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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS HỒ CHÍ MINH CITY -------- LÊ HUYỀN NGỌC BRAND MANAGEMENT OF VIETNAM’S COMMERCIAL BANKS – THE CASE OF VIETCOMBANK Major: Banking – Finance Major Code : 62311201 DESSERTATION SUMMARY HỒ CHÍ MINH, 2015 The dissertation completed at: UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS HỒ CHÍ MINH CITY INSTRUCTOR: Associate Prof. Dr. Phạm Văn Năng Judge 1: Judge 2: Judge 3: The dissertation will be defended at National dissertation councils, meeting at: University Of Economics Hồ Chí Minh City At: You can find more information about the dissertation at : National Library or the Library of the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City . LIST OF PAPERS PUBLISHED 1. Brand positioning for commercial banks 2. Commercial Bank of Vietnam in the process of building corporate culture . 3. Factoring - convenient banking services provided fof sales business. 4. Connect the system - the solution for Vietnam card market development . 5. Brand Management of Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam 6. The solution of management to increase brand value INTRODUCTION 1. Objectives - To study the theoretical basis of brand management and thus, to find the one that is suitable for commercial banking in Vietnam. - To determine the basic contents of brand management and all of the factors that affect it in commercial banks (However, we exclude the effects of all the tangible ones such as: total assets, total capital, and technology). - To analyze how Vietnam’s commercial banks and Vietcombank namely have been managing their brands in reality to propose a brand management model for them. Additionally, by reviewing how this model is applied in Vietcombank based on the management of the gap between brand identity and brand reputation, Vietcombank has determined the factors affecting it to propose the solutions to manage Vietcombank’s brand effectively. 2. Research questions - What are the activities included in commercial bank’s brand management? - What are the factors affecting the activities of brand management? - What are the internal factors that create the gap between brand identity and brand reputation? - Do brand management, employees, and customers perceive factors that create Vietcombank’s brand identity and brand reputation in similar manners? - What are the solutions that narrow the gap between brand identity and brand reputation? 3. Research methodology The thesis has used qualitative and quantitative research technique to answer the research questions above - Qualitative research technique is conducted by using the group discussions and directed expert discussions methods. The participants of the research include two groups and two experts in Banking – Finance. Based on the variables drawn from the previous researches, the thesis examines the logic, applicability, and measurability of the quantitative model. - The thesis uses Ordered Choice Model method, Ordered Probit Regression, and TOBIT Regression model to determine the factors of brand positioning subjectively for brand management teams, employees, and customers. There are two main reasons to use these methods: o Firstly, Ordered Probit Regression and TOBIT consist of fewer assumptions. Therefore, the estimated model is more stable than Ordinary Least Square (OLS) and other types of regression model. 1 o Secondly, OLS’s estimation is no longer accurate since it is a linear regression and thus, the dependent variables are limited in terms of data. Nonetheless, Ordered Probit Regression and TOBIT have non-linear estimations, so they can overcome the limitations of the OLS model and produce a much more accurate estimation. - The thesis uses multiple regression analysis to regress the internal factors that affect the gap between Vietcombank’s brand identity and its brand reputation according to the researched model. 4. The thesis’s new contributions Theoretical contributions: Laying a theoretical foundation of brand management for commercial banking in Vietnam based on a different method as managing brand identity and brand reputation by the theories of brand in the service sector, emphasis on brand management focusing on the components of brand identity and brand reputation, for example: brand management teams, employees, customers through the internal and external communication means. Although this method has been used in the service sector previously, it is a new approach towards brand management in commercial banking in Vietnam. The thesis builds a brand management model by narrowing the gap between brand identity, brand reputation, and other individual components, such as the level of brand recognition of the brand management teams, employees, and customers, the level of internal and external communications to evaluate the bank’s brand management. Among all the studies about bank brand management that the author has reviewed, there is no study building this type of model. Practical contributions to commercial banks’ brand management activities: The thesis is a helpful reference for commercial banks and the banking sector regarding brand management. In addition, it has proposed several solutions in these activities for Vietnamese commercial banks in general and for Vietcombank particularly. 2 CHAPTER 1: BASIC KNOWLEDGE ABOUT BRAND MANAGEMENT OF COMMERCIAL BANKS 1.1 The definition of brand Most of experts have the same general understanding in terms of brand’s definition defining brand as a product, service, person or place - which probably is identical to other products, services, people or places –which is added more value in case of the buyers or users realizing some unique value when it satisfies their needs the best. Moreover, this successful result also considers the fact that these added values are maintained against competitors. 