Brand Africa recently announced the 10th-anniversary rankings of the popular Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, with a survey and ranking of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa, incorporating the market openings of Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria. African brands occupied just 13 of the 100 entries – 7 less from last year. For the third year in a row, American sports and fitness giant, Nike took the top spot. Among companies in financial services, GTBank took the top spot for the most admired brand in Africa.
The survey was conducted between February and April 2020, with a representative sample of 18 years and older respondents in 27 countries representing 50% of the continent. According to Brand Africa, it accounted for an estimated 80% of the population and yielded over 15,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brands. GTBank re-claimed the #1 spot after falling out of the top 5 in 2019. With a strong presence of payment service brands PayPal, Western Union and Visa, especially as digitisation and digital-led economies are expected to accelerate more acutely because of the pandemic.
In a 10-year review (2004 – 2014) of the top 10 most customer-focused banks by The Global Financial Index (2014), GTBank led the pack in the retail & SME categories, including the commercial/corporate category – based on their service delivery during the years under study.
Agusto & Co, in its third edition of the consumer banking satisfaction index released last year, gave GTBank the highest user experience score (74.2%). It can be argued that no Nigerian bank is perfect, but several reports and studies have primarily shown that GTBank commands a strong and positive reputation among Nigerian customers.
Such assumption appeared to have been questioned over the past few weeks. It began with a tweet by tech entrepreneur Osaretin Victor Asemota: “The only crime I committed was to give @gtbank my money. They said I should trust them. They betrayed that trust”. The issue was amplified by Wale Adetona who tweeted: “Can GTBank give up on banking and just focus on Fashion Week and selling jumpsuits & Ankara pants?”.
Since February 15, the tweet has received more than 20,000 likes and more than 6,000 retweets. By the end of the week, it appeared that the frustration with the GTBank had boiled over. On February 19, 2020, the bank posted a GIF of a young girl waving a white flag, possibly calling for a truce from its customers.
Building upon these customers’ complaints, we asked our consumer panel about their perception of the GTBank brand: if they trusted the bank and if their decisions were motivated by the recent uproar over its service delivery issues.
“The single explanation is value, and the customer gets to define what it means to them. It is the one thing that keeps them coming back – even when there are minor issues that the customer feels can easily be addressed by the institution. It’s about the relevance”.
Insights on What The Streets Are Saying are drawn from data collected through in-depth interviews and surveys with our 500-member consumer panel spread across the country, including 100 culture insiders, who are all leading thinkers and doers across media and marketing.