An Investigation into the Factors Influencing Customer Mental Image about the Performance of Iran Melli Bank

Author Name(s): Fahimeh Azimi Matin, Afsaneh Malkami
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Today, most firms demand a positive reputation among employees, customers, investors and the public. Hence, the ability to satisfy the needs of various stakeholders contributes the organization to create a positive feeling among people. To manage customers’ subjective perception, it is necessary to study the process in which the image is created for customers and the general public. The present study aimed to investigate the factors affecting the mental picture of customers from the Bank Melli Iran. Research is practical and descriptive – analytical. The population of this survey contains all customers of Bank Melli Iran in North Tehran branches, and the sample size is 384 customers of the bank. Study is started using a questionnaire to collect data from the population. In this study, to evaluate the validity of the questionnaire, Cronbach’s alpha was used. The software SPSS calculated Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. The descriptive statistics such as median, mean, and standard deviationand the analytical ones for testing hypotheses, such as T-student, Pearson correlation, and regression were used. The results showed that the bank’s identity, advertising, bank brand, and employee behavior affectthe mental picture of customers upon the performance of Bank Melli Iran.


During previous years, the banking industry, due to various problems of economic, social, governmental, and most important of all, the excess of demand over supply neglected customer focus. But with the arrival of private sector banks, the industry is walking slowly toward competitiveness. Gradual changes in the banking industry, arisen because of the entry of the private banking sector, increased frequent customer expectations in all areas related to customer service. Therefore, banks must identify the exact dimensions of customer loyalty systems in order to establish customer satisfaction, and ultimately obtain loyalty. Image of an organization is the result of past actions, and a mirror of the organization about the quality of products and services.Customers, according to their experiences in referring to the organization to get the service or purchase a product, create an image for themselves, and the image affects the decision to refer again to the organization. In today’s competitive world, the differences and unique characteristics of each specific company are known as strategic variables which have a direct impact on corporate performance. Customers’ perceptions of the organization’s image can affect customers purchase behavior and loyalty, and satisfaction.

Many organizations spend a lot of time, cost, and effort creating a positive image in the minds of customers and the general public about the company and its products. In this regard, they may incur exorbitant feesin company advertising or different charities asking for making organization social responsible in the minds and creating a positive image of themselves. Various stakeholders and corporative organizations, in different ways, are linkedto organizations having different understandings of the organization. Considering the modern competitive environment, most companies and organizations need to have a strong positive reputation among stakeholders, including employees, customers, investors, and the general public. Hence, the ability to satisfy the needs of various stakeholders related to companies and organizations helps create a positive feeling. To manage customers’ subjective perception, it is necessary to refer to the process in which the image is created in the minds of customers and the general public, as well as orientation and individual beliefs about the products and services. That’s because almost all researchers in the field believe that mental image, is the result of a process. This process is the result of ideas, sensitivities, expectations, and feelings of people about organizations.People retrieved it in memory forming an image in their mind. Hence, customers may consciously or unconsciously, have feelings and ideas which the image is as foundation. Factors creating a mental image are either controllable (such as the identity and character of the organization, advertising, brand image, the behavior of front line staff, public relations), or uncontrollable external factors (such as industry picture, the image of the country, beliefs in a society, news reporting, public relations). Identify both of these factorsis required to obtain the Company image [1].


Now, organizations have a lot of different ways to spend their resources tocreate a positive image in the minds of customers about the company and its services. Perhaps that’s why, as can be seen in certain commercials, organizations and companies spend amounts for cost of advertising on the social responsibilities of organization, or participate in social activities to leave a positive image of their minds. Also, organizations are spending most on their brands. All this is done with the aim of creating positive image in the minds of customers; an image which can be effectiveon customer decision making, and perception of society. Of course, advertising is just part of activities that can lead to the creation of the image. Factors such as performance of the organization, human resources, product quality, structure and appearance, and public relations can create an image in the minds of customers; also affect perceptions and attitudes of them. So, all the internal and external factors are effective on the formation of customer image. Also, according to research data analysis and hypothesis testing we achieved the following results:

Results showed that the identity of Bank Melli Iran is effective in forming a mental picture of customers on their performance. Keller 2014 identified measures of brand image for auniversity. According to the results of a qualitative study, 13 attributes of brand image of the university were identified. The research stated that the measures identified in this study, allow managers to compare their brand image with other universities by quantifying these measures in the future to develop a competitive strategy, and to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, the results of that study are fully consistent with the results of current study.

Results showed that advertising is effective oncustomer’s mental picture about the performance of the Bank. Landrumet et al, 2012presented a model to assess the impact of advertising on loyalty to bank’s brand, taking into account the role of brand image and perceived quality. The results showed that factors such as advertising and brand image have a significant impact on mental picture. Therefore, the results of that study are fully consistent with the results of the current study.

Results showed that the brand image of Bank Melli Iran is effective in shaping the image of customers on their performance. Kritou and Brody (2009) performed a study in the field of cosmetic products in India. Therefore, the results of this study are fully consistent with the results of current study.

Results showed that the behavior of employees of Bank Melli Iran is effective in forming a mental picture of the customers of the bank. Reference [11] reached some results. The results, in terms of influencing factors such as identity and ads, are consistent with them. Explaining the reason for this conclusion is that, ads or commercials, as one of the most important communication tools in marketing activities, play an important role in creating awareness among customers. When customers’awareness towards a particular brand increases, they will have a better understanding of the brand, and this will affect the mental picture. Therefore, the results of this study are fully consistent with the results of current study.


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