1.2 The roles of brand 1.2.1 The role of brands for companies A strong brand helps the company ensure the future income, gain the ability to create added value as the barriers for potential competitors to enter the market, and facilitate brand extension to other new markets (Kapferer, 1997) The roles of brand: represent company’s communication means, benefit the company since well-known brand names are often chosen over less wellknown ones, bring a sense of pride to the employees being a member of a popular company (Berry, 2000), motivate employees to have more enthusiasm and dedicate more knowledge to implement company’s goals. 1.2.2 The role of brands for customers Brand helps customer identify the company more easily and reduce the cost of searching (Aaker, 1991); boost customers’ confidence in orientation, shopping options, and risk reduction; help them express their images and give them the symbolic value in accordance with what they desire; help to strengthen their confidence in purchasing decision, thereby create customers’ satisfaction. 1.3 Brands in banking. 1.3.1 Definition A brand of a bank can be understood as a term used in marketing, which is a transaction name of a bank and is associated with its own identity and reputation. The image of the subject entitled can leave a deep mark and distinguish it from other banks in currency trading activities, credits and loans providing, and banking services. 1.3.2 The roles of a bank’s brand The roles of a bank’s brand are the same as the ones of a company’s brand that are mentioned above. In addition, it has some other special roles due to specific activities as the follows: - Increasing the size of deposit mobilization - Reducing the operational risk, such as: risk asset, liquidity risk, and management risk. - Increasing the ability to attract investments. 1.4 Brand management in Commercial bank 3 1.4.1 Definition According to Kapferer (2008), brand management is the management of developing the brand step by step, starting from describing the vision of the brand, identifying its core values, creating brand personality, defining the strategic interests and brand’s attributes, creating the unity, and ultimately creating the product. Commercial bank’ brand management can be defined briefly as the follows: Brand management of a commercial bank is the process of maintaining, improving, and promoting the bank’s brand. It focuses directly on the brand and how to create an absolute brand reputation in customers’ minds. Proper brand management can increase sales and facilitate market expansion. 1.4.2 Brand management’s activities Brand management’s activities include: building brand identity, developing brand reputation, and protecting the brand. Building brand identity is the establishment of its components, such as the vision, culture, position, personalities, and the relationship between brand and its expression. Building brand reputation: the reputation of the brand generally is more stable and more condense over the time compared to the brand’s image. It is the sense of evaluation from customers, business partners, and public opinions towards the brand. If brand identity and reputation are the same, the brand is at its peak and the corporation is managing it perfectly. Brand protection includes two parts: first of all is the protection of the brand and its components; second of all is the establishment of the barriers preventing the possibilities of attacks from the competitors. 1.5 The factors affecting the gap between brand’s identity and brand’s reputation 1.5.1 Brand management teams A brand management teams includes senior and middle managers of the company and the employees of brand management department. The mission of the teams is developing and implementing the brand strategy, managing both brand identity and brand reputation so that the gap between them is as small as possible. 1.5.2 Employees Employees are the representative of the company in front of the customers and they play an important role in the transmission of the brand’s actual value to the customers. Staffs having a bad awareness about the brand will lead to them behaving reluctantly and listlessly or understanding incorrectly the ideas of brand identity. Therefore, the people who have contacts with them will eventually develop the wrong images about the brand. This incident creates the gap between brand identity and brand reputation. 1.5.3 Customers Customers must be the center of the brand strategy. 4 Customers understanding about the brand usually starts from a variety of sources: from their networks, advertisements, and referrals. However, the most important one is the interaction between employees and customers. The clearer the level of customers’ understanding is, the higher the company’s chance to sell its products is. How customers view the brand is the bank’s reputation. 1.5.4 Brand communication Within the scope of this study, general communication is addressed, but the effects of two communication objects, which are the internal and external communication, on the management of the gap between brand identity and brand reputation are studied. 