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Fruits of recreating brand first culture among consumers 


MD/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Sola Adeduntan

MD/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Sola Adeduntan

For brands to win the battle in the marketplace, it is not just about having visibility. Though visibility is critical to the acceptance of a product in the marketplace but that visibility must be one that resonates with the consumers emotionally, through fulfilling brand promise. This is why brand builders in the process of ensuring positive visibility for their brand, make sure there is some emotional attachment embedded.

For First Bank Nigeria Limited, as it leads the pack in the financial marketplace in Nigeria, it is about creating and maintaining a ‘brand-first’ mindset and culture, as a critical component of its business strategy.

Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said that First Bank, as a brand has evolved over the years, with strengthened brand muscles to match the constantly evolving expectations of today’s increasingly discerning stakeholders.

Since launching in 1894, she said FirstBank has established itself as a brand of strength and dynamism, with the vision to be the leading international banking group in Sub Sahara Africa.

“Our brand is at the heart of the holistic experience we seek to deliver to our stakeholders perpetually, which is essential to retaining patronage and the competitive edge that keeps us at the coveted position of the market leader.

“Our brand interacts with our stakeholders and demonstrates an understanding of their busy modern lives or businesses, to support their aspirations. Hence, we have evolved over 120 years by respecting and upholding the shared heritage relevant not only to today’s modern Nigerians but also today’s modern world.”

She maintained that as a company it is on a definitive mission to create a strong global presence in order to reinforce its position as the leading Sub Saharan banking services group.

Reason, she said concerted efforts are being taken to constantly strive to find a better way of driving the business forward, driven by its philosophy and people; the customers, stakeholders and employees.

“We live by our beliefs and consistently strive to Inspire Understanding, Drive Collaboration, and Build a Better Way to unify and strengthen our brand to delight all stakeholders. Consequently, we work daily to implement best practices through our culture and ultimately enable our employees to understand our customers’ lives and be driven to meet their needs appropriately.

“Our brand purpose is to always put our stakeholders, customers and partners at the heart of our business, even as we are poised to standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across Sub Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of first choice in building your future”.

“Our brand promise is thus to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. Our financial services knowledge and practices lead the market in ensuring that we understand our customers and surpass expectations by seeking for a better way of delivering first class service and experience.”

Ani-Mumuney disclosed that the dedication to delivering the gold standard is anchored on its inherent values of passion, partnership and people, “to position You First in every respect”.

“To date, the iconic African elephant has been a robust symbol of strength and growth, establishing the organisation as a clear leader in the financial services industry. The elephant is the respected and instantly recognisable icon of the FirstBank brand identity and as such we value the trust, approachability and stability that this represents.

“Our new refreshed corporate identity retains the elephant and re-ignites this iconic symbol with a number of enhancements that accentuate a robust evolution relevant for today.

Our brand language is the visual and narrative look and feel of our brand. It is the essential combination of the logo, the images, the fonts, the pattern, the icons, the colours, the symbols, the identity and the words.

“The new colour palette is a clear reflection of our brand personality and tone of voice whilst robustly portraying our profitability pedigree. It evolves the FirstBank trademark Blue to reflect a richer and more premium equity and combines with new complimentary colour partners.”

No doubt, the recent recognition of the bank as the first financial institution in the country to achieve a transaction volume of 100 million transactions in a month by Interswitch Transnational -Africa’s leading integrated payment and transaction processing company. This milestone feat was achieved in the month of December 2015 and represents the total transactions processed by FirstBank’s Front End Processor running on the Interswitchtransaction switching platform which seamlessly links all financial institutions in Nigeria to facilitate better and quicker transactions across all platforms.

As Nigeria’s leading financial institution with over 10 million customers, this achievement by First Bank clearly aligns with its strategic intent to promote financial inclusion, support the cashless policy drive of the Central Bank of Nigeria and boost economic growth via e-payments across Nigeria and the African continent.

According to the Bank’s Group Head, e-business, Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank remains committed to leading the Nigerian economy away from traditional cash and other generic payment means to modern technological varieties in e-Payment.

Also speaking on the feat, the GMD/CEO of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan noted that the bank will continue to employ novel approaches in providing secure and convenient banking services for our customers and promised that the bank will continue to innovate and extend its leadership of the financial sector services with specialized and technology-driven products and services.

It would be recalled that FirstBank in 2012 also received a Milestone Achievement Award as the first bank to hit a 5 million mark of Verve card issuance to its customers. It would also be recalled that as a brand of fortitude, strength and innovation in the Nigerian financial sector, following its adoption of a holding company structure and consolidating its brand first mindset and culture, FirstBankin January, 2014 unveiled a refreshed corporate identity, including that of all its subsidiaries, designed to reflect the company’s strategic direction and position it to meet the future needs of the market. The African elephant, which is a respected and instantly recognisable icon of its brand identity was retained. However, it was re-ignited with a number of enhancements that communicate a robust evolution relevant to today’s marketplace.

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