Canada’s fifth largest bank was in the headlines in 2013 for a deal that split the Aeroplan loyalty program between CIBC and TD. This means a significant portion of CIBC customer relationships are now at risk – a move at odds with CIBC’s stated strategy of maintaining deep, long-lasting client relationships.
With last year’s focus on Aeroplan and the new CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Card, CIBC let its long-running For What Matters campaign languish. The decision to invest less in brand further threatens the stability of client relationships, as none of the Big Five is perceived as sharply differentiated.
All suffer from the lingering perception that they are profit-driven, not customer-focused, and lagging in innovation. This must be particularly painful for CIBC. They are the only Canadian bank currently offering payment via mobile phone yet it still lost its title of Canada's Best Mobile Bank to National Bank and is no longer recognized by Global Finance Magazine as one of the world's leading internet banks.
According to J.D. Power, Canadians want banking fees and services that are understandable. Banking that’s focused on them rather than profits. Banking that’s innovative and forward-looking.
How can CIBC respond to these desires, solidify client relationships, and stand out? It could start by infusing the For What Matters campaign idea with more meaning and relevance for consumers. Engage customers through social media and get the discussion going around what really matters to them. Be the bank that puts people over profits and truly listens to what matters to Canadians.