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Branding buzz damages customers

As the Russian consumer becomes more sophisticated, an unusual phenomenon is taking place in the retail banking sector. Marketing appears to be more popular with major banks than customer service.

A recent study shows banks are more successful at branding and communications strategies, than they are at improving the services they offer.

Auditors KPMG and banking consultants Senteo have drawn up an index, rating banks according to how they treat consumers.
Russia's largest private bank, Alfa Bank, topped the list, while state controlled giants Sberbank and VTB 24 failed to make the top 10.

Senteo says Russia is defying global trends, as many of its banks score much better for their branding and communication than for what they actually offer their customers.

“In general what banks have done is instead of taking a step back and trying to think up products to better meet the needs of their customers, they’ve figured out a better package and promote those products without changing the products themselves.

Those two things are kind of going hand in hand. I would expect to see that change quite a bit in the future. The marketing of the communications either probably stay where it is and my guess is that the offering side will grow substantially,” promised Michael Ruckman, the president of Senteo consulting company.