1.6 Brand management models The brand management models that the author refers to include: The Management Iceberg Model, Brand identity management model of Balmer and Stotvig (1997), and the “Brand management through narrowing the gap between brand’s identity and brand’s reputation” model of Chernatony (1999). Among them, Chernatony’s model was drawn from the previous studies on building brand identity. The cores of this model are the brand vision and culture which will encourage corporation to develop its positioning and culture. Shaping the relationship within the firm are three factors, which will express the brand identity. Chernatony’s model provides a useful brand management method, which is the effectiveness of demonstrating clearly the important factors related to branding. However, the proposed model has no specific implementation plan. It has to be applied in practice to be further improved. It requires managers to check the consistency of all the aspects of the business to narrow the gap between brand identity and brand reputation when managing the brand. The model which the author studies and proposes is based on Chernatony’s model. 1.7 Conceptual model. 5 Brand management staffs’ level of brand identity recognition Employees’ level of brand identity recognition The identity – reputation gap Customers’ level of brand identity recognition The level of internal communication means The level of external communication means 1.8 Conclusion In chapter 1, the thesis has generalized the concepts of, the roles of, and the method to manage brands. It has presented some models of brand management that were based on the brand identity and brand reputation. Thus, it has stated the components related to the brand management, such as brand identity, brand reputation, brand management staffs, employees, customers, and communication means. Additionally, the thesis has determined that brand management is to narrowing the gap between brand identity (internal) and brand reputation (external customers’ evaluation). 6 CHAPTER 2:THE REALITY OF BRAND MANAGEMENT IN VIETNAMESE COMMERCIAL BANKS AND VIETCOMBANK 2 2.1 Brand management in Vietnamese commercial banks 2.1.1 The development of Vietnamese commercial banks since 1975. 2.1.2 The brand management activities Brand identity Positioning of the bank’s brand Vietnamese’s commercial banking system has a great advantage as the familiar names with customers for a long time, especially the governmentowned or government-controlled ones. Besides increasing the scale of capital, expanding the services, the banks are also interested in creating a brand for themselves, such as changing the name and logo, defining the mission, goals, and brand identity… However, so far, bank’s brand management activities are still spontaneous and informal and not conducted regularly and continuously. Obviously, the banks do not only focus on the brand appearance, such as logo, slogan, name, and offices, but also pay attention on competing fiercely regarding in quality improvement and products and services diversification. Retail banking, utilities services, and leading banking are the titles and the purposes which Vietnamese banks are targeting. The culture of the bank’s brand Currently, the commercial banks have been more interested in corporate culture and ways to establish it in many forms with different mottos. In recent years, the banking system has had many banks which positively change and actively build their corporate culture, such as Vietcombank, Vietinbank, Agribank, BIDV, Vietnam bank for Social Policies, Mekong Housing Bank, and Central People’s Credit Fund. However, these changes are merely spoken about as ideal objectives banks are trying to reach, and never put into specific plans of actions. Certainty, no Vietnamese bank currently has its own different culture and identity. All of the banks talk about corporate culture, but they have not formally built clear and specific strategies to strengthen their culture as an essential part of the brand development strategy. Additionally, there are some cases in which the plan is implemented asynchronously and arbitrary when the upper managers deploy very well but the employees are not trained to be aware of the importance of the issues. The bank’s reputation Currently, customers’ trust in the banking system is severely diminished after the case of Vietinbank’s Huyen Nhu and several heads of Agribank’s, ACB’s, Trustbank’s branches violating the laws. The reputation of the Vietnamese banking system is dramatically damaged and “diminished” both 7 domestically and internationally, hindering the prospect of making profits. In terms of branding, the Vietnamese commercial banks’ public image is no longer positive in customers’ opinions. The image advertising through internal and external communication means are done reluctantly and sporadically. A study published in the Branding for the Financial and Banking Sector conference which was held in Hanoi in 2009 showed that Vietnamese banks does not buy, research about, or use the data studied about the market, their communication strategies, branding, and brand development. There are many banks which finance several entertainment programs for advertising, but they do not identify the specific purposes or the suitable types. Communication activities are done ineffectively, discontinuously, and spontaneously, so they are not remarkable. Internal communication means must build and propagate about working ethics, workplace culture, corporate culture of the bank to its employees and the society as well. Additionally, that is an opportunity to introduce and advertises brand to the public. Until now, the banks have not done these activities mentioned above effectively and the damages due to employees’ violations of professional ethics are the evidences of the banks’ loose management and failed employees’ trainings. Groups of visible values are the external signs of brand identity, which are also the brand reputation. However, they are not only expressed through the images of the employees, but also expressed through the business entities, such as the system of internal processes, the offices’ architecture, signs, name, slogan, the employees’ uniforms, and the language used. These are the external expressions of the bank’s culture. Customers will have positive perceptions