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Firstbank retains number one banking brand in Nigeria …listed among the World Top 500

By The Citizen
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For the second year running, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has retained the number one banking brand in Nigeria. The just released Top 500 World Banking Brands Ranking by The Banker and Brand Finance, a publication of the Financial Times Group, London says so.

According to the publication, FirstBank beat two other competing Nigerian banking brands with a brand value of USD201million. The total value of the three Nigerian banks that made the Top 500 World Banking Brands is $574 million. It would be recalled that FirstBank also emerged number one banking brand in Nigeria last year among the four banks that made the 2012 ranking.

For the ranking, Brand Finance employed the methodology of discounted cash flow technique to discount estimated future royalties at an appropriate rate to arrive at a net present value of a bank's trademark and associated intellectual property which is the brand value that is used in the ranking.

Commenting on the ranking, FirstBank's Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said the emergence of FirstBank as the Number One Banking Brand is as a result of the good mix of key ingredients that define a strong brand. These, according to her include positioning, the personality of the brand and brand promise.

'A good brand promise is a combination of customers' need with the passion of the people managing the brand, a good brand personality is unique to your organization, its attractive to your targets and consistently delivered, while  good positioning is the a clear reason your target customer will fulfill their need with your promise. These we have been able to achieve in FirstBank; but above all, we have a team that is very passionate about the Brand, she said.

The process according to the magazine's Editor, Brian Caplen has five steps. These are getting the brand-specific financial and revenue data before segmenting the revenue into retail banking, commercial banking, wholesale/investment banking, insurance, asset management and credit cards streams; model the market to identify market demand and the position of individual banks in the context of all other market competitors; establish the royalty rate for each bank; calculate the discount rate specific to each bank, taking account of its size, geographical presence, reputation, gearing and brand rating; and discount future royalty stream to a net present value which brings about the brand value.

On a global scale, Caplen said the total global banking brand value of $860.7 billion is the highest they have ever been and are nearly double the level in 2009 during the worst of the financial crisis. He added that bankers are now more aware of the importance of brand to their business and how it needs to be both invested in and protected while Brand Finance chief executive, David Haigh noted that the 2013 results show that globally the banking crisis is nearly over as both brand ratings and values are rising.

Only Nigeria and South Africa are the African countries that made the Top 50 banks by total brand value among the countries of the world.