Klookva (formerly “Ural-FD”)

          a complete transformation

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Client Profile:

The brand “Klookva” was created to replace the existing brand of “Ural-FD”, a major privately held regional retail bank based in the city of Perm, Russia. Based on the size of its assets the bank is rated 1st in the region.

Case Introduction:

Sometime in 2010 the bank’s management first contacted Senteo with an interest to conduct a customer experience study in order to measure its performance in this area.

As of note, since 2007 Senteo has been publishing the Customer Experience Index in Russia, an annual retail banking study that rates banks based on their appeal to customers. Over the years, the Index has become somewhat of a benchmark for the retail banking industry in Russia, but it mainly followed the largest national banks, as opposed to smaller regional banks whose branch networks aren’t as extensive. Ural-FD was intrigued to know about how it would compare against some of the national banks and asked Senteo to have a quick look.

What started as a small idea quickly transformed into a major venture requiring a very close collaboration over the course of two and a half years. Almost from the very beginning it was clear that the bank’s management was in search of a vision and not just a quick cosmetic fix.

With the combined effort, Senteo and UralFD were able to implement a complete business transformation and created a revolutionary concept that would entirely change the bank and the way it is positioned to its customers.

Project Scope & Goal:

After a few initial steps including strategy workshops, training seminars, study tours, brainstorming sessions and diagnostics, the teams agreed on an ambitious 5-year transformation vision. In a few months that vision was supported by a fully developed concept, a financial model and a detailed plan that would require a significant amount of work from both sides.
The program included all five elements of Senteo’s methodology with the addition of expert support in areas such as operations, organizational management, IT integration, vendor selection, sales, partnership programs, and many others.

Throughout 2011 and 2012 Senteo took on many roles and supported the bank’s management in all aspects of the development agenda, following a step-by-step methodic process, while sharing international best practices and project management skills along the way. One of the key components of the approach was to make sure that the bank’s project team retains valuable implementation skills and “know-how” so that it can apply them independently utilizing the experience gained from working with Senteo.

Results (after 12 months):

While the new brand identity was kept secret (until February 2013), the bank had begun to launch new products, develop new sales and service channels and functionality, make IT improvements, implement a whole series of internal staff culture development programs that aimed to motivate the staff to be more driven by customer-oriented ideals.

When eventually the turn came to branding, the decision to move to an entirely different brand value proposition and market positioning came quite easily.

The bank’s internal team culture had changed and their new motto “Be Closer” came to mind naturally. And so was born “Klookva” with its new mascot, a friendly mama-bear – a symbol, bearing emotional ties to the region and to Russia as a whole. The word “Klookva” itself means “cranberry”.

In sharp contrast to the traditionally unemotional bank brands, Klookva takes a bold move towards the opposite, invoking emotion by not just its name and look, but also by the quality of the relationship that the bank aspires to have with its customers. As one important element of that, for example, the bank chose a completely new operational approach to mass retail banking in Russia which involves a personal consulting model at the branch level coupled with efficient middle and back-office support.

Prior to the transformation campaign, Senteo developed a number of success KPI’s as part of the financial model, which were eventually adopted as common KPI’s to measure the success of the overall program. Below is sample list of some of the KPI’s after one full year from the beginning of the “launch” period, marked by 2012.

  • 121% increase in the overall retail credit portfolio
  • 98% growth in retail deposits and current account balances
  • 106% increase in operational profit for the retail business
  • 98% increase in new, unique retail customers
  • 123% increase in credit per customer
  • 100% increase in deposits per customer
  • 108% increase in profitability per customer
  • 107% increase in product/customer ratio (unique product categories only; multiple products of the same nature did not count)

While many other things are yet to come, Klookva has exhibited significant performance success. Beyond the figures, there is a great human story (see below) which is what makes this case study special to us at Senteo.

We wish our friends and colleagues at Klookva continued success on their journey and promise to “Be Close” whenever you need us.

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