NATIONAL SAVINGS BANK
NUMBER OF AWARDS 15
Q: How do awards and accolades solidify a corporate’s reputation as a trustworthy brand?
A: It is common knowledge that an entity’s brand image is very much a reflection of its overall performance, which in turn represents a passport to the audience at large.
In this context, accolades are an important tool in highlighting an entity’s performance to external stakeholders. The more prestigious the awards, the more goodwill the brand garners in the hearts of people.
Most importantly, it represents an achievement, which in turn is a result of a competition. Therefore, the value of an award is in the effort rendered in gaining it – competitively. Further, such accomplishments bring a sense of pride to internal stakeholders as well as a sense of value to external stakeholders in being connected to a brand worthy of recognition.
Q: And how would you describe brand recognition?
A: Brand recognition is a composite of many factors including superior performance in terms of financial deliverables, employee satisfaction, social responsibility, internal and external stakeholder equity, and most of all the strength of brand awareness.
Therefore, appreciation of a brand is the culmination of an overall effort to improve an organisation’s performance.
Considering an analogy, the human body consists of numerous internal organs that work together to function as one unit inside the skeletal system, making it a complete entity. Similarly, various functions of an organisation – financial as well as non-financial – must work cohesively to create value to be reflected in the brand name. This is in essence what brand recognition delivers.
Q: Are environmental sustainability initiatives essential to ensure business continuity?
A: Sustainability is a concept that should be at the forefront of all human activities.
Having established that, it is regretful to note that protecting the environment around us has become a significant issue only in the recent past, instead of being considered as an important deliverable from the dawn of industrialisation itself.
It is imperative that every entity realises that we operate in an environment at large and this ecosystem has a finite volume of resources. Therefore, emphasis must be placed on maximising the utility driven from these finite resources.
For a business to continue adopting sustainable practices is a must. If a company’s activities are primarily based on the use of unsustainable resources – for example, fossil fuels – it runs the risk of collapse once such resources are depleted. The same theory applies to all other assets such as human and technological resources.
Therefore, it is not only the extractive or manufacturing industries that are at stake; even the services sector should adopt sustainable practices to protect the environment, ensuring business continuity that would be enduring.
Q: How important is brand presence when it comes to recognition in the financial services industry?
A: This industry deals with services that are to a great extent homogenous – for instance, savings accounts, term deposits and loans are common facilities offered by any bank.
Therefore, it is imperative that banking entities try to differentiate their services to carve out a competitive edge. To this end, brand presence is an important concept, the value of which determines whether or not the banking entity fares well.
Typical product offerings are no longer perceived as being savings accounts or loans; it is now a lifestyle to maintain a savings account or avail oneself of a credit facility because they influence an individual’s way of life.
Therefore, banks in particular should concentrate on carefully crafting their branding, ensuring that awareness leads to a persistent and solid brand presence. In summary, a strong brand presence isn’t simply an achievement but a necessity to survive as a financial services institution.
Q: And finally, why is creating long-term value for stakeholders essential?
A: Stakeholders of an organisation are multifaceted, and would typically include customers, employees, suppliers and society at large. They’re crucial for the entity’s survival.
Therefore, in the context of business success, it is essential that this community is considered with a long-term perspective.
To create lasting value for stakeholders, organisations must develop and reward behaviour focussed on value creation in society in the long term – and most of all, on ensuring internal and external stakeholder equity and transparency.