AIB: Back from the Brink of Brand Extinction

Agency: Rothco

Introduction & Background

AIB, Ireland's largest bank, had the distinction of recording the lowest consumer trust score ever: the banking category in Ireland had scored a mere 6% in the annual Edelman Trust Barometer in 2013, so as the largest representative of banking, we can assume that there was, at most, 6% trust in AIB. AIB had a Net Promoter Score of minus 37 among customers, and our NPS was even lower among our own employees. Media commentary on the AIB brand was 99% negative. Social media sentiment was 90% negative.

The situation really was that bad: we were a bank synonymous with Ireland's financial crisis; a brand on its last breath, in the unenviable position of being the most hated, mistrusted brand in Ireland.

In 2013, a full five years after AIB's bailout by the Irish taxpayer, the relationship between the bank and the Irish public was at an all time low. With every austerity measure introduced, it was 'the banks' - and chief among them, AIB -that received the public's wrath. We were not in control of our own story, not in control of our own brand. In effect, the brand was left at the mercy of the media, who delighted in both feeding and providing an outlet for the public's anger.