Citigroup probably has the most reputation problems of any still-standing bank in America, and boy do they know it. But the bank is intent on rehabilitating its image in a hurry; Citi´s North American Marketing Director Paul Kadin recently conducted 27 focus groups around the country examining how consumers feel about Citi, and big banks overall.
These days the bank´s focus on tracking the public's perception of its stability borders on obsession-at American Banker's Best Practices in Retail Financial Services Symposium, Kadin revealed that Citi conducts daily sentiment polls across the country to keep tabs on consumers´ impression of the bank, and how the millions Citi is spending on TV and newspaper ads are impacting that.
"(Consumers) used to give us good credit for being trustworthy, based on our history and based on FDIC," Kadin says. "That has been seriously undermined, and it comes from all the turmoil and stories that hit the press everyday. So it´s been fundamentally important for us to do our best to re-establish that sense of stability and trust."
The poll results of late have been encouraging, Kadin says, as have conditions in the stock market. Citi´s stock price has risen more than 150 percent in the past 10 days, from closing around $1 earlier this month to hitting $2.68 in intraday trading Monday.