In November 2013, I was asked by ING Direct to join them as they revealed to their employees, their customers and the public the new name for their bank starting in 2014. Not many people know that ING Direct was purchased in 2012 by Scotiabank and as part of that purchase, they are required to change their name within 18 months.
The first stop for this event was an opportunity to network with fellow ING Ambassadors from across Canada during a tour and dinner at the bank’s new offices on Steeles Avenue in Toronto. We were also treated to dinner with members of the ING team at the employee restaurant that was prepared for us by their in-house Chef.
Over breakfast the next morning at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Andrew Zimakas, Chief Marketing Officer at ING Direct, shared the process that had been used to source potential new names. He talked about breaking down the process and the methods his team used to ensure that the name they selected would reflect the bank, the brand and the “Forward Banking” principles that customers had come to love. This process also involved the help of outside resources and customers to make sure that they were staying true to these guide posts throughout the process.
One thing that was emphasized by both Andrew and ING Direct CEO, Peter Aceto was that Scotiabank wanted to ensure that the ING Direct identity stayed the same. This meant the new name had to stand alone and represent the core attributes that ING Direct had come to reflect. Changing a name for a business is never easy, especially when you have a very loyal customer base. The mantra of the day was that the name of the bank is changing; Everything else is getting better.
After a group “Cooking on a Budget” session, our final stop of the day was back at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, where we joined the ING Direct employees for the official announcement of the new name for their bank. This event was fun, lighthearted and suited the bank perfectly. There was even a surprise visit from their former spokesperson (who many thought was their CEO for years) who led all of us in repeating that famous line, “Call 1-800-ING-Direct and Save.Your.Money”. That was a nice touch and a highlight, for sure!
Once Tangerine was announced to everyone, the event turned into a big party! First we were entertained by Walk Off the Earth, who had partnered with ING in May 2013 to help them promote their Canadian Super Star Saver Search. Following their performance, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were welcomed to the stage! Let’s just say that this took the party to a new level, that continued into the early part of the evening.
I was expecting a “bigger swing” at the name and branding for the bank with the name change. That said, the range of “colour” options that they had available (most main colours are already taken by competitors) was limited. At the end of the day, when I sat back and thought about what ING Direct, soon to be Tangerine meant to me as a customer, I decided that the name of the bank really doesn’t matter. It’s the people, the processes, the products and services that they offer that matter.
During my time with the ING team at their offices and at the official launch of Tangerine, it was very evident that the people who work there are passionate about their company and their brand. No matter what name is on the door, that won’t change if they won’t let it. I didn’t get the impression they will. Not on Peter’s watch. I am looking forward to what 2014 is going to bring for ING Direct/Tangerine and some of the new products and services that they are hoping to introduce to us, including a credit card which ties to their principle of saving money.
As always, if you are interested in Saving. Your. Money, feel free to make use of my Orange Key and we both will get a kickstart to our savings!