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Reaching its 200th year, Citi has showed renewed commitment to its brand. The anniversary celebrations began when Citi reconnected to its heritage through a global campaign highlighting the innovation it has brought to the banking industry over the years. Its first-ever Olympic sponsorship has engaged audiences on traditional channels as well as online. In an effort to improve customers’ brand experience, Citi has delivered a more integrated online presence across platforms, including new.citi.com, improved online banking functions, as well as new products and popular mobile apps. In Asia, Citi is reinventing the retail banking environment with Citi Media Walls. These large, multi-screen LCD systems display financial data and news in real time along with information on Citibank products and services. They are strategically placed in places like Shanghai’s People’s Square and Singapore’s Orchard Road, where they are seen by millions of consumers each day. Citi is banking on consumers’ desire for real world brand experiences that confirm the choices they make. However, with the TARP blunder and 2008 bonuses scandal still in recent memory, and recent indicators that Citi’s culture has not changed — like failing the Fed’s stress test for trustworthiness and safety of investment, as well as new controversy over executive compensation packages — it seems there is a disconnect between Citi’s behavior and its image-repair efforts. To regain its reputation for leadership and responsible finance, Citi must bring its financial performance and image into alignment and begin prioritizing image-building behaviors over business as usual.
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