and a better first impression with the corporation if its office looks nicely. About the offices: for the bank, office buildings are the important factors. The headquarters and the branches must be in convenient and secure places that create a reliable atmosphere. Except for the Agribank, all of the other banks choose the prime locations of the city to do businesses. However, the building is not really spacious and there is no uniformity in the employees’ attires, for example: Vietcombank, Vietinbank, and BIDV. Brand Protection In terms of brand protection, Vietinbank is the only bank which registered its international trademark rights. The Vietinbank brand is protected in Vietnam and over 50 countries around the world (Dan Tri news, 17/03/2014). On 6/7/2005, BIDV was granted the registered trademarks certification in the US, which would last for 10 years, by the USA Patent Registration. In addition, Vietcombank has also registered its trademark protection domestically and internationally, but the communication did not publicly announce this event. The bank’s employees also do not know about this information. 2.2 Brand Management in Vietcombank 2.2.1 Vietcombank’s brand identity 8 Vietcombank has been trying to build a different brand identity and aiming to become the leading bank in Vietnam in 2030 for years. Thereby, Vietcombank issues a statement about five basic core values such as reliability, standards, innovation, stability, and empathy. These claims are very good, but they are discrete, lengthy, and forgettable, and thus, it is difficult to convey all the meanings to the employees and customers. In the beginning of 2013, Vietcombank announced a new brand identity recognition system with complete changes in signs, logo, slogan, furniture of the offices, employees’ uniforms, and print publications. In a period of 25 years, Vietcombank has had a total of three times changing the brand identity. In 2010, the bank published a handbook about its culture including some factors, such as vision, mission, and standards of behaviors, with the purpose of building its corporate culture and brand identity, which is Vietcombank brand culture. The values that Vietcombank is aiming are: - Mission: the leading bank for Vietnam’s prosperity. - Vision: to become a diversified financial group on par with other powerful financial corporations in the region by 2030. - The image of the bank: green and prosperous, reliable and modern, friendly and sharing Vietcombank. 2.2.2 Internal communication means and training In terms of internal training, each employee is educated about Vietcombank’s culture which includes five core values. The branches has organized activities, such as contests that helps employees to learn more about its culture, to explain more about the values to the staffs. Enhancing professional training and customer services training are done. Especially, they also focus on training the new employees by organizing the courses specifically for them. Additionally, the “Handbook of Vietcombank’s culture” is used to standardize the standards of employee’s conducts when working and communicating with customers. Thereby, the bank has organized many competitions, such as “Vietcombank’s Smiles”, “The effective and polite Transaction office”, and “Excellent Bank Teller”, to standardize the communication skills and customer service skills while honoring the outstanding tellers and the high-quality transaction offices, and issuing the evaluation criteria for employees and offices. Unfortunately, these activities are not implemented usually and are not widely advertised, so they do not create a well-known reputation. Therefore, that creates a lack of uniformity in the authentication and actions of all the employees as well as the brand management teams. The internal communication in Vietcombank has been limited and not been focused: the communication activities have not been consistent and synchronized from the headquarters to all the branches since they are only done in some big branches. The teams working on public relation are still limited in 9 both quality and quantity. Senior managers of Vietcombank have not been able to convey all meanings of the bank’s mission, vision, history, and traditions to the employees. 2.2.3 External communication Vietcombank has had no overall strategy of the brand’s communication means to build its image. The promotion campaigns and advertisements for new products and services are not cared for and invested formally, so they do not provide the highest efficiency. In addition, the introduction of the new services is still passive when most of the customers are aware of them by accessing the internet or being introduced by the bank tellers. Therefore, Vietcombank is still not properly concerning these activities. The PR department has not built a short-term or long-term brand strategy as well as shared the details about the plans for the annual events to co-ordinate with other branches. Moreover, the marketing and advertising activities are organized improperly and inadequately, so the bank has not achieved all of its goals of efficiency and business quality. The sign and the interior decoration of each branch are different from each other, so they do not create the bank’s own distinctive characteristics. 2.2.4 Brand protection Vietcombank has registered for trademark protection domestically and internationally, but the press and even Vietcombank’s website does not mention about this event. Even though the author herself is an employee of Vietcombank, she is never heard or informed about this issue through internal communication. The domain name Vietcombank and other similar ones have not yet been registered. This proves that the bank’s trademark protection is not paid proper attentions. 