Campaign gives new words and images to time-honoured Rabobank approach

14 November 2014 - The customer is the core of the cooperative Rabobank’s existence. That’s why customers and their ambitions and relationships take centre stage in Rabobank’s new advertising communications in the Netherlands that can be seen from Sunday, 16 November 2014. The communications are all being conducted under the motto ‘invested in each other’.

‘This is a new phrase for Rabobank’s time-honoured belief that you can achieve more together than alone. Everyone can invest in someone else’s life. And in doing so help realise the other person’s dream or ambition. This is something people do among themselves and we can strengthen the process as a bank. We are going to spotlight this Rabobank strength using new words and images’, says Heleen Crielaard. She is manager at Communications & Corporate Affairs, responsible for communications with the Dutch public.

Regaining trust

‘We must regain trust as a cooperative bank. This is because everything revolves around trust as a bank, whether it is a cooperative or not. And a cooperative organisation, whether it is a bank or not, is actually trust in an organised form’, says Pim Mol, Director of Communications & Corporate Affairs.

Cautious turnaround

In the Netherlands Rabobank enjoyed a high level of likeability and trust in the first decade of this century. This deteriorated systematically in 2013, with the announcements regarding Libor marking the lowest point. While there is now evidence of a cautious turnaround, the trust is fragile. Mol: ‘This compels us to demonstrate more leadership, strengthen the connection with society and return the human touch to our services.’ All the Rabobank programmes currently underway, ranging from Vision 2016 (customer programme in the Netherlands) and Banking for Food (Rabobank’s role in food security) to the culture programme, are aimed at bringing this about.

The essence of Rabobank

This is why the new Dutch campaign focuses on the essence of Rabobank: working together to make customers and their environments stronger. The campaign centres on concrete examples of this interaction. The examples range from customers who have ambitions that others can help them fulfil and for which Rabobank can provide them with the required access to financial services, knowledge and networks. Crielaard: ‘We use examples from our own day-to-day practice and people’s everyday lives to clarify what we mean by invested in each other. We show what motivates people, how people have a share in each other’s lives and how our approach ties in with this.’ While television is the showcase for the campaign, people can find more in-depth and concrete customer examples on the corporate website ‘We are going to give local examples of our customers and local Rabobanks a national platform’, says Crielaard.

While the campaign focuses on the Netherlands, Crielaard says ‘the philosophy of investing in each other constitutes the essence of the Rabobank approach around the world, with the right words and images being used to communicate this in each country.’

A good feeling

How are the communications going to go down with members and customers in the Netherlands? Mol and Crielaard are looking forward anxiously to finding out what the first reactions are and what the effect will be in the long term. But they do have a good feeling based on customer research and internal consultations with the directors and communications employees of local Rabobanks. And what about the pay-off ‘invested in each other’? Mol replies: ‘The pay-off demonstrates courage. While it may take some getting used to for some people, I think it is an extremely strong move. We are going to give it a new meaning that suits Rabobank. And that is precisely how we as a socially-responsible bank relate to customers, society and the future.’


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