Banking on change
BBVA helping consumers seize opportunities
Carlos Pérez Beruete,
Director of Brand Strategy & Marketing Intelligence, BBVA
BBVA was born in 1857, so it’s now more than 150 years old; what have been the key factors in the brand’s success and growth over the years?
BBVA was born in the industrial revolution with the aim of financing and boosting the steel industry that brought so much prosperity to the region of Bilbao, in northern Spain. From that moment on, we have always been very aware of how society has grown, so we can support that growth, and provide support to society and the people. Throughout these 150 years, we have stayed in touch with the different realities we face, and continue to do so today, as we move through the fourth industrial revolution. BBVA has constantly supported the transformation of society and, undoubtedly, that is one of the keys to its permanence in the market.
How difficult is it to stand out in the banking category, and how you do that?
The financial sector has recently been through quite turbulent times, although it seems that little by little we are moving out of that critical period. We are entering a different time, in which technology is determining much about the direction we should take as a company. The disruption generated by new technologies, along with the demands industry regulators, means we must vary the way that banks have traditionally related to their clients and achieved results. Taking into account that technological revolution and that regulatory impact, the truth is that we are in a sector where an ability to reinvent and transform yourself and is fundamental, as has been the case at BBVA.
What are the values associated with the BBVA brand, and what is your brand purpose?
The purpose of the BBVA brand is "to bring the age of opportunity to everyone", and as we have already mentioned, this vision has been present since the origins of BBVA. We are in a world full of opportunities, and BBVA has to be a key player in this territory, getting people and companies to seize those opportunities that allow them to achieve greater wellbeing and make progress.
What do you anticipate the effect will be of changing your tagline from “Adelante” (Forward) to “Creando oportunidades” (Creating opportunities)?
In essence, the new brand strategy "Creando oportunidades” (Creating Opportunities) highlights our brand purpose. It is a message of optimism, focused on the consumer, on those people that we are going to help achieve all the goals they have in their lives. Creating opportunities represents the path we intend to make alongside our clients.
Building and maintaining a brand takes a lot of work. What does this involve at BBVA?
We have recently changed our entire brand platform so that our communication and our digital transformation go hand in hand and, of course, mirror the transformation of the society in which we work.
We are aiming to deliver a much more pleasant, convenient and simple experience for consumers, in which they themselves can choose if they want to come into a branch or relate to BBVA through their mobile.
This brand platform reflects the digital revolution and the changing demands of society.
How do you refine all your customer data and generate insights from it?
There’s a new trend involving creating and designing products and services by putting the customer at the center of all the activity, and that's how we work at BBVA. On the one hand, our approach is to create products through design-thinking processes, always having the customer at the center of the strategy, and interacting with them at various points during the creative process.
In addition, at a quantitative level, we use brand tracking that allows us to constantly listen to the different types of customers we have to cater for, and we can take on board what is both explicit and implicit in their responses.
BBVA has a huge number of employees, How do you ensure that staff in such a large organization are focused on the same brand mission and delivering a consistent experience?
The alignment of culture, values and behaviors is vital to be consistent across markets. At BBVA, we make great efforts to ensure that in all countries, we are aligned with the purpose of brand while giving the best solution to the customer. This means that whatever the market in which BBVA operates, the values and behaviors are consistent, so we can deliver a consistent experience at any point of contact with BBVA.
How is the brand perceived differently at home and abroad? Do you position yourselves differently, or use a different communications strategy, in different markets?
The positioning, and especially the purpose of the brand, is always the same wherever BBVA goes. What is certain is that the competitive situation is not the same in all markets so there are times that we have to adjust the tone, focus or some parts of the message, but our purpose is always the same.
What can we expect from the BBVA brand in the near future?
BBVA is undergoing enormous transformation, and will continue to change if society demands the development of new products and services that differ from what would traditionally be expected of a banking company. We are generating amazing products and services that correspond to the needs and demands of our customers and help them make important decisions in their lives. And that is the way we head into the future.