2.3 The evaluation of Vietcombank’s brand management 2.3.1 Strengths - Vietcombank has a strong brand in the commercial banking system domestically and internationally. - It is always the pioneer in modern technology applications. - Vietcombank has a brand reputation in the fields of international payments, cards, and foreign currency trading with a high and stable proportion of market shares for many years. - Vietcombank’s employees are young, professional, and responsible. 2.3.2 Weaknesses - Vietcombank has not used all of the brand advantages in doing business. - The bank’s leaders themselves lack the knowledge about branding and brand development. - Communication means are ineffective and discontinuous both internally and externally. - PR activities are not professional. 10 - The bank’s internal rules and procedures and the government’s ones are overlapping and intertwining and thus leading to the limitation in the brand’s power. - The brand identity is not uniform across the system. - The interactive relationship between the brand management teams, employees, and customers is also ineffective. Moreover, the culture development activities are irregular and discontinuous, so Vietcombank’s mission, vision, and the cultural norms of conduct have not been updated to each employee. - The market research has not been conducted regularly - The budget for operational management and brand development is limited and thus affecting the activities related to the image-building advertising. - The levels of employees are uneven and their professional quality is not high. Additionally, the organizational structure is still complex and inefficient. 2.4 Conclusion The current status of brand management in Vietnamese commercial banks has been spontaneous and largely based on the available reputation. There are many banks interested in branding; however, most of them only focus on the external appearance, such as logo, slogan, name, and offices, but do not pay attention to creating a separate and strong brand identity, fiercely competing to improve the quality of the services, and diversifying the products and services. Specifically, Vietcombank has focused on building its brand by establishing a new brand identity, unifying all the system in colors, logo, and the interior decorations to improve the bank’s value. However, it still has many shortcomings, such as not being fully updated in both internal and external aspects. The customers only recognize the Vietcombank brand through the brand identity, rather than understand its meanings since the bank has not widely propagated to them. 11 3 CHAPTER 3: ANALYSIS OF THE FACTORS AFFECTING THE BRAND MANAGEMENT IN VIETCOMBANK 3.1 Developing hypotheses and models. Based on the Chernatony’s brand management model, the author poses the research hypotheses to clarify the factors that can narrows the gap between brand identity and brand reputation and the brand management model for Vietcombank Hypothesis 1: there is an inverse relationship between the brand management teams’ level of brand identity recognition and the gap between brand identity and brand reputation. Hypothesis 2: there is an inverse relationship between the employees’ level of brand identity recognition and the gap between brand identity and brand reputation. Hypothesis 3: there is an inverse relationship between the customers’ level of brand identity recognition and the gap between brand identity and brand reputation. Hypothesis 4: there is an inverse relationship between the internal communication’s level of brand identity recognition and the gap between brand identity and brand reputation Hypothesis 5: there is an inverse relationship between the external communication’s level of brand identity recognition and the gap between brand identity and brand reputation The researched model: KC = (3.1) With: : Intercept. KC: Conclusive variable for the gap between Vietcombank’s brand identity and its brand reputation. : The independent variables representing the internal factors that affect the gap between Vietcombank’s brand identity and brand reputation. Residuals In addition, the thesis also determines whether the factors that position Vietcombank’s brand in the minds of the brand management teams, employees, and the customers are identical or not. Thereby, the thesis comments on the effectiveness of the internal and external communication means. NBi= (3.2) With : Intercept. NBi: The conclusive variable of the level of brand identity recognition of i (such as brand management teams, employees, and customers) : The independent variables of which represent the question that clarify the factors that influent and position Vietcombank’s brand identity. 12 µ: the residual of the model 3.2 Identify and measure the dependent variables. According to the model presented above, the gap between brand’s identity and brand’s reputation will be used as proxy for brand management. By measuring the gap between the brand identity and brand reputation, the author compares the average points of the answers for each question of the participants to find out the differences between them. Specifically, the author takes the average of each option’s points of the questions answered by the brand management teams and the customers. Then we take the difference between them, square it, sum all of the questions’ results of each option and then divide them by the number of options available, and finally square root the calculated number to get the final answer. To determine the factors that help positioning Vietcombank’s brand in the minds of each stakeholder, the study uses the components that constitute the brand identity regressed with the level of brand recognition of brand management of each stakeholder. This level of the objects will be collected from the primary data which