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Bankers urged to build firm brands   2010-05-10 - Viet Nam News

Vietnamese banks and financial institutions should consider building strong brands as a long-term strategy, according to the chief executive officer of Singapore-based Venture Republic, Martin Roll.

Vietnamese banks and financial institutions should consider building strong brands as a long-term strategy. (Photo: VNS)

And Roll, who is the author of the best selling Asian Brand Strategy, said the approach to branding should start from top management.

Roll said that although branding might be a new concept in Viet Nam, almost every bank had started on the journey.

"It is the right moment for the Vietnamese banking and finance sector to develop and create their own strong professional brands," he said. "We hope to see pretty strong regional Vietnamese banks emerging in three or five years."

According to the chairman of the Masso Group, Nguyen Trung Thang, although there were more than 100 banks in Viet Nam, almost all were providing the same services, had branches in the same places, looked relatively the same and operated in the same manner.

"Even their slogans, which were supposed to be the identifier, are alike," he said.

Deputy general manager of Nam A Bank’s Ha Noi branch, Nguyen Van Hien, said: "We are now more aware of the importance of branding, but to build it in reality is not easy. We are still acquiring experience."

A spokesperson for the Viet Nam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development said: "We have spent a lot of money on marketing activities, but many people still believe our bank is only associated with agriculture. In fact, our bank provides a wide range of services."

Roll said that to build a strong brand, banks had to find their own position and emphasise the differences with other banks.

"Once they have done that, it’s important to embed it in the banks culture," he said. "And balancing brand promise and brand delivery is no less important."

The Viet Nam International Bank has conducted a VND100 billion (US5.3 million) campaign to establish its own identity system to differentiate it in the market place.

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