Africa’s largest automated clearing house (ACH), BankservAfrica, is continuously strengthening its brand after establishing a completely new brand identity last year. The next step in the company’s branding strategy is focussing on building the brand internally and encouraging its employees to carry the name of the company to greater heights.
Says Michael Rubenstein, BankservAfrica head of group marketing, “Your company can carry strong emotions, brand therefore it is very important to get staff’s buy-in and understanding of your company’s brand, values and positioning.”
According to Rubenstein, a very important underlying factor that determines how and where you build your brand is firstly deciding what kind of marketing company you want to be. “It is crucial to align your entire staff with your branding and communication strategy, so it is essential that your employees know exactly what kind of company they work for. This is one of the first steps to building your brand internally, so that your employees can carry your company’s message and brand to the outside world.”
At BankservAfrica, employees are truly seen as one of its most important assets and are treated as fans of the company. “In getting your employees to be fans of the company you are assured of support for you brand and you can rely on these loyal employees to take your brand to your clients and the masses,” says Rubenstein.
Creating fans of your company is not always the easiest of thing to do. Employees must feel that that they are not only there to do a job and earn a salary, but that they have an emotional connection to the company. Encouraging employees to get involved in corporate social investment (CSI) projects creates that emotional connection, and ultimately strengthens the connection between the company and its employees.
“Brand is about keeping a promise and not just about making a promise. So many times companies build their brand on promising something, but never delivering on that promise. This leads mostly to brand failure and ultimately a loss of trust. As an organisation you have to break barriers, build trust and the only way to do it is to deliver on your promise,” Rubenstein stresses.
A challenge for BankservAfrica is moving from a utility to a commercial mindset. As such the company is creating a comfortable environment where staff feels part of the organisation and where they feel they add value to the overall health of the organisation. This internal alignment brings employees together, which is then taken a step further to building a stronger service orientated relationship with the clients.
For BankservAfrica it is all about ‘enabling simplicity’ for its clients. Showing the company’s commitment to delivering on that promise, BankservAfrica is making the same promise with a branding / CSI project. Twelve of its employees have committed themselves to climb mt Kilimanjaro and raise funds for the Randeor School and the Coronation Training Centre through a “metre for more” sponsorship campaign to ultimately make things simpler for these schools to educate the youth.
“We are climbing Kilimanjaro, not only for the schools, but because we also want to make a difference in Africa by promoting our payment offering for Africa, and what better symbol of this promise is there than for our employees and our brand to reach the top of Kilimanjaro and the top of Africa!” concludes Rubenstein.