receives value from 1 to 5 with 1 being very poor, 2 being poor, 3 being average, 4 being good, and 5 being very good. 3.3 Identify and measure independent variables The independent variables in this study includes: the level of brand identity recognition of brand management teams, employees, and customers, and the internal and external communication means. The brand identity is measured by six components including vision, culture, position, personality, relationship, and expression of brand with multiple criteria. According to previous studies, there is already a scale to measure the value of these variables; however, Vietcombank has its own brand identity recognition system and fully discloses all of its brand identity’s components. Therefore, the author is going to adjust and use that scale to suit the context of the study in which Vietcombank’s brand has been built and standardized. 3.4 Collecting the data The thesis is going to conduct the research on the hypotheses with three objects: the brand management teams, employees, and customers in 35 branches of Vietcombank. 3.5 Tailoring of the questionnaire Based on the researched hypotheses, the author is going to collect the data by a questionnaire for the study’s objects. Additionally, based on the scale built to measure the variables, she will be able to determine the specific data which need to be collected to be on the questionnaire. Thereafter, the questionnaire will be used to conduct the interviews with some colleagues to evaluate the questions to see if they are understandable or confusing or not. The survey questions are closed-ended using the Likert-scale to determine the objects’ level of agreement on the questions given. For brand management 13 teams and employees, the author is going to send the questionnaire via email. For the customers, she is going to ask the bank tellers to give directly to them. 3.6 The method of econometric analysis 3.6.1 Data processing The collected data will be processed by SPSS version 16. 3.6.2 Analysis of the correlation between the variables of the model The thesis uses the multiple regression method for these variables: between the level of brand identity recognition of brand management teams, employees, and customers, and the internal and external communication means with the gap between brand identity and brand reputation. For the identification of the factors that position Vietcombank brand in the minds of the objects, the thesis uses Ordered Choice Model, Ordered Probit Regression, and TOBIT regression due to the limitation of the researched data. 3.7 The results of the descriptive statistics 3.7.1 Data - For the customers: the number of questionnaires distributed was 300, the number obtained was 160, and the valid ones were 152. - For the brand management teams: the number distributed was 250, the number obtained was 229, and the valid ones were 205. - For the employees: the number distributed was 200, the number obtained was 184, and the valid ones were 180. 3.7.2 The internal communication means in the brand management teams - Internally, the teams mostly use phone and meetings as the forms to exchange information. Additionally, email is the second most used and mail and fax are the least used. 3.7.3 The internal communication means between brand management teams and the employees Formal and informal meetings are the most frequently used means of internal communication means between the brand management teams and the employees. The traditional means such as phone, mail, and email are less frequently used, and fax is the least favored method used. This is justified since the members of the brand management teams are the heads of the departments, so when there is a need to exchange information regarding the brand, meetings are the most effective and convenient. The evaluations of the brand management teams and the employees about the effectiveness of the communication means used to propagate the Vietcombank brand to the employees shows that means such as conferences and competitions are more effective than written means such as texts, flyers, and emails. The reviews from these two objects about these communication channels are also similar. 3.7.4 The level of communications between employees and customers. 14 The communication means between employees and customers are mainly the interactions during over-the-counter trading. As discussed previously, although internet banking is growing dramatically, the percentage of direct trading is still big. Moreover, the objects the thesis chooses is the customers who do trade over the counters, so the direct communication at the counters is the most used, followed by other methods such as phone, fax, email, and finally mail. 3.7.5 The degree of similarity between the objects’ opinions about the brand identity Overall, the brand management teams’ evaluation points about brand identity are higher than employees’ ones. Besides that, the employees’ points are higher than the customers’ points. Regarding the specific components of the brand identity, the employees tend to rate identity with a higher than customers for most criteria, except for “The relationship between employees and customers” and “Expression”. The criteria “The relationship between employees and customers’ are rated the highest by customers and brand management team and are rated the fourth highest by employees. The criteria “Value” and “Positioning” are rated highly by both customers and the brand management teams. “Personality” is both internally and externally (customers) rated low. The internal evaluations are either higher or lower than the external ones. “Culture” has the highest difference between brand management teams’ evaluation points and customers’ ones, which customers rated Vietcombank culture 1.19 lower. Other criteria such as “The brand purpose” and “The brand personality” also have a big difference between these two objects. The statistics shows that there is a disparity between the customers’ evaluation and the brand management teams’ one. The average degree of similarity between the brand positioning of customers and the brand management team is 3.58 with 1 being the very different and 5 being very similar. This happens probably due to the fact that the employees have not expressed the brand identity enough for the customers to feel it during transactions. Therefore, Vietcombank should increase intensively the external communications in order to promote the bank’s brand and increase the brand success. 