Brand Doctor: Is the Tangerine rebranding working?

Read our experts' diagnosis as the campaign hits phase two

You may know it better as ING Direct, the one-time upstart online bank with the no-nonsense Dutch pitchman. Now Tangerine is owned by Scotiabank and the branding bandages are off. With the second phase of its re-introduction campaign now underway, it’s time to see if the surgery was successful.

Luke Sklar, Partner, Sklar Wilton & Associates

Diagnosis: Imagine you’ve been told you must change your name, you have new owners and you still have to grow the business. How many marketers might flub this high-pressured transition? The savvy marketer must diagnose what must stay and what can go.

Prescription: In multiple studies, we have found consumers don’t care about the name of the brand and sometimes don’t even remember it. That’s not to say that brands don’t have differentiated assets they can leverage. In this case the colour orange is clearly a bright, fresh property worth exploiting. More deeply, maintaining the stance of a classic challenger brand is a must-have to ensure happy customers and to attract new ones. A brand is about behaviours and the promise to help save money and bring new ways to challenge stodgy banking conventions is exactly the right stance. This brand doctor is 100% impressed with this first step in re-staging ING Direct.

Jeannette Hanna, VP strategy, Trajectory

Diagnosis: There are very few bank CEOs out there who are as fervidly brand committed as Peter Aceto, so there’s no worry that ex-ING Direct will suffer from a case of c-suite indifference when transitioning to its new Tangerine moniker. Aceto et al are working hard to reassure current customers that under that orange peel exterior beats the same save-your-money heart.

Prescription: Customers will take a wait-and-see attitude for now. Keep ’em happy; reward their loyalty. To grow your base, keep innovating with inventive, “un-bank” ideas. Free transactions at Scotiabank ATMs are a perk, but don’t blur those red and orange lines. Tangerine needs to remember it can really only prosper by protecting its independently minded culture. Remind “Big Red” that no one wins if Tangerine gets squeezed.

Related
ING Direct rebranding as Tangerine
ING rebrand will work if Scotiabank leaves it alone (Column)

Alan Middleton, Assistant prof. of marketing, Schulich School of Business at York University

Diagnosis: With its distinctive colour and highly competitive product and marketing communications stance, ING Direct carved out considerable success in Canada: over 1.7 million clients, over US$38 billion in assets and more than 900 employees. Small compared to the “big five” banks, but not bad for a teenager! Can it keep growing, especially when the big banks are becoming nimbler?

Prescription: The prognosis is good. Just stay focused on: 1) providing competitive value in product, pricing and high-quality customer service; 2) building business with new (younger) clients and a bigger share of business from current clients; 3) improving ease, simplicity
and convenience; 4) value-based, no-nonsense communications and contemporary, consistent brand-trust building; and 5) staying separate from Scotiabank (except some “back office” functions) to keep driving forward with new value-based products and service. To do all this you must be prepared to manage your risk profile differently, develop a deeper and more focused relationship with your customers and further develop your distinctive brand appeal.

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