Their members and supporters are sticking by them, as you would expect for a long-standing, well-loved brand."

Energy retailer Synergy also seems to have suffered from poor brand marketing and unsatisfactory projection of its goals or values.

"The consumer's friend or the environment's - not sure" says one executive, while another wonders "what does it stand for, what is it saying and where is it going?"

WA Newspapers also appears on the waning brands list, with criticism surrounding the newspaper creating its own kind of 'bad press' for lack of sincerity, sensationalism and biased reporting.

Mr Driscoll points to the papers' format.

"What do newspapers stand for in an advertising sense? Six cars in six weeks, five grand in five days, buy it now - a classic end-of-product lifecycle."


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