Diploma Thesis from the year 2004 in the subject Business economics - Marketing, Corporate Communication, CRM, Market Research, Social Media, grade: 1,0, University of Applied Sciences Berlin, 97 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Why are Brands in FocusThe commercial banking industry has undergone significant change in the past years. “Today, large commercial banks operate in a far more dynamic marketplace. The cost of funds fluctuates rapidly and there is increased competition from both inside and outside the traditional banking industry.“ With growing competitiveness in the banking industry, and similarity of services offered by banks, it has become increasingly important that banks identify the factors that determine the basis upon which customers choose between providers of financial services. Aaker and Joachimsthaler state “in an increasingly crowded marketplace, fools will compete on price. Winners will find a way to create lasting value in the customer’s mind.”2 But considering the national bank market many banks still do exactly this. They compete on price as the latest campaign of the ‘Commerzbank’ shows (3.1% p.a. until the end of February 2005). Although the last years proved that in times of rapid economic change many German banks are not protected. They experienced the decline of profits, the loss of customers towards new financial providers and reacted with closures of branches and the dismissal of thousands of employees. Then they stepped into the war on price advantages without realising that other banks, like the direct banks, strive to a position that allows cheaper banking. Additionally the image of the national bank representatives is actually influenced by discussion about unethical payment in the management boards and some managers were recently under suspect of agreeing to payments that for other managers who did not deserve it in consideration of the general public. The same customers that receive this news every day shall be the customers that trust the bank employees and do business with them. Modern consumers are even more critical and better informed before stepping into banks. By mass media and sources like the internet they are informed or even inform themselves so it is harder to satisfy them because their general knowledge about banking products is better than a few years ago. Besides they learned from their experiences made in the last years. Hence it is necessary to have a tool to be able to persuade and tie consumers in different ways than the price on the current account. The brand can and must fill this gap. Consumers still are human beings and have emotions that can be influenced.
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