Over the years, I’ve helped develop marketing efforts for a variety of financial institutions: regional banks, federal reserve banks––you name it! Every case is unique. But there are three things that every bank should remember:
A Consistent User Experience
We see this best in the fast food sector. Take McDonalds. That brand offers customers a consistent product from store-to-store. That sort of consistency eliminates unwelcomed surprises. This is equally true for banks whether they are business focused or consumer focused. Every branch bank, every location should feel as familiar as the corner ATM machine and twice as friendly. Your automated phone prompts, website and mobile apps should be warm and inviting, not cold and robotic. Remember, people don’t do business with a stranger.
A Clear Brand Promise
Your banking brand should deliver a clear brand promise. HSBC uses the tagline The World’s Local Bank. This brilliant marketing line makes the kind of promise that only a multinational bank like this British powerhouse can deliver against. Globally capable, but locally astute. Of course, a bank doesn’t always have to boil down its promise into a set of well-chosen words. Good branding transcends a tagline. Texas-based Frost Bank has delivered a down-home, small-town vibe in its advertising for more than a decade, all without a specific slogan. Branding is more than a set of words or a color scheme. It is something distinctly ownable that emanates from every customer touch point.
If your financial brand is embarking on a new branding campaign, enlist specific brand ambassadors in each branch or location. Put them in charge of making all external communication, signage, etc. totally consistent. If you have a name or logo change, coordinate signage changes to happen immediately on launch, in order to avoid brand confusion.
As our economy continues to recover, it is essential that your bank brand transcend customer expectations. A banking brand needs to be more than simply good. It must be exceptional. This means more than old-fashion bank perks like toaster ovens and carving knives with every new account. Today’s banking customers want professional counsel, excellent customer service and conspicuous hospitality, not gimmicks.
If your banking brand accomplishes all of the above you will get more than a prospect’s checking account or debit card––you will get their trust. In his book The Brand Gap, branding consultant Marty Neumeier states a basic axiom: “The degree of trust influences the buying decision more than the product or service features and benefits themselves.” Make your customers and prospect trust your brand and they are yours for life.
Have more questions about how to ignite your banking brand? Contact us today toll-free at 866.642.7559.