NEW YORK—Establishing a brand that clients can identify with is essential for any marketing campaign, but it’s the consumer’s experience with the product and relationship with the company that will ultimately determine a business’ success, according to Mark Hughes, director of brand strategy for UBS.
“The more you get people to buy into the company’s visions and goals, the more loyal they become,” Hughes told Fordham students and professors on Oct. 7, as he discussed UBS’ recent marketing campaign. “Clients and their experiences own the brand.”
UBS, the world’s largest private bank, merged with Payne Webber and Warburg banks in 2000. Initially, there was confusion over the name—it was called both “UBS Payne Webber” and “UBS Warburg.” Even employees, according to Hughes, were unsure of what to call the company.
The company eventually adopted one name, UBS, and in 2004 began an aggressive marketing campaign to establish a brand for itself. “You and Us, the Most Powerful Two-Person Financial Firm in the World,” became UBS’ new slogan. The campaign, said Hughes, showcased the company’s global scale in an attempt to attract the “high-net worth” client, as well as a personal approach targeted at the corporate customer.
Over the next year, UBS’ “brand value,” as measured by Business Week’s 2005 survey of “The World’s Top 100 Most Valued Brands,” increased 16 percent. The magazine ranked UBS eighth in the financial sector and valued its brand at $7.6 million.
A company’s success however, is not solely determined by marketing or brand value, according to Hughes.
“[Consumer’s] experience is where the real difference is made, and in a financial service firm this experience is created by individuals,” said Hughes. “We can spend $200 million on an ad campaign and someone can walk into a bank as a result of it, but be greeted rudely by a representative that had a bad day.”