Brand positioning in financial services: RESULTS

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Brand positioning in financial services: RESULTS

The key analysis involved establishing the difference in the customer vulnerability levels based on association of the financial institution with the positioning attribute. This was undertaken for the four main brands in the market. The following calculation was used:

CVD = Mean CVma – MeanCVnma

Where:

CVD = Customer vulnerability difference

Mean CVma = Mean of the customer vulnerability level for those who associated the brand with the attribute MeanCVnma = Mean of the customer vulnerability level for those who did not associate the brand with the attribute.

Customers in the survey were asked to state one brand as their main financial institution and to assess the probability of defecting from that main brand. Therefore a respondent was classed as a customer of one brand only for analysis purposes. The CVD is expected to be negative as association with the positioning attributes used (as the attributes are all non-negative) is expected to coincide with lower customer vulnerability. This is evident in the majority of the results, but there are a few small, non-significant positive differences.

Table 3 CVD for all brands across survey waves

1996

1998

2000

Overall Ave

User type

Supports the business community

-0.5

-0.7

-1.2

-0.8

For businesses

-0.7

-0.6

-0.2

-0.5

Pricing

Suitable fees and charges

-1.1

-1.1

-1.1

-1.1

Good interest rates

-0.8

-0.6

-0.8

-0.8

Access benefit

Convenient branches

0.1

-0.6

-0.9

-0.5

Perceived

Good at financial management

-0.8

-0.9

-0.5

-0.7

quality

Investment growth

-0.8

-0.6

0.1

-0.4

Security

Responsible

-0.9

-0.6

-0.5

-0.7

benefit

Safe

-0.9

-0.2

-0.6

-0.6

Relationship/

Business partner

-0.7

-0.6

-0.6

-0.6

service benefit

Responsive to needs

-1.3

-1.1

-1.2

-1.2

The averages across brands for each positioning attribute (shown in Table 3) range from —0.4 to —1.2. However, the results for the attributes with a small-sized CVD appear to be due to a small CVD in one year, rather than a systematically small CVD. In general, the results are between 0.5 and 1 scale point. This is a positive result as it suggests that association between a brand and non-negative image attribute does coincide with lower customer vulnerability.

In addition to the general pattern, there were two attributes that had higher CVDs across all surveys. These are the pricing position of ‘suitable fees and charges’ and the relationship/service position of ‘responsive to needs’. These two attributes had CVDs consistently over 1.0 scale point difference across all three waves, which suggests they had a consistently stronger relationship with customer vulnerability than was evident for other positions.

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