3.8 Quantitative Analysis 3.8.1 The customers’ brand positioning factors The results of Ordered Probit regression and Tobit regression shows that the Vietcombank brand that customers have positioned have these characteristics: the green sustainable development for the community and the ongoing development through the bank’s green logo and slogan. In addition, the relentless efforts of the employees and managers have confirmed the bank’s leading position. 15 Although Vietcombank has just changed from a wholesaler to a retailer in recent years, but according to the customers, it is the leader in the retail sector. This is an outstanding result due to the bank’s efforts to change the brand recognition recently. Regarding the bank tellers’ attitudes, the most impressive ones are the respect and the politeness when communicating with customers. However, Vietcombank still lacks other important attitudes such as friendliness, enthusiasm, patience, cooperation, and credibility. Thereby, the bank needs to improve the services’ quality in the process of positioning the brand in the minds of the customers. The values the customers receive when using Vietcombank brand have two significant characteristics: reality and high level. Thereby, the brand brings the real insight and creates classy value for customers. 3.8.2 The brand management teams’ brand positioning factors Regarding the brand management teams’ internal communications, the variables that affect the brand positioning include: the differences in the Vietcombank brand’s characteristics, the cultural norms of its culture, its personalities, its reliability, the friendliness, the respect, and the understanding between the brand management teams and the employees. In terms of the level of communications between brand management teams and employees, the variables that affect the brand positioning include: the strong brand personalities, the friendliness between brand management teams and the employees who work directly with the customers, the update of customers’ personalities, and the high level of the customers’ personalities. According to the results, the messages which the brand management teams and the employees position and convey to the customers are different from what the customers perceive, expect for the brand personalities and its high value. Thereby, this indicates that the employees’ ability to propagate and promote the brand image as well as their ability to recognize the brand is still limited and should be developed further. 3.8.3 Employees’ brand positioning factors The variables affecting the bank’s brand positioning is: being one of the two leading banks in Vietnam with great influences in the region; becoming one of the 300 largest financial groups by 2020; being polite with the customers; and updating when using the Vietcombank brand. According to the results, the effectiveness of brand recognition between the employees’ one and the brand management teams’ one and the effectiveness of the methods used to convey the messages to the customers is not high. Thus, it creates the disparity between the perceptions of brand management teams, employees, and the customers. 3.8.4 The analysis of the factors affecting the gap between brand’s identity and brand’s reputation 16 The corrected coefficient of determination R2 is 0.917 which shows the compatibility of the observed variables of the model is very high. Therefore, the gap between brand identity and brand reputation can be explained by five variables in the model. However, this conformity is only true with the sample data. Thus, we have to test the suitability of the model to see whether we can use it with the real data. 3.8.5 Testing the suitability of the model The hypotheses H0: β1 = β2 = β3 = β4 = 0. To test the suitability of the multivariate linear regression model, we use the F value of the ANOVA table. The value Sig. of F of the model is really small (<0.05), so we should reject the hypotheses H0. In conclusion, the model fits this data set and can be generalized to the whole set of data. 3.8.6 The multivariate regression Table-6: The Multivariate Regression Analysis Coefficientsa Unstandardized Coefficients Model B Std. Error Standardiz ed Coefficien ts Collinearity Statistics Beta Toleran ce VIF t Sig. -2.738 .003 (Consta -.120 nt) .039 X1 -.204 .080 -.367 27.009 .000 .846 1.182 X2 X3 -.195 -.208 .066 .067 -.242 -.267 31.143 28.236 .000 .000 .869 .876 1.149 1.150 X4 -.217 .067 -.336 26.749 .000 .863 1.142 X5 -.195 .058 -.041 25.623 .000 .885 1.130 a. Dependent Variable: The gap between Vietcombank brand identity and brand reputation As the table above shows, the VIF of the variables is less than 3 with Sig. <0.05. That means the multicollinearity between the independent variables of the model does not happen. From the regression analysis, the relationship between the independent and the dependent variables is presented as follows: The gap between Brand’s identity and Brand’s reputation = -0.367X1 0.242X2 - 0.267 X3 - 0.336X4 - 0.041X5 With: 17
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