Influence of Re-branding on Customer Perceptions: a Case of National Bank of Kenya
therefore be a major and deep-seated change or it can be a minimal modification of the brand. The current study sought to establish the rationale, process and consequences of rebranding National Bank of Kenya (NBK). The study also assessed the influence of rebranding on customer perception. This study was based on three theories. These are Kotter’s 8-steps model, Lewin’s change model and the contingency theory. This study was carried out using a case study approach. This study utilized primary data which was collected using an interview guide administered to the Director, Marketing and Corporate Communications and fifteen relationship managers of NBK from fifteen branches in Nairobi. Data analysis was through content analysis. The results also established that in the rebranding, NBK changed it corporate colours, logo, systems, organizational culture and the corporate identity. Moreover, the study established that the rebranding process involved seven key practices including developing the vision and plan for the rebranding, involving all key stakeholders, effective communication, training of employees, provision of resources and monitoring and evaluation of the implementation process. NBK received various benefits from the rebranding including increase in operating profits, revenues and customer numbers. Successful culture change had enabled the bank to appeal to new customer segments including the youth and businesses. The study also established that rebranding at NBK had positively affected customer perception. The bank received positive reviews from customers, the public and international firms. The positive reviews mostly came due to the new culture of customer centricity, technology adoption and focusing on diverse segments of the commercial banking market. The bank was hence able to shed the previous old-fashioned and bureaucratic tag that it had been long associated with. The study makes the following recommendations. First, rebranding should ensure that the new brand identity is aligned to the needs and aspirations of customers. Secondly, the company should maintain control of the rebranding process. This would ensure that there are enough resources to guide the process to the end effectively. Third, in rebranding, the customer should always be in the mind of the company. The customer experiences the brand and makes the decision whether the rebranding is successful or not. Lastly, management should only consider rebranding when the value of existing brand is dwindling or there are key changes in the environment that demands rebranding. In conclusion the study established that NBK rebranded due to continued poor performance, poor corporate culture, to implement its regional strategy and to shed the government association. The bank aimed at improving the turnover through repositioning itself as an all rounded bank serving diverse segments of the market.
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