Thursday, March 5, 2009

Talk about transparency. . . YES Bank displays its diversity. . . graphically.

In preparing various marketing materials for my clients, I’m instructed by their compliance departments to include diverse clientele and employees. In other words, a microcosm of our society. No problem with that. Mumbai-based YES Bank (which I introduced in my last post) has found a unique way to show its workforce profile. . . AND build its brand. The Indian financial institution boldly announces its “diversity” of “human capital” with a series of graphs covering an entire webpage.

In fact, their reference to “human capital” seems so apropos for this financial institution. The bank uses it to define their entire HR section (a fairly good-sized section at that) of their website. The term isn’t new. It was first defined by Adam Smith, an economist in the 1700s.

Building its brand around its workforce.
YES Bank has a reason for defining its workforce graphically. Apparently the bank is building its brand around the quality of its employees. Their stated objectives include:

- To build a strong employer brand.
- To attain a preferred employer status in the Banking and Financial Services industry.
- To ensure that the Bank is able to attract, engage and retain high quality human capital for its long-term success.

And, YES Bank seems to be achieving their branding goal. According to EECH – the largest source of management case studies in the world, YES Bank has established a strong employer brand and projects itself as an 'aspirational' employer in the Indian banking sector. EECH notes that the 200-branch bank has “differentiated itself from its competitors with its unique 'knowledge banking' approach and its emphasis on human capital.”

The bank has outlined a number of impressive employee programs including entrepreneur and mentoring programs. And, they’ve earned their stripes with the “Continuous Innovation in HR Strategy” Award.

What does all of this have to do with Bank Marketing in the U.S.?
While Americans may see the Indian bank’s “diversity” as a little lopsided, you must remember that you’re dealing with a different culture. But, there is a message here for financial marketers. First, YES is defining its brand around its employees. Their graphic approach drives that point home and works for them. It’s much more direct than the typical “we have great service” claim. And, second, your bank marketing (no matter what your brand) is only as good as your employees. . . i.e.,the knowledge and service they put forth. On the surface, YES Bank receives an affirmative grade on both fronts.

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