Why Security Bank tapped Megan Young as endorser

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 28 2014 04:36 PM | Updated as of Mar 01 2014 01:54 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Security Bank recently unveiled a new brand identity to impart the message of an improved retail banking service, its top official said on Friday.

Security Bank Corporation president and chief executive officer Alberto Villarosa said the rebranding exercise is part of its overall retail bank strategy, which has been its focus in the past few years.

“As early as 10 years ago when the new management team came in, we drafted a long-term strategic plan for the bank. We said we are very strong in the middle market, and so we leveraged on that and started building pieces of the banking strategy, moving to corporate and investment banking. At the same time, we were doing heavy treasury activities, which generated good earnings,” he told ABS-CBNnews.com at the sidelines of the Security Bank Economic Forum in Makati.

It was around 2009, Villarosa said, when the bank decided to boost efforts in getting a better share of the retail consumer.

“We went from 117 branches to now 244 branches. We shifted our orientation from operations to sales and marketing. We reprocessed a part of our operating procedures to make it less back office and more front office. And after all that is said and done, we now want to tell the market who we are,” he said.

The bank’s rebranding efforts involved changing its logo and its tagline to “You deserve better” from its previous slogan “Security you can bank on.”

“’Security you can bank on’ was very appropriate during that time because after the 1997 crisis, after the 2008 crisis, people were saying, ‘I want a bank that is secure.’ Because that was the focus then. Now, everybody assumes that all the banks are secure. So we went to the consumer and asked, ‘What do you want?’” Villarosa explained.

The results of the research done by the bank showed that a very small percentage of the market is satisfied with their current banking experience. Insights gathered boiled down to customers wanting to just simply get a better banking experience.

“It’s a very powerful tagline, but it is also very challenging because we have to deliver on the promise… It took us a lot of time to really say this is going to be our brand promise,” said Villarosa.

Why Megan?

Security Bank also tapped a new endorser in Miss World Megan Young, whom the bank describes as someone who “personifies grace and youthful exuberance.”

“She personified what the bank wants to be recognized as: world class,” Villarosa said.

In a statement, Young said banking became “very easy” when she switched to Security Bank.

“I like that the bank puts a premium on customer service. You can expect that even without a crown or a title, you will be treated like royalty because for Security Bank, you deserve better, you deserve only the best,” she said.

Young was crowned Miss World 2013 in September 2013, making history as the first-ever Filipino winner of the title since the Philippines' debut in the pageant in 1966.

The 23-year-old actress bested 126 other international candidates to become the successor of China's Wenxia Yu.

Villarosa also said the bank hopes that its new look and new endorser will also appeal to the younger market or the "emerging affluent," citing the importance of the sector.

"The economic power of the younger generation is there," he said.

Villarosa added that the bank’s products in line with the new campaign will be focused on the asset management and consumer finance products, such as housing, mortgage loans, auto loans, personal lending, and credit cards, as well as investment products.

“The secret I would like to think of the success of the bank in the past has been on focus. We resisted the temptation 10 years ago to immediately go corporate banking, investment banking, treasury, retail and middle market all at one time. We said, ‘Let’s do it one at a time and focus on a specific direction,’” said Villarosa.

The bank is targeting to open 14 more branches by the end of 2014 to boost its network to more than 250 branches nationwide.