Australians have always believed their four biggest banks, Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac and NAB work together fixing fees and eliminating competition. The reality for one of the four however is the opposite. NAB had invested two years making dramatic changes to be considered fairer and more competitive by its customers but these changes had limited impact because of the perceived collusion between the ‘Big 4’. Instead of fighting this perception of the banks being ‘together’, it embraced it by letting the public witness NAB break up with the other banks.
The idea: Getting people to openly witness NAB breaking up with the other major banks. It literally reversed the power of the competition against itself to underscore the difference between NAB and its competitors in a precisely orchestrated campaign the made full use of all communication channels in a timely and impactful way. The idea needed to engage over three very deliberate phases: seed / impact / extend working as both advertising and communicating through channels peopled readily believed, the news.
During ‘Break Up’, 180,000 new-to-bank customers joined NAB while customer defections reduced by 27 per cent, delivering a 61 per cent net growth. Over the last 12 months this delivered a 205 per cent ROI based on acquired and retained customers. All of NAB’s brand perception scores increased considerably, more than doubling its reputation for being ‘different’ and its ‘fairness’ reputation gap grew four fold over the competition. The Break Up cemented NAB in the public consciousness, but beyond the campaign itself, its real legacy has been to create a platform that’s delivering a financial performance well above market growth.