The Halifax has recruited Philip Hanson, European managing director
of Tricon Restaurants, the group which owns former Pepsico brands KFC,
Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, as its general manager for marketing.
Hanson, who takes control of the Halifax’s pounds 60m advertising and
direct marketing budget from February, will be responsible for crafting
a new identity for the bank following its flotation in June. He replaces
Judy Atchison who left the company last year.
The Halifax, which is the UK’s third-largest bank and is famous for its
long running ’People’ campaign through Bates Dorland, is expected to
launch a fresh marketing strategy next year. Like other newly-converted
banks such as the Woolwich and Alliance & Leicester, the Halifax is
unlikely to be able to trade on value-for-money building society
credentials for long. The bank will need to build a stronger identity if
it is to defend its 20 million customers from competitors such as
Sainsbury’s, Tesco, First Direct and Virgin. Abbey National, which
became a bank in 1989, is likely to set the pace with a brand relaunch
after Christmas based on service.
The recruitment of Hanson, who was behind initiatives such as the launch
of Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza across Europe, signals that Halifax
intends to adopt a similar customer-focused strategy.
The bank is currently conducting a review of its pounds 35m direct
marketing business, held by Bates Communications, but has denied it is
to hold a creative review.
Tricon Restaurants was formed after Pepsico hived off the KFC, Pizza Hut
and Taco Bell brands into a separate company in October, in order to
concentrate on its core drinks and snacks business.