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BNP Paribas: Pioneering Change and Innovation in Finance

Brand Finance
17 January 2024

BNP Paribas continues to challenge the conservative image surrounding the financial sector. The bank has shown a progressive approach, showcased by its 9% brand value increase to USD12.3 billion in 2024. BNP Paribas' brand value increase sees the banking brand climb 7 positions in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking.

Interview with Elise Hermant

Elise Hermant,
Head of Group Communications,
BNP Paribas

Can you share with us, what is your secret for driving brand growth?

The development of a brand’s image is linked to how its actions are perceived and comprehended by both, customers, and stakeholders. It must be acknowledged that the financial sector struggles to emerge and has long suffered from a conservative image. However, in my daily experience, I witness a bank that is rapidly transforming, an innovative tech-company working with vast volumes of highly sensitive data, revolutionizing payments, and the daily management of budgets. A bank guiding people in acquiring or renovating their homes, preparing for retirement, and offering innovative mobility solutions. A bank, accompanying businesses in their development, both in France and internationally, supporting everyone, from aspiring students entrepreneurs to major corporations. A bank acting as a supporter for the reindustrialization, for the redefinition of supply-chains, and the ecological transition: these topics require substantial investments, that banks have the responsibility and the capacity to mobilize.

The year 2023, had its share of significant events, that highlighted our purpose: early in the year, we announced the shift in our financing towards renewable energy sources, predominantly focused on low-carbon energies since 2022, and that will comprise no more than 20% fossil fuels by 2030.

Our #UnexpectedJobs program at BNP Paribas, has strengthened our attractiveness as an employer, simply by empowering our colleagues to share their experiences. This initiative allowed them to explain their roles in their own words and with a sense of humor, whether they go by “InData Jones”, “BodyGuard Digital”, or “Guardian of the Financial Galaxy”. It stands as a rare and successful example of User Generated Content, with thousands of spontaneously created pieces and tens of millions of views. And this belief, that seriousness and creativity can coexist, has also manifested in the advertising campaigns of our commercial brands: from a secret agent struggling to break the window-glass at BNP Paribas in France, to a stress-relieving masseur at Cetelem, or an equestrian costume at Hello Bank!

Finally, just before last summer, we celebrated 50 years of the loyalty and commitment that unites BNP Paribas and Tennis. An exceptional edition of Roland Garros was marked by our desire to share the excitement of Tennis with as many people as possible.

How do you intend to further enhance the value of the BNP Paribas brand?

The era of purely top-down approaches is over. Our communication approach increasingly relies on the ability to persuade the right people with the right arguments, thereby achieving more precise and effective targeting.

When our digital services receive the top ratings in digital rankings, or when our Nickel brand surpasses the milestone of three million clients in Europe, it resonates with both, our existing clients and potential customers.

When we rank as the world’s leading bank for green bonds, but at the bottom in fossil tied to fuels bonds, it’s a wake-up call for anyone who cares about the environmental crisis. When we internally reinforce the guiding principles of our code of conduct, it resonates with everyone committed to eliminating homophobia, racism, antisemitism, and all forms of discrimination from their workplace.

Being the bank for a changing world means embracing, promoting, and accelerating all these transformations. This approach of dialogue and rational argumentation demands effort and commitment. Within BNP Paribas, we all become both, actors of transformation and ambassadors of our company, it is truly exciting!

About the Author

Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Headquartered in the City of London, we are present in over 20 countries.

For almost 30 years we have helped companies and organisations of all types to connect their brands to the bottom line.