In the banking sector, where products and services are intangible, the image and reputation of a bank have a great importance in influencing decisions and perceptions of consumers. Aware of the fact that the brand is a major strategic asset, Intesa Sanpaolo is always focused on the measurement, enhancement and protection of the image and reputation of its brand.
For this reason, Intesa Sanpaolo has been involved for several years in an observatory on the Group's brand, to assess developments over time, in view of the social/political/economic framework and reference sector.
In 2016, in a highly unstable climate in the banking industry, Intesa Sanpaolo stood out for its solidity and financial strength. The synthetic score of its image on the population, constructed by Ipsos based on 26 issues, ranked it at the top of the banking system and well above the average for market image.
The brand, as a corporate asset, is also economically quantified each year by the Bank’s internal bodies in order to measure its value. To this end, an average of three important international estimation models is used: Brand Finance, Hirose and Royalty Relief. This value is also compared with synthetic brand equity indices calculated by leading research institutions based on: visibility, image and ability to attract new customers.
Special attention was also paid to monitoring online image, where network engagement platforms can identify discussion volumes, main sources of discussion, as well as the issues and mood/sentiment of these conversations. In 2016, Intesa Sanpaolo retained its position as the third most talked about brand, with top ranking for conversations about customer communication and services. Intesa Sanpaolo is increasingly active on social media, with Facebook taking the lead for the number of followers.
Aware that every contact with the brand is a chance to shape the Company's image, the effects of sponsorship and cultural activities on image and reputation are monitored.
The successful sponsorship of Expo, centred on sharing experiences and emotions, encouraged the Bank to continue its involvement in art, creativity, projects, ideas, history and music. In this context, the Bank made a novel and innovative decision to be a main sponsor of X Factor 2016. Post-sponsorship surveys showed positive outcomes about image and reputation from people who remembered the sponsorship, compared to those who didn't. The sponsorship was effective in assisting brand positioning and increasing brand consideration, above all among younger people. Trust in the brand went up by 29% among people watching the programme on tv.
Value of the Intesa Sanpaolo brand
Considering Brand Finance assessments and adopting internal models based on the Hirose and Royalty Relief methods, a value close to 6 billion euro can be attributed to the Intesa Sanpaolo Group brand (considered as indicative), based on 2016 data. This figure is slightly up on the previous year, in a context where the perception of brand value of main competitors decreased.