BBVA: From Selling Services to being a Brand
At the time of writing this case, BBVA was a bank with 35 million customers and operations in 37 countries. The bank was created in 1999, through the merger between BBV and Argentaria, two large Spanish banks. The case is set in 2002, when the bank had experienced two year-on-year drops in customer satisfaction, a serious cause for concern to the new chairman. The case describes the branding work undertaken at BBVA in an effort to reverse the erosion of customer satisfaction. The case is decision focused and requires participants to choose among the three positioning alternatives that emerged from the branding exercise and articulate a strategy to communicate the identity and positioning to consumers as well as, internally to employees, with greater emphasis on the latter.
Branding is often seen as something that marketing people do. To the contrary, a brand engages the entire organization. It acts as both glue for the organization and the lens through which to focus the entire organization’s efforts. The purpose of the case is threefold: 1) to examine the steps involved in developing a brand identity and choosing a brand positioning platform; 2) make participants recognize the importance of communicating the brand positioning internally within a large organization or, if you will, undertake an internal branding initiative, and make them think about how best to undertake this; and 3) make participants articulate potential ways of implementing the positioning with the bank’s consumers, as the case provides information about alternative implementation options and consumer data which can be used to make the decisions.
The case has been used successfully with both MBA and executive audiences. It has been taught successfully in a specialized executive program on managing service organizations as well as more broadly in program with product focused companies and open enrolment programs involving senior and top management.