The reform separating the banks from the credit card companies is being implemented. Leumi Card is completing its preparations for total separation from the Leumi group and is changing its name to Max, sources inform "Globes." The company will soon embark on a rebranding campaign.
The omission of the word "card" from the company's name probably signals the direction in which it is headed: a company providing broad financial services, not just credit cards.
The Strum Committee was founded in June 2015 in order to improve competition between the banks. The reform approved in January 2017 forces the two large banks, Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) and Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI), to relinquish their respective credit card companies, Leumi Card and Isracard. Leumi Card was sold to US investment fund Warburg Pincus, while a buyer for Isracard has not yet been found.
The marketing and advertising challenge facing Leumi Card is greater than that facing Isracard, because the word "Leumi" is part of the brand name. Leumi Card will now have to give up its name and the brand that has accompanied it for almost two decades.
The new situation poses a difficult marketing problem to Leumi Card. On the one hand, the company needs to show that it is a new financial concern designed to provide a platform for providing additional services besides conventional credit card activities in the future, such as insurance services. On the other hand, Leumi Card has accumulated advantageous brand assets, such as goodwill and how it is perceived by customers, that are difficult to forego in finance, a sector in which reliability, experience, and a good record confer great advantages. The choices that Leumi Card has made indicates that it will attempt to emphasize the "reborn financial concern" message, in addition to its existing credit card activity. The message is designed to enable the company to gain recognition in categories of activity in which it is not currently active.
Leumi Card's advertising activity used the same presenters for many years, Keren Mor and Yuval Segal, and delivered a constant message: "Cuddle cuddle cuddle." Sources inform "Globes" that Leumi Card decided to extend the company's agreement with these presenters for a transition period of at least one year, during which a link will be forged between the new name and Leumi Card. The new slogan, "Maximize maximize maximize," will also be connected to the previous one.
Partners who worked with Leumi Card when it was owned by Bank Leumi will help devise its business campaign: branding company Designit, which came up with the name; advertiser Uri Levron; and advertising firm Mccann Tel Aviv. The combination of providers is no coincidence: they are the same providers that created the Pepper brand for the Leumi group. In an unprecedented advertising development, Mccann is keeping two accounts simultaneously, even though Leumi and Leumi Card will now compete with each other in a number of categories.
Leumi Card said in response, "We cannot comment on the selection of the name and the branding processes. The final decision will be taken only after ownership is changed."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 21, 2019
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