Faaez Samadi
May 10, 2018

Don’t 'throw away' your brand equity: StanChart marketing head

Too many times marketers think revolution, not evolution, when it comes to brand identity and messaging, said Emma Sheller.

Emma Sheller
Emma Sheller

Re-engaging consumers doesn’t always require a complete overhaul of a brand’s narrative, particularly not when its existing story already resonates, according to Emma Sheller, global head of marketing and sales at Standard Chartered.

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific following the launch of the bank’s new ‘Good enough will never change the world’ campaign, Sheller emphasised that it was an evolution of the brand’s long-standing ‘Here for good’ position, which it launched in 2010.

“'Here for good' is really important to us and this is the next chapter in that story,” she explained. “This says in those eight years the world has changed and we have changed.”

Having conducted significant research, both among clients and internally, Sheller said the resonance of 'Here for good' was so strong that it had to continue in the brand’s narrative, albeit somewhat refreshed. For her, that connection can be the difference in an industry that she admits is “not a high engagement area for the general public”.

“Nobody wakes up on a Saturday morning and says ‘yes! I’m going to the bank today!” she said. “But in marketing and communications, it’s very easy to throw things away and say ‘we need something new to re-engage’.

“However, there’s so much equity in 'Here for good' as an accurate representation of what we stand for as a bank that we just need to re-engage in that story and message, and delve a little more into how we deliver what we do.”

That delving is the crux of the new campaign, and although the opening ad was rather vague in terms of what Standard Chartered does, Sheller said it was more of a scene setter, with the next videos “telling stories that talk more specifically about what we’re doing”.

One of those features local Hong Kong business Toyeast. Standard Chartered supported the toymaker when no one else would, and it has since become a big success. Another shows how the bank is bringing energy to off-grid rural communities in Kenya.

Sheller said the brand has a wealth of these stories to tell, and that there are plenty more to come. “It’s not enough to have a one-dimensional approach to how you present yourself as a bank,” she said. “You really have to have a lot more richness behind that.

“We’re not the biggest bank, we don’t have the biggest budgets, but we need to punch above our weight. Talking about what we do in a very different way is a part of doing that.”

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