CBA Files a Trade Mark for “Commonwealth Bank Ideabank” [BREAKING]

About half an hour ago, one of my “informants” based in Australia, made me aware of this tweet from @TMarque (twitter account sharing news ontrademark, domain name and social media protection):

It looks like under the leadership of the recently joined Andy Lark – Chief Marketing and Online Officer, Commonwealth Bank of Australia has lodged a Trade Mark request for ‘Commonwealth Bank Ideabank’, a new innovation / idea generation platform ‘a la Dell’s Ideastorm‘.

Considering that Andy is one of the most experienced Senior Executives in the world on topics such as social media and digital engagement (Andy and his team were instrumental in kick starting, designing and building Dell’s award-winning social media strategy), this could be BIG.

You will find more info on CBA’s Trade Mark ‘Commonwealth Bank Ideabank’ directly on the IP Australia website.
Components listed on the TM (4 Categories)
Computer games programs downloaded via the Internet (software); computer games software; computer software; interactive computer software; computer programs for processing information; computer programs for promotional purposes.Advertising services provided over the internet; collecting business information; collecting information for business; collection of commercial information; compilation of business information; compilation of commercial information; organising of business competitions; promotion (advertising) of business; promotional marketing.Banking; information services relating to banking; research services relating to banking; financial information; financial information services; financial services; internet banking; financial information; financial information services.

Weblog (blog) services (online publication of journals or diaries).

My Take
This initiative from CBA wouldn’t be the first innovation platform /crowdsourcing experiment in the financial services industry.  I invite you to check out the likes of Webank’s ‘the wepad project’ (Italy), Danske Bank’s ‘Idebank’ (Denmark), first direct’s ‘fd lab’ (UK)… And in the last few years other financial institutions tried to engage with their customers in a crowdsourced, open, environment like ABN AMRO Commercial Banking with its ‘blackboard’ project (now discountinued) or USAA with its ‘what’s on your mind’ platform (which used to be open, and now restricted if only still live…).

But again, considering that Andy pretty much came up with the idea for Ideastorm, quickly convinced Michael Dell of the value of such an open, transparent and engaging initiative, and had an enthusiast Salesforce’s CEO built it for him in no time, I am confident this initative has the potential to set new standards of engagement and redefine customer relationships and expectations in banking.

I am eager to work on this project with Andy and his team and I have a million questions:
* Who will be invited to contribute? Employees and clients?
* Which level of public info on the contributors’ profiles? Relevance (and profiling ‘a la Tripadvisor’) is key.
* Level of social media integration and opportunity for WOM?
* Gamification? Reward strategy for contributors? Reward strategy for existing customers?
* Managing expectations: implementation process for the most popular Ideas?
* What type of categorization for the ideas?
* How open vs directive will the platform be? First direct invites people to contribute to pre-selected topics.
* Response strategy?  Just providing some ‘air time’ is enough (like the personal view of first direct’s CEO)? Or systematic response?

Video Interview with Andy Lark
As there is nothing better than hearing from the man himself, I invite you to watch a short extract of the 2-part 30mn interview I recorded with the inspirational Andy straight after the launch event of ‘Kaching in Sydney on 25 October 2011.

And stay tuned on Visible Banking!  I will shortly publish the first part of my full interview with Andy.

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

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