The Bank of Melbourne was first established in 1989 and was later sold to Westpac in 1997 in a
deal worth $1.4 billion.
Westpac kept the brand alive for seven years and in 2004, decided to slowly phase out the Bank
of Melbourne throughout Victoria over a two-year period, replacing it with another brand in
the Westpac portfolio – “St George”.
Whilst the St George brand is powerful in Sydney, it struggled to gain momentum in Victoria,
achieving a modest market share of 4 per cent of the retail banking market.
The limited success of the St. George brand in Victoria was largely attributed to the
associations’ customers had of the bank. St George was very much considered a Sydney bank:
“St George resonates Sydney, it resonates NSW, and it resonates NRL football.”
Fast-forward to August 2011 and Westpac does something almost no one ever does: after
pulling the plug on the Bank of Melbourne, Westpac reverses its initial decision and
re-introduces the regional brand.
Westpac’s $100 million dollar resurrection of the Bank of Melbourne has unfolded in two ways:
The re-branding of the St George business as Bank of Melbourne in Victoria;
The re-launch of the Bank of Melbourne brand within Victoria.
The Bank of Melbourne has been positioned as an iconic and exclusive Melbourne bank, to
boost the regional market with the revival of the idea of a community bank branch that is
‘modern’ and ‘relationship focused’.
Ultimately, Westpac is “serious about providing a truly local alternative” to Australia’s four
biggest banks (NAB, Commonwealth, ANZ and somewhat ironically, Westpac).
Your assessment task is outlined as follows:
Students are to evaluate Westpac’s decision to re-introduce the
Bank of Melbourne brand in Victoria.
Was Westpac right in resurrecting the Bank of Melbourne brand?
Your evaluation will include a review of how successful the bank’s marketing strategy has
been thus far, including a comparative analysis with the bank’s major competitors.
The Bank of Melbourne must be analysed in terms of the material presented
in the lectures.
The scope of your assessment has been narrowed down in order to ensure continuity in
thinking throughout the marketing report.
The scope of your assessment, in which students must adhere to, is outlined as follows:
The marketing report should focus on the retail-banking segment (also known as ‘personal
banking’). The Bank of Melbourne’s business and corporate banking segments are to be
excluded from the analysis.
The retail-banking sector consists of several product-lines. Students are to draw their
analysis on one product-line of their choice. For example, your group may wish to focus
their analysis on home loan products.
– Consult the Bank of Melbourne’s website for a full product listing:
Your analysis should be based on the re-launch of the brand (i.e. post-2011
implementation). While there may be some historical insights upon which you might like to
draw on, you are not required to review extensively the Bank of Melbourne‘s marketing
strategy during the period: 1997 – 2004.
Competitor context: A maximum of 3 competitors should be identified and analysed
throughout the marketing report.
Presentation style: Marketing report. Adhere to the structure provided on pages 25-28.
Length: The total length of the assignment is a maximum of 3,000 words.
Appendices may be attached as necessary (appendices are
exclusive of the word limit).