Brand Preference – Joost Augusteijn, Rabobank, on How to Enhance it

Joost Augusteijn is a Brand Strategist at Rabobank, the Dutch bank that has the highest credit rating in the world of all privately owned banks, awarded by the rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and DMRS. So here we’ll take a closer look at Brand Preference – Joost Augusteijn, Rabobank on How to Enhance it.

Moreover, the cooperative structure is an important asset and selling point for Rabobank. I talked with Joost Augusteijn about the bank’s sponsoring strategy, creating brand preference and internal branding. In the Netherlands and abroad, Rabobank became the “official sponsor” of three-sport disciplines cycling, field hockey, and equestrianism and has created long-term partnerships with top sports teams.

As a cooperative bank, we fully understand the importance of our role as a responsible corporate citizen. We regard society as our main shareholder. That’s also why we are continuously developing our sponsor programs, initiatives, and activities. We are always looking for ways to help our communities, says Joost. We sponsor sports teams at two levels, local and national. So many local sports teams count on our financial support so that we are the biggest sports sponsor in the Netherlands.

Our campaigns go further than merely putting our logo on TV and billboards, we want to affect real change in the communities where we operate, and in this way, deliver on our brand promise. It’s our intention to show that banks can be a positive force in local communities.

Rabobank, being a cooperative bank,  has strong links with society. The bank’s agricultural background and the fact that the management board is accountable to its 1.8 million members, keep Rabobank on the straight path. Respect, integrity, professionalism, and sustainability are fundamental principles in the Rabobank strategy.

Rabobank has core values (respect, integrity, professionalism, sustainable) and brand values (involved, nearby, leading). Their full branding profile (vision, mission, brand values) shows in Rabo-Passport. We are enhancing brand preference by communicating effectively through clever advertising, impactful promotions and visible sponsorships, says Joost Augusteijn.

We are also involved in social media programs and we are everywhere where our customers are. As a natural part of society.
Although our main brand is Rabobank, we have chosen a route to create new brands for specific services. For example, we have in our portfolio Robeco (asset management), Schretlen & Co (private banking), De Lage Landen (leasing), Obvion (mortgages), Freo (consumer credit) and MiniTix (mobile payment).

These brands alter the way existing customers look at our offerings. These narrow specializations create not just new brand preference, they lead to new brand relevance, continues Joost.

This combination of a portfolio strategy (with specialist brands) and a cooperative branding strategy (for Rabobank) is highly respected and admired by clients. The bank saw a massive increase in clients and accounts. The value and the image of a brand do not only count when it comes to business results.

All financial institutions are competing as well in their continuous search for great talent. As Rabobank continues to win top employer awards, it’s safe to say their trustworthy image is influencing the success also in this area.

All and all, I just say what a great branding strategy, Joost!